The end of the holiday season for many students and workers can be a boon for brick-and-mortar retailers, if they have the right tools. Preparing for this year’s back-to-school shopping season—forecast to be a record-breaker—and other important shopping occasions, those not associated with the return to a desk, is elementary with help from Xovis.
Back-to-School Shopping Tip #1: The Importance of Timing on Customer Experience
From a young age, students are taught to value the importance of punctuality, a quality that is crucial for customer-centric retailers.
Being at the right place when a potential customer needs assistance is Retail 101. The difficult part of the equation for many brick-and-mortar retailers is having the resources necessary to maintain or improve customer service levels.
Several studies have established that retailers lose billions of dollars annually to long check-out lines, but gaps in service that occur before a customer makes a purchase decision also have a significant negative impact on sales. Organizing displays, clearing fitting rooms, and responding to indicative behaviors are just some of the in-store tasks that can erode revenue if not adequately managed.
A data capture solution working with real-time objective data—without offending privacy rules—is an efficient way to do more with limited staff and sales resources. An automated tech solution can help close service gaps by alerting floor managers and store associates about where their services are most valuable. In the back-to-school season, that may be restocking notebooks or refolding t-shirts.
Back-to-School Shopping Tip #2: Why Understanding Your Customer Matters for Basket Size
You don’t have to be a scholar to know that optimizing resource allocation is good for business or to appreciate that customers have unique shopping styles. It is how retailers respond to the individual wants and needs of shoppers that separates remarkable retail experiences from everything else.
Retail associates may adjust their sales approach based on a shopper's profile as part of a strategy to increase basket sizes, taking into consideration unique cross-selling and upselling opportunities. Ensuring the most appropriate sales associate gets matched with the right customer may be an inexact science. But the right chemistry between customer and employee can result in a dramatic increase in sales.
The first step is understanding who is coming to your store and when. Mapping customer demographics with rich, objective data helps retailers understand trends. And using historical data about group shopping, height-based adult/ child differentiation, and gender-related attributes can be an added layer of insight that helps with resource planning.
Perhaps more important, though, for many retailers, is having that same layer of insight in real-time. With this data, floor managers can immediately allocate resources to capitalize on sales opportunities. These types of AI-powered tools are particularly valuable in the back-to-school shopping period, when groups, individuals, and parents and children of different ages bounce between different school supplies and clothes, electronics and snack foods.
Back-to-School Shopping Tip #3: Higher Conversion Rates, Shorter Testing Periods
Students may cringe at seeing “testing” and “back-to-school" in the same sentence, but retailers that appreciate the potential of optimized A/B testing will likely smile with delight. That’s because retailers constantly test different store layouts, production positioning and category optimization strategies.
Shorter testing periods and lower associated costs is one of the main goals of retailers when they decide to deploy an in-store data analytics solution using Xovis’ award-winning 3D sensors.
Knowing what works and doesn’t work in a retail setting is a trial-and-error process. Having real-time data to shorten the time between the trial and fixing the error can deliver real value—measured in conversion rates and basket sizes—almost immediately.
Will pretzels or pens sell better when placed next to drawing pads? Would a display with socks or bottled water better make more sense next to sport shoes? Measuring the impact of changes with objective data can prove or disprove hypothesis in a more clear and convincing way than POS data or manual observation, and quicker.
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Tags: | retail | in-store analytics | category optimization | staff management |