RetailTechnology

Narrow the Gap Between Online and Offline Retail with Wi-Fi Analytics

By April 2, 2018 No Comments

Retail websites have enjoyed an advantage over their brick and mortar counterparts for more than a decade due to access to better analytics. A shopper’s behavior has been historically easier to track online than in person, giving a website more ways to target shopping cart abandonment issues and improve sales.

That advantage is fading. Brick and mortar operations can now optimize the experience for their shoppers as well, in an effort to provide better service. Modern technology is making it easier to measure a shopper’s behavior within the physical, brick and mortar store. With the use of Wi-Fi analytics, customer experience can be revolutionized.

First, let’s examine what the traditional advantage of online retail has looked like.

 

Tracking a Customer’s Behavior Online

Imagine browsing your favorite clothing website. In a matter of minutes, you find a dress that will look beautiful during the summer months.

The colors are perfect. The style is perfect. You add it to your shopping cart with the intention to continue looking around the site. Just before you were set to check out, your Facebook messenger notifications start going off, and a friend wants to talk. Or maybe you found a picture of a toddler petting a kitten.

No matter, your attention is scattered, and the retailer’s sale is lost. This is how most online shopping experiences end. With the proper analytics, the website can analyze exactly where in the shopping process you were when you dropped off. If enough shoppers drop in the same location, they can optimize the page to make purchasing easier.

Consider these shopping cart abandonment statistics from Hubspot:

  • 99 percent of first time visitors don’t make a purchase.
  • 75 percent of those who abandon their carts do intend to buy.
  • The overall rate of shopping cart abandonment is 73.9 percent.

While these statistics may sound dire for an online website, they are at least in a strong position to combat this trend. They can optimize the experience, send customer service emails, target their customers with ads, and better serve buyers.

For years, online websites have had an analytics advantage. Now brick and mortar retail stores can track cart abandonment and optimize the shopping experience for customers, too.

 

How Retail Stores Can Optimize Shopper Experience with Wi-Fi Analytics

When you are on the go, the smart phone in your pocket is constantly on the lookout for a Wi-Fi network with which to connect. Every 15 to 30 seconds, your phone is sending out a ping, searching for nearby networks to join. When a retail location begins to listen to those pings from multiple points around the store, a more complete story of the shopper can emerge.

It becomes possible to track customers’ pathway through the store. Businesses can start to learn what aisles and items are drawing the most attention from their physical customers. This information is similar to tracking web page analytics on a shopping website.

With the ability to track shopper behavior through a more thorough examination of Wi-Fi analytics, brick and mortars can take a more complete measurement of the in-store experience.

 

When a Customer Connects to the Wi-Fi, More Possibilities Emerge

Shopper behavior can be more closely tracked when a customer logs onto the business’s Wi-Fi network. Specific ads and offers can be pushed through to personal devices as customers make their way around the store. Using the Wi-Fi network to customize the shopping experience means businesses can offer a personalized experience with better purchasing opportunities.

A user’s experience can be tracked down to a granular level. You can track how often a customer has shopped with you, and possibly what they bought on previous occasions. All of this leads to the creation of a customizable experience that will make shoppers more loyal.

 

The Opening to an Innovative Future

As Amazon builds physical locations, they are allowing customers to simply scan items to complete the purchase process. Wi-Fi analytics in combination with this type of emphasis on the customers’ ease of use will change the retail experience forever.

Creating a more efficient means for in-store purchases is another way for brick and mortar stores to differentiate themselves.

 

Are You Doing Enough?

The future of brick and mortar retail belongs to those who innovate. It belongs to those who can track and measure the in-store experience, and improve it for their customers.

The emergence of Wi-Fi analytics is balancing out the previous online advantage when it comes to shopping. Is your store doing everything it can to measure and track your customers’ experience? That information is invaluable as you work to build your retail business. You cannot solve the problems that go unidentified.

Access to higher-level customer data will allow you to create an innovative shopping experience and find a more loyal customer base. It offers brick and mortar stores a promising pathway into the future. 

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