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Retail Strategy: The Importance Of Accurate Data

Knowledge is power, as the old adage goes, and this has never been truer than in the information driven age we now live in. Insight is one of the most important elements for retail businesses as this informs everything from ongoing retail strategy through to the ability to make key operational efficiencies. Data gathering paves the way for insight and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that your business has access to the most accurate data possible – otherwise you could be making key decisions on the basis of bad information.

The foundation of data that drives retail performance is footfall analytics resulting in retail conversion rates and average transaction values. These will diagnose both successful store strategies as well as areas for improvement. It applies to everything from your advertising campaigns and window displays through to which stores within a group are productive and which are lagging behind.

Many businesses underestimate the importance of getting to grips with customer behaviour and expectation – you can throw as much resource as you like at a store but your decisions should be informed by data.

So how can retailers encourage shoppers to engage more with their store?

Be aware of in-store opportunities

Use footfall data to its full potential and ensure your store is geared up to achieve its maximum conversion rate throughout the day. Understanding when peaks and troughs of footfall occur reduces the guesswork of balancing staff resource to customer need and ultimately sales.

Provide information

Consumers are constantly looking for information before they make a purchase – product alternatives, price points, colours etc. But did you know 70 % consumers say that the best way retailers can add value to their shopping experience is to provide easy access to information about products and services both online and in stores. (Oracle 2015)  A recent study by Ipsos Media CT and Google found that if shoppers can’t find the relative information in-store 43% leave frustrated, 41% were more likely to shop elsewhere and 22% were less likely to buy from the retailer. (Ipsos Media CT & Google 2014)

Experience is king

The moment a consumer searches your brand on the internet, steps foot inside a store or engages on social media they are building experiences.  For retailers to benefit, the omni-channel experience needs to be a streamlined process with online and in-store working in parallel. So much so, that 80% of consumers want retailers to continue to invest in technologies to improve their shopping experience. (Oracle 2015) Retailers need to understand the impact of in-store technology and monitor the effect any changes have on customer behaviour.

These are the kinds of insights that can create significant competitive advantage. Using retail store analytics will ensure positive changes to your own business.

As data really is the best asset for your business, any investment is justified.

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