Whether it’s the use of retail apps and loyalty programs, the rise of assisted selling and clienteling solutions, the prospect of smart mirrors and kiosks or other new wrinkles in your brick-and-mortar experience, one thing binds them all together.
That’s right: It’s the data used to power these experiences. You can’t make product recommendations to a shopper unless you know what products they like, and what they’ve already bought. In the same way, it’s hard to address their most common pain points when you don’t understand where the friction is found in your in-store experience.
Data provides all of these answers. Making use of this information is a two-step process. First, you need to gather the right kinds of data by building better data acquisition channels, or making better use of channels already in place. Many retailers use customer shopping accounts to keep a record of activity for those consumers, but they might not be tracking the information most crucial to future attempts at personalization.
Then there’s the task of interpreting the data. Given the mountains of information collected on your consumer base, brands must rely on analytics tools to spot trends and other notable takeaways. Only when you’re analyzing the most relevant data can you begin to drive effective retail transformation.
Taking Aim At New Opportunities
Brands will always be limited in their innovation by their ability to gather and leverage data. But assuming you’re able to interpret this data and drive change for your business, great opportunity awaits.
An infrastructure for data gathering and analysis is only going to get more important over time. As Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will explain at an upcoming keynote session at NRF 17, the digitization of retail stores, pushed forward by the growth of the “Internet of Things,” is quickly leading to a future where nearly everything in stores is digitized -- everything from the cash register to dressing room mirrors to mannequins can be outfitted with mobile technology.
And with that digitization, each of these touchpoints becomes a resource for new data. If you can figure out a way to interpret that data meaningfully, you’ll uncover new ways of personalizing the in-store experience while continuing to transform your store.
The long-term hope is that continued digitization will create a seamless, connected store where data powers better shopping experiences and greater sales, all while keeping costs under control. To learn more about this transformation, check out Krzanich’s keynote session and follow the latest news coming out of NRF 17.