Smart POP: Putting Real-Time Shopper Analytics to Work In-Store

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Jan 20 2016, Posted by Gary Lee

The CMO Council today released a new research report titled “Predicting Routes to Revenue”. The report is based on interviews with senior marketing executives, and focuses on the need for better personalization of marketing efforts and a deeper understanding of customers.

According to the report, almost 50% of marketers admitted that they don’t have a full view of their customers. Instead, many are drowning in data, with much of the data giving them historical clues on past performance, but little predictive behavior for communicating with a shopper going forward.

All in all, retailers and brands need a way to uncover real-time insights on customer behavior and provide real-time customer experiences tailored for the moment. And, a critical component to delivering on both of these tactics must include the in-store experience. Why? Because 91% of all Dollars, Pounds, Yen, Pesos and other currencies worldwide are still spent in brick-and-mortar retail, and the physical store still represents a primary channel where shoppers go to learn about brands, test products and take critical steps in the path to purchase.

That said, what if in-store experiences could be smarter? What if you could combine your displays, shelf/endcap areas, kiosks and other in-store marketing with analytics to measure performance and allow real-time adjustment to shoppers? That combination would give us a concept we like to call “SmartPOP”—offering critical insights on shopper behavior along the path to purchase, helping retail professionals understand and optimize the impact that investments in-store can have with the shopper. Specifically, the various stages of their in-store buy cycle such as attraction, education, engagement and conversion.

Retail Analytics & Smart POP

Fortunately, “Smart POP” is more than just a concept. Here are a few ways retailers and brands can use it today:

  1. To provide 24×7 insights on how shoppers are responding to and interacting with a particular brand, category or department. These insights also include key performance indicators about how well the POP (endcap, aisle display) is performing to attract and engage shoppers by providing hourly breakdowns of number of visitors, dwell time, attention time, gender/age breakdown and other key metrics critical for creating true buyer personas and deriving market segmentation.
  1. To conduct A/B testing and even cohort testing of new POP digital content in-store to see what performs best and drive fast, iterative changes that have positive impact in-store. For instance, measuring the impact of changing an attract loop in 10% of stores. And, based on that measurement making swift decisions about changes to maximize in-store performance.
  1. To trigger real-time customer experiences using digital displays in-store based on the analytics.Highly-personalized campaigns can be triggered on digital screens in-store (tablets, monitors, kiosks, digital displays, smartphones) based on a shopper’s location, gender or other contextual clues.

For too long, brick-and-mortar has continued to offer one-size-fits-all mass marketing. Going forward shoppers will require more effort for their attention in the form of new, highly personalized in-store experiences. Brands and retailers will therefore need to start making more investments in-store to help them better understand their customers and deliver personalized, real-time experiences. “Smart POP” will be a key component to help brick-and-mortar do just that.

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