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Retail Analytics: Living on the Edge
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Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/28/2016 5:42:11 PM
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It does seem that although getting those analytics up to speed at the store level is optimal, there's the hitch -- "if store managers have their hands full with to-do lists," will they be able to efficiency and enthusiastically implement the programs needed? That might be a real problem that needs to be solved.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/22/2016 1:28:43 PM
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I think the retailers that go the next steps first will capture new customers and then everyone will follow.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/22/2016 12:28:01 PM
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I agree there is a further road to travel beyond buy online pick up instore. The retailers that are integrating offers and creating a uniform account for consumers are the ones that are beginning to realize some of the promise of omnichannel. To date however I have only seen this integration with credit card holders of a store.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/22/2016 8:19:56 AM
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@Tomsg. Right, consumer opt-in is important in these omnichannel strategies, and in the cases that I've read that has been the only way the beacons, etc., will identify you as you. Even without opt-in, though, there are all sorts of uses for customer tracking technologies. Consider the example of customer traffic near a particular product display (tracked by generic monitoring of wifi traffic, video, or noise). The manager won't know who the customers are but can see whether they are actually buying, and if they aren't buying maybe the prices come down a bit. Or you could have sensors on the actual product shelves. Are people picking up a product to examine but not buying? If so, what action can the store take to make more sales?

As far as opt-in, those who want to share the phone data probably will tend to be loyal customers who want good deals.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/21/2016 5:49:17 PM
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I think that is a key point. If you don't have an opt-in, you should not identify the customer. If you do, you run a real risk as being seen as really creepy.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/21/2016 5:45:41 PM
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Omnichannel was a big topic at the show.  It actually works in multiple ways.  Sometimes it's noticing that someone who purchases a lot online has come into your store.  Sometimes it's a sales associate helping a customer who is in the store make an online purchase because a desired item is not in stock.  (Hopefully, the associate can also ditch the shipping charges so the customer doesn't have to pay for the retailer's lack of inventory).

These are al part of the discussion.  But the creepiness factor is definitely a consideration too!  Customer have to opt in.  That's why much of the discussion at the show revolved around anonymous Wi-Fi tracking for aggregate insight -- rather than personally identifying people who may not want to be personally identified.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/21/2016 5:24:10 PM
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I think this is a key point. Retailers seem to think they have integrated online with the in store experience when they offer in store pick up of goods. I think the real winners in the next few years will be those who can extend the online experience into the store. This is not an easy task, but it wil be rewarding.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/21/2016 5:24:06 PM
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I think this is a key point. Retailers seem to think they have integrated online with the in store experience when they offer in store pick up of goods. I think the real winners in the next few years will be those who can extend the online experience into the store. This is not an easy task, but it wil be rewarding.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/21/2016 9:30:03 AM
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Omnichannel.

Sometimes it's risky to generalize based on your own behavior. But in this case, I think I'm pretty typical: I spend some time online before any significant purchase, and even some insignificant ones. By the time I'm in the store, I often know (mostly) what I want to buy.

At this point it can be frustrating if the store is out of stock or the salesperson knows less about the product than I do.

Re: Making Brick and Mortar better
  • 1/20/2016 3:38:56 PM
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@PC. You've hit on what they call the omnichannel in retail. Those retailers want to know what you viewed on their websites before you walked into a store. They also want to know what other types of research you did, such as searches for the same product type, perhaps on Amazon or maybe on social media. In the omnichannel experience, the trip to buy at the brick and mortar store is just the final step in the sale.

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