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    In-Store Analytics Hits Prime Time: Part 2

    Moving beyond initial insights

    By Gary Hawkins, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

    In the first half of this two-part piece, we looked at how emerging solution providers offer inventive new data analytics tools and solutions to provide grocers with power insights into their customers and their behavior. Here we will look at how new tools are quickly taking those analytics further and making insights and analytics actionable.

    The Center for Advancing Retail Technology (CART) conducted a study over several months in a supermarket, cross-referencing aisle traffic, conversion rates, purchase data and promotion activity to gain even deeper insights. The study found a strong correlation between the advertising of certain specific cereal brands and higher aisle traffic. When Cheerios, Captain Crunch and Life cereals were advertised, aisle traffic increased, on average, by 8 percent. Other brands had little to no impact. When shoppers purchased these key brands of cereal it was noticed that the sales of fruit juice, an adjacent product category, increased 9 percent.

    Consider the power of this insight and extend that learning to key categories across the store. This opens a new dimension in promotion planning, incorporating the concept of choosing products for the weekly ad not just by price point but also by their ability to drive conversion rates.

    Leading-edge solution providers are bringing these analytics together in powerful platforms enabling retailers and brand manufacturers to not only gain new insights into their store environments but also make those insights actionable. One mobile platform ties together the shopper’s path through the store, along with aisle and category conversion rates and shopper purchase history, allowing retailers to create campaigns to optimize store traffic. Contextually relevant offers are communicated to the shopper’s mobile based on their real-time location.

    The future of in-store analytics

    Like website developers measuring how users click through a website, new technologies are digitizing physical stores - from "click stream" to "foot stream." The ability for retailers and brands to understand how consumers shop in the store gain insight into the impact of merchandising and signage, and obtain new measures of shopper behavior.

    Making these new insights and analytics actionable represents the leading edge of in-store marketing today. Adding in-store behavior to other big data creates the opportunity to strategically influence the shopper’s path through the store using relevant, targeted promotions.

    As retailers and brands increase their understanding and use of these new tools, it provides powerful ammunition for brick-and-mortar retailers as the competition with online-only companies grows.

    Remember the hot air balloon and the transparent grocery store from Part 1 of this article. Now, maybe we are not yet able to fly over stores and see into the minds and carts of every customer, but new tools emerging from start-ups and other solution providers can provide grocers and other retailers with the invaluable information and actions to drive sales and increase customer satisfaction.

    Whether you are just looking to gather customer data or are ready to start creating actionable insights from data, now is the time to embrace analytics and take a look at the emerging solutions available.

    By Gary Hawkins, Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)
    • About Gary Hawkins Gary Hawkins is founder and CEO of Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART). He is a regular guest lecturer at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in addition to keynoting retail conferences in the U.S. and abroad. He can be reached at [email protected]

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