Improve shopper experience with data collection and analytics

The data you collect from various sources hides many insights that could be game-changing for your business. Unfortunately, many companies do not leverage the value of information, and this means losing an important advantage over competitors. Using data effectively, to its full potential, means being able to understand customer behavior and build strategies accordingly, which translates into more sales.

In business, the correct use of data is the key to increasing profitability and making more money. Through thorough analysis, you will be able to obtain actionable insight and improve every aspect of your strategies and actions. In retail, one thing that could make a difference is shopper experience because your business growth depends directly on customers, whether you run an online store or a brick-and-mortar shop. This means that if you can collect the relevant data, analyze it and make informed decisions, you will be able to reach new customers and increase sales.

Customer satisfaction plays a crucial role for any business, and retail companies in particular, and that is why you must pay close attention to market research and data analysis. Big data can help you curate valuable experiences for your clients, understand patterns and come up with strategies that can influence their purchase decisions.

Here are some suggestions of how to use data to your advantage:

Collecting data from points of sale
Retail companies should be aware that point of sale data collection is more than just a solution for inventory management, but also some sort of direct feedback from clients. Indeed, POS information is mostly numbers, but you should not neglect its importance because this will shed light on some of your most ardent marketing and sales questions. These metrics will reveal details about customer counts, profit margins and sales trends, so you will be able to identify which products bring you the most revenue and make better decisions.
Here is how you can use POS data:

  • Improve cash flow and retail operations
  • Understand buying habits, act on them and improve clients’ experience
  • Sort audiences, using criteria such as purchase category, spend level, product preferences, etc
  • Predict trends, forecast sales and manage inventory.

Analyzing foot and web traffic
Analyzing numbers may not be the most fun thing to do, but it will definitely show you what you are missing. For online stores, you can observe customer behavior and evaluate the performance of your website by identifying the most performing channels and sources of traffic, seeing what visitors do after arriving on a landing page, how much time they spend on the website, and what actions bring conversions.
In physical stores, you can keep track of the total number of visitors and their in-store actions. Based on these observations, you can draw conclusions about:

  • Conversion rates
  • Shopping trends
  • Busy days or hours when your store (or website) gets the most visitors
  • Most visited areas of the store (or website pages/categories)
  • Discount campaigns and offers’ performance

Conducting market research
Complex market research can set things straight in terms of customer behavior and preferences. You can access secondary data – information about industry trends or general context, but also come up with some actions to gather primary data – new information based on your business goals, and thus have a point of view on the big scheme of things. You will get actionable insights about competition, target audiences, market trends and customers, to act accordingly:

  • Asses competition and industry trends
  • Identify purchase patterns
  • Adjust pricing
  • Predict demand to set up the supply chain
  • Choose your target audience
  • Innovate for a new strategy

Using online surveys
If you want direct feedback from your customers, the best thing you could do is ask them. Set an objective, come up with some relevant questions, and pick the most suitable channel to release the survey among clients. The online environment gives you the perfect context for simple yet relevant research, in a safe anonymous space for participants. Once you have enough answers, you can analyze them and understand customers’ perspectives and honest opinions about your projects.
Here is what you can improve through surveys:

  • Your offers and campaigns
  • Product placement strategy
  • Pricing range
  • Development of new products or services

The benefits of sales data in retail are incommensurable and cannot be denied. However, remember that you can only get valuable insight from data if you collect the relevant information in the first place. If done right, data collection and the analysis of information will allow you to build a better experience for your customers and website visitors, to bring them closer to your business. This will, eventually, improve sales and increase revenue.