Behind every customer experience is a story. Every single product bought has reasoning and meaning behind it that, as a brand or retailer, isn’t always easy to understand at a surface-level.
This is where shopper data comes in.
These insights help you understand what shoppers are thinking and feeling while moving through the aisles. What led them into your store? What caused them to purchase the products they’re leaving with?
With this information you can begin tailoring strategies that will influence their shopping choices. Ultimately, your goal is to improve sales and profitability by making shopper centric changes to your retail environment.
What Do Shopper Insights Measure?
Shopper data can cover a myriad of different topics, from customers’ emotional state while in-store to how well your product displays are landing. It depends on what specific insights you are hoping to achieve.
Done correctly, shopper research can tell you:
- Shopper Motivations
- Engagement Levels
- Customer Loyalty
- Associate Interactions
- Foot Traffic Metrics
- Stock Levels
- Brand and Product Preferences
- Check-Out Experiences
- High-Traffic Areas
The key is to focus your research on the topics that matter most for your business. Maybe you’ve noticed a decrease in foot traffic and are trying to find out what could be pushing shoppers away. Are your employees providing helpful, positive interactions? Are shoppers able to find everything they need on your shelves?
Shopper data can answer these questions for you.
Ways You Can Use Shopper Data to Your Advantage
All brands and retailers have a mountain of data available to them, as long as they know where and how to look. The real challenge comes from knowing what to do with the information once you have it.
Create Targeted, Customized Shopping Experiences
The more personalized a shopper’s experience is, the higher their satisfaction level.
By analyzing your data on previous in-store shopping experiences, you can tailor future experience to fit the needs and expectations of your customers. Doing so can result in more positive customer interactions, increased brand loyalty, higher brand awareness, and of course—more sales.
There are many ways you can improve shopping experiences in your store, including:
- Personalized Product Recommendations
- Loyalty Rewards and Benefits
- Smoother Checkout Processes
- Improved Employee Trainings
A thorough analysis of your shopper data will tell you which areas need improving, and how to do it.
For example, your shopper insights might show that women between the ages of 18 and 35 are currently purchasing a particular type of moisturizer. Your next step might be to put out a promotion discounting purchases of a certain amount or higher from the same brand. This way, you entice shoppers who were likely already going to purchase from this brand into buying even more, for just a slight discount on your part.
Shopper insights are only as effective as you make them, so focus your efforts and make your shopper data work for your business and its particular needs.
Optimize Your Store Layout and Shelf Space
Your consumer research may include heat maps that show which areas are getting the most traffic and which need improvement. Maybe you’ll notice a pattern of shoppers looking for a product in one area, being unable to find it, and having to search other areas.
This could be an indicator that your current shelving and layout are not working.
Shopping in your store should feel intuitive for the average consumer. If there is a product that they need, it should be easy for them to find it and the location should make sense.
This includes both the aisles, and the actual location of the product on the shelf. Are your most popularly purchased products at eye-level? Are your shelves well-stocked and forward facing? Any of these details could affect a customer’s shopping experience.
Tracking shopper foot-traffic can also provide insight into the best place for promotional displays and signage. If you know that certain parts of the store are already getting a lot of attention, then you know that placing banners and other advertisements in these same areas will give you the best opportunity for success.
Predict Demand Patterns and Improve Your Pricing Strategy
Analyzing your shopper data should allow you to pick up on patterns in demand over time, which can help with optimizing prices and coming up with long-term pricing strategies. Using this data, you should be able to predict which products will be in higher demand and when.
For example, retailers commonly notice a higher demand in items like barbecuing equipment, camping equipment, or beachwear in the spring and summer months. This is because all these activities are more popular during the warmer seasons. By pricing certain products higher or planning strategic promotions seasonally, retailers can pull in more sales at these times by focusing on the products that are in high demand.
Pay attention to the demand patterns that your research has picked up over the last year or two. Are there any patterns there that you aren’t already capitalizing on?
If so, consider optimizing your pricing strategies to account for these patterns and maximize your profits. The best price optimization tools also look at:
- Competitor Prices
- Geodemographic Data
- Weather and Seasonality
Any of these could influence which prices work best for your business.
Optimize Your Allocation of Resources
In retail, your biggest asset is your customer base.
So, it only makes sense that you spend the majority of your time, effort, and other resources on keeping your shoppers happy and coming back to make more purchases.
One of the most important aspects to pay attention to when analyzing your shopper research is the customers that are leaving without making purchases or returning often. What is keeping them from your store? Why are they leaving empty-handed? Maybe they couldn’t find what they needed or had negative interactions with your associates.
The best way to find out exactly what’s going wrong is by using customer surveys and other retail intelligence tools. From here, you can target these specific problem areas and focus on improving them.
Perhaps your resources are better spent on more in-depth training for your store associates, or on an increase in your number of associates to better ensure cleanliness and stocked shelves.
If you know something isn’t working in your store, devote your efforts toward improving it.
Polishing each problem area in your store will likely net you a more loyal customer base and an increase in sales. Shopper insights are only as effective as you make them, so focus your efforts and make your shopper data work for your business and its particular needs.