Predictive Analytics: How can it help Retailers

Introduction:

Predictive Analytics is a much concrete way to know one’s customer. In this era of Big Data knowing one’s customer is an important thing. The Retailers who know their customer can take a much smart decision and can have a more profitable outcome than those who have a very little knowledge about their customers. Predictive Analytics help in making a relative, personalized time for the customers. Every Retailer has a certain goal and on the other hand every Customer has certain desires. These predictive analytical methods help to bridge the gap between the customers and retailers. This analytical method helps the retailers in knowing their customer’s needs and wants in a much better way.

predictive analytics for Retail

Case Study:

There are various problems that the Retailers need to be dealt with. A most common problem among them is personalization of a product or service according to the customer’s behavior. In doing so the retailers forget one thing that the behavior of the customer’s differs. The retailers sometimes generalize the customer’s behavior and plan accordingly. The result or the outcome in this case is not up to the mark. The customers whose behavior seems to be same might differ in their desires or want.

On the other hand the retailer who takes care of their individual customer’s demand by predictive analytics tool and wish enjoys a much higher loyalty and profitable margin than the others. The sustainability of these retailers on the market is also much higher.

Usefulness of Predictive Analytical method:

  • Knowing the customers in a better way
  • Personalization of the customer’s product or service
  • Help in getting the fullest information about a customer’s changing behavior.

The Retailers who can think and take smart decision about a customer’s need and demand are the one who will sustain in the long run. Predictive Analytics is one of the important tool through which the customer’s insight can be known.

Predictive Analytics does not only about know the customers it is much beyond that. It helps the retailers in not only getting information about why they have lost a customer but it also help in building the ways through which the customers can be retained to their stores.

Stages of Predictive Analytics:

The method of predictive analytics must go through these four steps to provide a fruitful data to the retailers. The stages are:

  • Predictive Modeling
  • Decision Analysis and Optimization
  • Transaction Profiling
  • Predictive Search

Benefits of Predictive Analytics:

The Predictive Analytics method act as the fuel that helps the Retailers to obtain a proper business platform. It helps in bridging the gap between the customer’s wants with that of what the business wants. It helps the retailers to take a much smarter business decision.

Conclusion:

The Predictive Analytical Method helps in getting a much accurate and profitable business outcome. Predictive Analytics is an important customer analytical tool. The customer insight can be very well known through this predictive analytical tool.

Thus to be a smart Retailer Predictive Analytics is a much needed thing. Predictive Analytics for Retail is much in demand in this scenario of Big Data.

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Proximity Marketing: a Way to Combat with the e-World

Introduction:    

The localized method of transferring advertising contents for a particular place or location is known as Proximity Marketing. The transformation is done mainly through wireless channels. The people or the customers who want to receive the messages can receive it through various devices like their smart phone, laptops or any other Bluetooth enabling devices.

The Various Ways to Determine the Location of a Device Are as Listed below:

  • The Smart Phones or the cellular phone within a particular location.
  • Devices with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi facility.
  • The GPS enabled devices with a strong internet connection.

A NFC accessible device that can read a RFID chip that depicts the news of a Product launch or a media launch at a particular location. The information is collected in the form of localized contents that are collected via the internet servers.

mobile proximity marketing

Proximity Marketing has various utilization but how the Retailers are benefited out of it is the main matter of concern here. If someone goes by the definition of proximity marketing it is said there that proximity marketing is all about providing information about the people of a particular locality at a particular time. In this way the retailers can collect information about their targeted customers of a particular location.

How Do the Bluetooth Proximity Marketing Techniques Work?

Proximity Marketing like any other marketing involves selling or marketing of the product to their targeted customers. However the proximity marketing messages are accurate and are confined to a particular location at a particular time.

Following are the process through which the Bluetooth Proximity Marketing works:

  • The Data or the information collected through various Bluetooth enabled devices, or through internet are transformed into the form of images, text, data, audio, video or even sometimes in the form of games are sent to the targeted customers via their smart phones, laptops etc. Sometimes the retailers also send the messages when the customer is standing in front of a particular product.
  • Through push messages about the things or the products that the customers are seeing in the shop.
  • By sending various coupons containing discounts or offer for individual or group of customers.
  • Through various social networking sites like Facebook, twitter etc. The Data collected from these sites helps in proper segmentation of the customers. This way the Retailers are also benefited as they can approach their targeted audiences or the customers much smoothly.

Beneficiaries of Proximity Marketing:

Proximity Marketing has no doubt strengthened the relationship of the retailers with their customers. The engagement level of the retailers and their customers is much high with this marketing technique. The retailers can now their customer’s individual behavior, needs and wants. It also helps the retailers to privatize their products according to the individual customer’s choices or preferences.

Conclusion:

Since smart phones have now became the necessity of every human being proximity marketing in this context have a much long way to go and help the retailers to shine in their business. This can be the only way the brick-and-mortar store retailers can combat with the e-retailers.

Be a Digital Winner to Win over the Retail World

Earlier the Retailers tend to increase their Business by building new store. However, the scenario has changed a lot. Knowing about the customer’s base or knowing the customer database is the new trend among the Retailers. A question that arises in everyone’s mind is; what is the role of brick-and-mortar store in today’s world. In-store purchasing among the customers is decreasing day by day. Now most of the customers depend upon the internet for taking their purchasing decision. The retail analytics companies or the Brands need to be a Digital winner to win over the Retail world of today.

retail analytics

Steps to win over today’s challenges:

The traditional stores are the most affected by these changes. Thus the retailers have to follow some steps to protect themselves from extinction. This includes:

  • Taking decision that will not help the retailers to sustain their position today but also to protect themselves tomorrow.
  • Making the in-store shopping experience of the customers much more exciting.
  • Updating the customers time to time with latest offers, discounts, etc.
  • Paying attention to the proper decoration inside the shop. This involves placing the right product at the right place, putting the advertisement at a place so that if can attract more customers etc.
  • Checking now and again the contents of the Advertising messages that are an important tool for the Promotion of Products or Brands.
  • Paying extra heed for Personalization of the advertising messages.

Some Examples:

  • If we look in to the U.S. based Retail firms we will find that more than 250 apparel Retail Stores have closed by 2013.
  • The size of the new stores of Walmart is about one-third time smaller than before.
  • The number of vacant retail store in U.K have risen 355 percent between 2008 and 2013.
  • A recent article on Retail Analytics by Tickto have pointed out a very important fact that, although in this generation of technology the process of data collection has much widened up but the major challenge for the Retailers is how potentially they are using these collected data for increasing their business. This led to the growth of Business Intelligence (BI) system.

The Retail Analytics Companies need to follow certain steps to make the Retail Analytics a Fruitful one:

  • First the Retailers need to choose which approach of Retail Analytics suits them the most.
  • The second step is to find that the retail analytics approach chosen is quick or not to bring a positive result.

The retail analytical project or the approaches to be chosen also varies from one firm to another. Like the online retailers depends mainly on extensive or vast customers data and information. While on the other hand the Retailers of the Brick-and-Mortar stores mainly depend on various channels to collect the Customer’s information.

Heat Mapping: a Way to Better Optimize Your Store

The Technological changes are affecting the Behavior of the Customers. Gone are those days when the shopkeepers or the Retailers were only concerned about what the customers are buying and what are the things that are attracting more customers, but now they also keep a close eye on how the customers are buying the product, or in short the Retailers today are more concerned about an individual Customer’s Behavior.

Unlike the earlier days the Retail Shop’s layout, design, placement of a product, discounts to be offered etc are some of the important criteria that dictates a customer’s behavior. The closed circuit camera inside the stores helps the retailer to track what are the products that are attracting more customers, what are not, the places inside the Retail Shop with high traffic etc. This data collected are then used by turning the information into Heat Maps. In-Store Heat Mapping thus help in proper optimization of the store. The network cameras used for heat mapping are very much pocket, friendly, flexible and are also scalable. The data collect from these cameras are an effective mode to provide a solution to heat mapping.

in-store heatmaps

Types of Heat Mapping:

Heat mapping can broadly be divided into two types, these include;

  • Mouse tracking heat mapping
  • Eye tracking heat mapping

Differences Between the Types of Heat Mapping:

The mouse tracking heat maps are widely used by most of the companies because it is less expensive. The data collected from mouse tracking heat maps are the one that are collected from actual customers or visitors inside a shop on the other hand the data collected from eye tracking heap map are gathered after sampling out the visitors into small groups that means the result of this mapping system is a distorted one. However the data collected through eye tracking heat mapping after considering the samples are a much accurate one than the mouse tracking heat mapping.

Functions of In-store Heat Mapping:

In-Store Heat Map functions in the following ways and help the retailers;

  • There are various spots inside the stores that in Retail terminology is termed as the hot spot, dead areas or bottlenecks, the heat maps contains picture of this areas and help the retailers to gain a clear idea about the store.
  • The data in the heat map that are collected from the closed circuit or the network cameras inside the shop are used to highlight the retailers with information about the traffic flow inside a store. These data are stored and can be collected from anywhere through the network.
  • These help the Retailers to have an up to date knowledge about the store’s performance, how the customers are behaving, whether or not their employees are fulfilling the job of customer’s satisfaction effectively.
  • These data can further be compared with that of the previous year’s data whether it is a loss or profit the current year.
  • The heat mapping system use different colors to demarcate different values like traffic flow inside the stores are marked by one on the other hand the product attracting more customers having another color.
  • The content of that attracts most of the customers are to be kept at the top page, to intrigue the customer’s need.

In-Store Retail Analytics: a Way to Increase the Footprint at the Stores

Companies are experimenting with various techniques to increase the footprint of the stores. The in-store retail analytics plays a major role in this matter. The digitally savvy customers are changing the retail environment every day with their various needs and demands. Thus assessing the customers in today’s world and increasing the footprint is quite a tough job being faced by the Retailers. This should be done quite analytically to get a profitable result. From retaining a Customer for a particular Brand or for launching a new Product that might attract Customers, need to be planned properly.

in-store retailing

Methods to Be Followed by In-store Retail Analytics to Increase the Footprint:

The dictionary meaning of Regression Analysis is to find a relationship between different variables. This process is widely used for forecasting or for predicting something. Path tracing is a model that uses this regression analytic model, these in-store retail analytics models can widely be used for knowing various aspect of human behavior.

The Human Behavior and its aspects can easily be Predicted or evaluated by joining the nodes of the graph or various points of the graph. This again demands the understanding of the topological structure of the human behavior. This model is used to enlighten various important part of a human behavior like this depicts what is the most shortest path that a human being opt for while looking at the entire graph starting from the source of the graph to its nodal point. There is always a path or a way that lies in between this two that is the shortest path which is being opted by the people or the human being at a much local level and the path that lies at global level or at a much wider level.

The job of this process is to predict the graphs or the path that are being widely used by the customers of different group or people of same status. Unlike this modern method, the earlier methods focused on the layout of the graph or in improving the visualization of the graph.

Graph readability is another technique being used by the company to know their customer’s behavior. In this process the companies pay attention to how their customers are behaving after reading or understanding the graph. This mainly depicts the graph reading behavior of a customer. This graph reading behavior of the customers varies with the tasks the in-store retail analytics deals with.

 footfalls in stores

Conclusion:

If the result of this methods are studied analytically it can be concluded why a customer is sticking to the previous graph or brand, or what is the reason for a changing the decision, these also depicts what are the common path being used by the customers, etc. These are all complexities of a human behavior and are hard to find. There must be various trial and error methods to be followed before concluding something. The modern day methods have somewhat made the job easy for the analyst to conclude something about the customer’s behavior and increasing the footprints at the retail stores. Thus the in-store retail analytics plays an important role to increase the footprint at the stores.

It’s Time for the Brick-and-Mortar Stores to Analytically Plan Their Strategies

The Brick-and-Mortar stores are experimenting with various things like from changing their in-store design to changing the position of the products inside the stores. All are being done mainly to attract customers. These brick-and-mortar stores lack behind in this matter. They have insufficient or inadequate numbers of customer’s data than those of the online Retailers. This increases the need for a Brick-and-Mortar Store Analytics.
brick-and-mortar store

Changing Scenario:

The Advancement of Technology has made the situation to change a lot. Now a day the brick-and-mortar store retailers need to access the same data as the online retailers. The advent of smart phones has made the job much easier.

In today’s world there are two types of customers that is one who rely on the online marketing site and the others who still date have faith on the physical marketing or on the retail stores.

Dealing with the online customers is much easier than those of who come to the retail shop. The online retailers with various smart tools and technologies keep and maintain a regular assessment of their customers. They keep on changing their rules and regulation, their business plans to attract more and more customers or to retain the old ones. The major problem is being faced by the brick-and-mortar stores. They have lack of data to have a proper understanding about their customers.

How the Processes Work?

There are various ways through which this Brick-and-Mortar Analytics can be done. As soon as a person sign up for a website the web cookies start tracking each and every buying detail of customers. These details can be further used for Retail Analytics to plan their strategies accordingly. By looking at this they can design individual customer plans. The retailers can plan for the discounts to given, the place where the products must be kept to attract most the customer’s attraction.

in-store retail analysis
Steps That the Brick-and-Mortar Stores Can Follow:

  • The brick-and-mortar stores or the physical stores can opt for video marketing facilities at their shops. This will help them to have close observation on their customers as well as their employees.
  • All the brick-and-mortar stores must follow the test and learn marketing procedure to get a better result.
  • Reviews can be another way to judge the customer’s behavior. Reading the customer’s review the retailers can get a better picture about what are the things customers are liking, what are the things they need to have a change.
  • Wi-Fi in store kiosks is an excellent way to keep a close eye on the customers who are inside the stores.
  • Personalization of the products, offers or discount can be done knowing the individual customer’s behavior.
  • Brick-and-mortar stores can have an online catalog of their products. This way they can attract all the technologically savvy customers.
  • Most of the customers are getting more and more inclined towards the online trends, so online payment mode,
    e-banking, PayPal are the other things the Retailers can keep in mind.

Conclusion:

Merging the two marketing arena like the online as well as the brick-and-mortar retail stores can give a much better result.

Proximity Marketing Together with Micro-Location Marketing Can Give a Better Result for Retail

The dictionary meaning of micro-location marketing implies to the process of using Geo demographics with that of marketing or to be more accurate we can say as the consumer marketing. As the name suggests micro-location marketing is a marketing technique or strategy where the advertisement messages or the contents are being targeted to a small group of people, thus the messages are meant for a group of targeted consumers. This process of marketing is widely being used the companies or the brands that segments their customers into small groups. These companies or the brands pay much attention to certain characteristics of their customers like their buying habits, their likes and dislikes etc.

Micro-Location Marketing Strategies:

The various micro-location marketing strategies involve;

  • All the strategies that are made for micro-location marketing process are based on either the local market or an individual targeted market . This involves having a clear observation on the style, size or pattern of the market.
  • Another thing that is kept in mind for micro-location marketing is to divide the whole lot of customers into small groups.
  • The most important objective of the micro-location marketing strategy is that the messages of this type of marketing are being targeted to an individual customer. This led the companies to have complete information about their customers.

Usefulness of Micro-Location Marketing:

This process of marketing helps the E-Commerce websites to track their customers easily. This in turn helps them to prepare their advertising messages accordingly. By knowing their customer’s demand these websites can display the product which the customer is in need off.

Potentiality of Micro-Location Marketing:

There are various potential of micro location marketing which are as follows;

  • It helps to attract more customers by raising their instinct of shopping by sending promotional messages, advertisement to the targeted group of customers or to a micro level of people to whom this advertisement matters.
  • By knowing the customer’s behavior it helps in delivering the messages or alerts of sale that the customer need or demand.
  • Helps in making more personalized content for individual customers like offers, discount, etc.
  • The companies can provide various details about a specific brand which will be beneficial for their shoppers.
  • Help in increasing the customer loyalty by linking or merging the real time offers with that of the micro location.

Levels of Micro-Location Marketing:

There are four levels through which the micro-location marketing works. These involve;

  • Segments
  • Niches
  • Local Areas
  • Individuals

Proximity Marketing and Micro-Location Marketing:

With invent of Proximity Marketing the most common terminology that we come across is the virtual shopping. This is quite true that the process of marketing have become much more easy and first with the help of mobile marketing or proximity marketing. Proximity Marketing has made the process of marketing much more personalized than it was before. Now the brands or the companies can track their targeted customers easily via the Bluetooth or Wi-Fi present in their Smartphone. This low energy beacons help to sent on spot messages to the customers. Proximity marketing also helps the brands or the companies to follow their customers through various social networking sites like Facebook, twitter, etc. the companies now pay much more attention in tracking the customer’s behavior. Knowing the customer well is an important objective of micro-location marketing and this is being possible through proximity marketing.

micro-location marketing
micro-location marketing

Image credit: mdgadvertising.com

Mobile Marketing: an Ultimate Way to Increase Your Retail Sale

The Retailers of yesterday and today have a common tendency to experiment with various modes to communicate with their customers. They always try to produce their advertising messages through various ways and means. Earlier the retailers use to communicate with their customers through electronic or print media and also by personal interaction. However with the advancement of technology the scenario has changed a lot. The mode of communication between the Retailers and the Customers has also changed.

retail mobile Marketing

Mobile Marketing:

Retail Mobile marketing seems to be the latest advancement in the world of Retail. Mobile in to today’s generation is not only an option but it is a necessity. The Retailers now use this mobile for delivering their marketing messages. It has been found that the mobile marketing have a higher potential to attract and grab much more customer’s attention than any other mode of communication being used before. The mobile marketing has also provided solution to various problems being faced by the retailers by increasing the potentiality of communication.

How Does The Retail Mobile Marketing Works?

•    The retail mobile marketing with its push messaging system, Wi-FiBluetooth and NFC informs the customers with the latest offerings and discount, this in turn help the customers to take their purchasing decision much more easily and fast.

•    The consumer’s data or information are being collected from the social media sites, through various apps and also from the records of their past purchase, the retailers then send their marketing messages through mobile to these customers.

•    Mobile marketing keeps on updating the customers with the latest offers and discounts that are going on or are to be coming. This way mobile marketing plays a major role in in-store retail marketing and thus can also be termed as the in-store mobile marketing.

•    The process of personalization of data by knowing a customer’s behavior, buying habits are now a major part of retail analytics, in-store mobile marketing has made the process much easier than before.

•    Mobile marketing when merged with other marketing vehicles can give a more fruitful result to the retailers.

•    Mobile being a constant mode of communication has the potential to track the customer’s information or the customer’s database much more accurately. This helps the retailers to satisfy the customers by providing the things that they demand for.

How the Retailers can use in-store Retail Marketing to Engage more Customers?

The customer’s behavior is also changing in this world of changing technology. Now the tech savvy customer’s want the advertising messages to be forwarded to them every now and then. They want to update themselves with the latest information sitting in the coffee shop or in the airport.

Thus to meet the demands of these sophisticated customers the retailers also need to think something different than before. The marketing contents must be now very mobile friendly than before. The advertising content must be brief and informative as most of the people now have a time crunch. The retailers need to inform the customers through mobiles from time to time because if the customers do not find the message an informative one the chances of shifting to other brand or product is much high.  The retailers need to track the location of the customers and increase their fan base. The in-store mobile marketing provides the customers with facilities like making them able to compare the prices with other products and brand.

Thus mobile marketing have made the process of retailing much more informal than before by eliminating the gap between the Customers and the Retailers.

Beacon Technology: Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Helps to Increase the Retail Potentiality

The Retailers now a day is thinking to extend beyond retail. The retailers are in turn thinking of extending their potential beyond their stores. These demands of the retailers are increasing the use of Beacon Technology. The beacons are mainly a low cost device that is easily available. They are portable enough to be used anywhere in the stores. The only thing that allows easy access to beacon messages is a Bluetooth enabled device.

Bluetooth and Beacon Technology:

Bluetooth facility helps the beacon technology to enable the process of transmitting messages through the wireless network. Bluetooth is also very user friendly without unnecessarily draining out the battery of the phone. With the help of Bluetooth Beacon technology it also helps the Retailers to provide location based payment solution as well as shopping facilities.

beacon technology

Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi:

Although Beacon messages can be transmitted by both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled devices but there are some basic differences between the two.

The Wi-Fi network does not requires any permission from the customers unlike the Bluetooth system. The Wi-Fi once turned on by the customers constantly gives location information about the customers. The Wi-Fi network gives much more accurate information the customer’s physical location than the Bluetooth enabled devices. Wi-Fi gives much more accurate proximity detection. Wi-Fi also does not require any extra app to install unlike Bluetooth, which requires various extra app to be installed that provide information about the customer’s physical location.

However the Retailers can use both Wi-Fi as well as the Bluetooth to get a fruitful result.

Much Beyond Retailing:

  • Beacon with Bluetooth have potential much beyond retail. For instance the Bluetooth Beacons help the educational institutes to collect information about their students, faculty etc.
  • Beacons in the airport or railway station can provide information about departure or arrival, delay, or about passenger’s details.

 

In Store Retailing and Beacon Technology:

Beacon technology has made the shopping experience much more exciting than before. In-store retail and payment process or procedures are the two primary objectives that the Beacon Technology looks into. The Retailers transform flash messages, offers and discounts to the customers by this beacon technology. The payment process with beacon has become much more easy and smooth.

The customers are also knowledgeable enough now a day. They also do research work about a product or a brand before purchasing the same. To know the Customer’s Behavior and the Shopping habit the Retailers need to update themselves with certain information like;

  • What are the things the customers are buying the most
  • What are areas that are being explored more than the others by the customers?
  • What type of contents is attracting more customers?
  • How much time the customers are spending time in the store?
  • With whom the customers are visiting the store?

beacon technology

Type of Messages Transferred by Beacon:

Beacon technologies transmit the following messages through Bluetooth;

  • How the retailers are working?
  • What the retailers are planning for their customers?
  • What are the upcoming and ongoing discounts and offers?
  • Messages from the event organizers
  • Messages from the transit system
  • Messages from the enterprises
  • Messages from the educational institution

Will Digital Coupons Win over the Paper Coupons in the Coming Years?

Proximity marketing is not a new concept among the Retailers and the Customers. However Bluetooth proximity marketing is a latest trend introduced now a day.

Every smart phones or mobile phone and tablets have a Bluetooth access facility in today’s world. Thus this also known as the mobile proximity marketing or the Bluetooth proximity marketing. Bluetooth is nothing but a short range wireless system that can transmit information as well as can also receive information from other devices without the use of any wires. Bluetooth proximity marketing involves transmitting promotional messages, videos, and images through this Bluetooth supporting devices. The messages are transmitted through the Bluetooth broadcasting equipments or devices and within the range of area where the transmitter is placed. These transmitters are known as the Beacons.

digital coupons

Objectives:

The main objective of Bluetooth proximity marketing is to reach the customers directly to market a product. Bluetooth proximity marketing helps in finding out the individual customers and targets him or her at the right time and at the right place. The retailers are thus highly benefited by this system of marketing.

 

Retailers Benefit:

The retailers throughout the years are practicing several ways to market their products in a right manner by satisfying their customers. The Retailers are benefited from the Bluetooth proximity marketing in various ways. The retailers can send messages images, text to a customer even if he or she is present in the store physically. The customers can send relevant push messages from the retailers about a product that the customers are seeing or opting to buy.

Now a day the customers have a larger exposure to various online sites through which they can enhance their buying. The Bluetooth proximity marketing in turn helps the retailers in segmenting the customers. They help in segmenting depending upon the customers, Facebook login, etc. Thus these type of marketing strategies help to engage with a large number of audiences at a time. These help in direct communication with the targeted customers.

Additionally through this way of marketing the retailers’ track who is in the stores, what are the areas that are attracting most of the Customers. The Retailers can also improve their promotional contents Band messages by finding out which content is attracting more customers and which not.

Thus through this the retailers helps the customers to enhance their overall shopping experience.

Customer’s benefit:

The customers are also benefited in various ways through these Bluetooth proximity marketing. They can pay their bills trough Bluetooth much quickly than before. This system is also much more pocket friendly. With the push of a button, the customers can now pay the bill once they are registered to the shop.

Paper Coupon vs. live Coupon:
If we look into the statistics we will find that the use of both paper coupons as well as digital coupons is almost same.

digital coupons

To make the full fledged use of digital coupons is however now under process, but as the year is passing by more and more companies and brands are showing their interest to introduce the coupon system.

There is a common dilemma among the retailers now a day whether digital or paper coupons which one will win over the customer’s attraction.

It is surprising to see that even if in this digital age or in this tech savvy world people are more inclined towards the paper coupons. Thus the Retailers need to think over this issue to find a way out to choose the best among the two.