Understanding In-Store Analytics with StoreTech

The ability to understand what a customer wants and does while inside a physical store has always been something that business owners dreamed about. While people counting and other ideas have been around for some time, previously there was no enhanced way to monitor what was happening inside a store and turn it into actionable data. But now, with StoreTech's new in-store analytics software, retailers can understand what their customers want and do in whole new ways.

How it works

StoreTech uses customer traffic data to create information that can drive operational improvements within bricks and mortar retail stores. The system uses a combination of cameras and in-store Wi-Fi detection hotspots to offer a range of insights that previously were the stuff that only online retailers had access to. This includes conversion rates, dwell times by zone within the store and information such as window conversions and repeat visits.

StoreTech's software is cloud based so there are no demands on the store's servers and allows data to be gathered and used by Retail Ops and for other functions. Because it is cloud-based, it is also quick and easy to roll out the software in stores and can be accessed by any smart device via the web portal. And its Software-as-a-Service model means it is highly cost effective for retailers.

It also offers a comprehensive staff scheduling option and target-based dashboard performance management that can lead to a sales uplift of between 3-5%.

Understanding the features

One of the big features that the StoreTech software offers is the ability to automate the process of people counting. Gone are the days of someone standing in a doorway, mentally counting the number of people entering a store. With the combination of Wi-Fi hotspots and CCTV camera information, the software can compile numbers about in-store customer traffic patterns in the same way that online stores collect visitor and click information.

This allows the creation of location analytics, where Wi-Fi is used to measure and monitor shopper's behaviour while in the store. It can log repeat visits and also look at the number of people who gaze in the shop window but don't enter the store. The software provides performance analytics in real-time so managers can see exactly what is happening in the store at any moment.

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Staff scheduling

As well as data on customers, the software also allows the scientific, data-driven scheduling of staff in a way that simply isn't possible when done manually. The staff deployment platform offers a highly visual, dynamic performance management option that covers the whole of the business and includes a number of important customer service metrics and conversion rates.

While tracking customers, the software can also track employees and monitor activities in the store to make sure staff are deployed in the most effective way. The overlap of customer traffic patterns with employee traffic patterns lets retailers know if their staff are in the right place, at the right time for the best customer service. It also helps with queue management and in-store marketing efforts.

The software at a glance

The aim of the StoreTech software is to create something that is easy to use, visually clear and real-time in its data. It uses several different areas to do this.

  • Summary dashboard – this is where all the real-time store performance updates appear during the day to help managers drive the right behaviours at the store level
  • Head office overview – this allows the view of live 'versus target' data across all the stores in a chain and means that management across the business can view real-time data to take corrective action where required
  • Performance data – quickly drill down through the various metrics available for each store to identify trading patterns and areas of focus
  • Staff Planner – schedule staff based on store traffic patterns to increase sales and reduce wasted staffing costs as well as monitoring areas such as the National Living Wage and staff requirements
  • Task Management – this is an easy communication between stores and head office to set tasks, add attachments, monitor progress and manage exceptions

The key to the use of in-store analytics are a number of pieces of tech and StoreTech can either work with those installed in the store or offer to install their own versions for the platform to work.

Store Tech

What customers say

For any business, ideas are great but they want to know what other real businesses have said about a system before they commit to it. StoreTech is already in use in a number of big brands around the UK and is receiving positive feedback.

Clarks

Clarks are a global footwear brand that is based in Somerset and operates both a wholesale and high street store business. Their full-service retail arm is one of the most important aspects of their business and staff coverage is crucial to the style of their stores. This meant the retailer needed to have enough staff in key service areas such as the shop floor and tills at the right times of day but to ensure they weren't overstaffed in quieter times.

StoreTech offers the scientific basis for Clarks to manage these objectives, combining customer numbers and patterns to help with accurate staff scheduling. It also offers live sales performances during the day to see how the trading day is progressing.

According to Alistair Smith, Head of Store Systems:

The product has enough science and automation behind it to ensure its effectiveness from a

customer-facing perspective, but it also requires a degree of manual input, which means our

managers are allowed to 'manage', which is also important to the business.

River Island

River Island is one of the most successful fashion retailers on the British high street with over 350 stores and 60 years' experience behind them. Their stores offer various product categories including those that require full services such as footwear and others where assisted service requires such as around fitting rooms and tills.

StoreTech's StoreXpert, the dynamic traffic and conversion tool, allowed the company to ensure that staffing patterns matched with customer flow and that conversion rates were being maintained during the day.

According to Troy Bradshaw, Retail Operations Manager:

Having the data in a live and actionable format not only means that teams are able to take

corrective action as the trading day unfolds, it also provides a fun and motivational way of

keeping all members of the team engaged with store performance.

Conclusion

StoreTech offers the kind of data that was once limited to online stores and uses clever data collection systems that do not infringe on Data Protection laws. This allows stores to create the most accurate picture yet of what happens in their store at any moment of the day.

“We enjoy a long standing relationship and work well with the team at Maxtag. They approach our business in a professional manner and are very helpful and easy to deal with.”

- Retail Operations - Dune -

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