The emergence of e-Commerce and the economics of last-mile logistics do not necessarily mean the days of brick and mortar stores are numbered. In fact, both worlds of technology and physical stores are converging, hence will reform physical stores as we know it. According to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, the deployment of in-store analytics solutions is expected to enhance the shopping experience in stores.
Future retails aim to incorporate features of both physical stores and e-Commerce – a phenomenon now dubbed “bricks and clicks” – by implementing digital technology within the stores. Companies are heavily invested in in-store analytics solutions that use various sensors such as Wi-Fi, videos, Bluetooth beacons and many more to deliver the best shopping experience.
The data acquired will help retailers study customer behavior and assist them in making data-driven decisions to leverage overall business efficiency by adopting sustainable business models. Many companies we know and love have already adapted these technologies to serve their customers better Some examples from Frost & Sullivan report includes:
The US-based hypermarket chain uses video sensors combined with analytics to understand their customers’ behavior, which allows them to make best business decisions. As a result, the hypermarket giant is able to optimize in-store manpower, improve visual merchandising, enhance check-out counters efficiency and identify the hot and cold zones to improve customer engagement and product placement.
This London-based luxury retail company connected Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) tags to multimedia content. The outcome enhanced customers’ shopping experience via in-store engagement and interaction, tracks shoppers’ engagement with the products in store and reduce customer service period. Interestingly, this technology also notifies the in-store staff on the items that would interest individual shopper based on their previous engagements; this brings personalized shopping experience to another level.
Woolworths is an Australian supermarket chain that uses the Bluetooth beacon system, which detects customers of proximity of the store to do their shopping as they are walking through the car park and self-pick up in the store. This technology greatly benefits customers whom are on-the-go and study has shown that nine out of ten customers love this service!
All in all, the emerging trend of a blend between retail and e-Commerce unfolds a promising opportunity for the retail industry by bridging the digital divide and transform physical stores into smart retail.
For more information, visit Frost & Sullivan report Evolving Smart Retail Through In-store Analytics
Subarna Poudel is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org