You can't manage what you can't measure

As e-commerce and consumer purchasing behaviour change, the market itself has undoubtedly changed, placing retailers in a position where success is predicted for those who are able to adapt quickly to changing conditions. Hansab sales managers highlight four technology solutions that can help companies with the physical store to better understand customer behaviour.

One of the advantages of e-commerce over the physical store environment is measurability. The e-store knows how many visitors it has, how much time they spend in the store, what they watch, which channels they reached the store, etc. And what about a regular store? Unfortunately, many merchants still know only their purchase statistics from their shoppers, or at best, the monthly number of visitors. With customer analytics, it's possible to choose from a variety of technologies today, and before you invest, it's a good idea to think about what data, what accuracy, and what management decisions you need to make.

The easiest solution to getting general store attendance information is an infrared-based people counter that is installed at the store entrance. Often people counter that uses this technology is also integrated into security gates. Generally, these counters provide access to attendance information at the time of day, which allows for better planning of labour resources during store opening hours.

Video analytics has been one of the most advanced technologies in recent years and has also been integrated with customer analytics. More accurate than infrared and more powerful is a 3D people counter camera that is mounted on the entrance or ceiling of a store and looks at the selected area from above. Depending on the model and the mounting height, one camera can observe up to 65 m² of space to identify areas of most interest. In addition to general visibility, the 3D camera solution lets you understand what the customer is doing in the store, where they are going, and how much time they spend in different zones. Such information allows you to measure, for example, the effectiveness of your marketing or the speed of your service.

In addition to the 3D camera, there are other analytics solutions that work. For example, there are solutions that can detect the gender and age of visitors who go to the store with the help of special sensors installed in the camera. This information can help you better target your marketing messages.

Nowadays, most people have smartphones in their pockets. It can also be used to get to know your customers better. The Wi-Fi analytics sensor reads devices with Wi-Fi turned on and lets you know how many visitors are returning over a period and how many are unique. It is also possible to understand the customer's travel path. By installing a sensor in the front area of ​​the store you can to find out the conversion rate: how many potential customers walking by visiting the store.

Today's technological solutions make it possible to avoid blind management decisions, and as management consultant Peter Drucker has said, “you can't manage what you can't measure.”