Ipsos Retail Performance returned to RBTE in London earlier this month, but what trends led the way for industry leaders? Here, Peter Luff, President, explains how the show demonstrated that a better understanding of data can enable retailers to dramatically improve the customer experience.
There can be no doubt that the current environment is among the most challenging ever faced by retailers. Rising rents, combined with the challenge of e-commerce, as well as an uncertain economic future, has put bricks-and-mortar retailers firmly on the back foot.
However, all is not lost. The majority of purchases are still made in-store, so retailers need to work hard to understand their target market and give them a reason to keep walking through the door. Consumers are trying to hang on to disposable income and there are an increasing number of sectors competing for people’s hard-earned cash.
For retailers, this presents a real challenge to offer something extra and this is why we are always so eager to visit RBTE every year. Now, more than ever, customer experience is crucial to driving footfall and conversion rates and technology will be at the heart of this.
Three key themes dominated this year’s RBTE. Firstly, experiential retail is currently the hottest trend in the sector, and we predict it to grow massively. Retailers now strive to turn their stores into an environment that excites consumers.
Connected retail received some attention at last year’s Expo, and this year we have seen more and more retailers signing up with leading tech brands to create a seamless customer experience. Home assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Echo have certainly added to this, providing intuitive options for retailers to embrace a connected offering. In fact, just before RBTE, Dunkin’ Donuts teamed up with Google Assistant in the U.S. to offer mobile ordering.
The third major theme was an increased drive to better understand customer behavior in order to tailor the store to the individual. This is all part of the target for bricks-and-mortar retailers to deliver an enhanced in-store customer experience.
As part of this, our focus was on how retailers can use data to their advantage. This year we demonstrated our Ipsos Traffic Count app which enables in-store staff to quickly view their KPIs, such as footfall and conversion rates, and, most importantly, spend more time on the shop floor with customers.
Since rolling out the app, which is easily accessible on iOS and Android devices, our clients have seen a huge rise in the engagement of staff with store data – some by as much as 35 percent. If staff feel more involved with the performance of the store, they are much more likely to strive to improve their own performance. Data should not be reserved for analysts!
To find out more, request a call back from a member of the team and we can show you how to use data to enhance the customer experience.