The eCommerce revolution has taken the retail industry by storm, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With more and more people looking to shop from the comfort of their homes, sales moved seemingly overnight online, changing the way that chains structured their business.
But now, as the world gets back to “normal”, retail stores are looking to the changes in the eCommerce scene to understand what and how they can improve their retail sales.
Retailers have access to a wide range of information online. They can easily track customer behavior by seeing page views, add to cart information, cart abandonment, and more. However, this is missing in physical retail.
Without this data, retailers are challenged to meet their own KPIs: increase sales, reduce markdowns, reduce turnover.
The fashion industry technological revolution
A wide range of industries today are on the brink of a technological revolution. Fashion is one of them.
McKinsey’s State of Fashion report states that “customers who engage with in-store technology spend up to four times longer shopping than those who do not”.
It’s, therefore, no surprise that more and more stores are looking to become connected stores.
McKinsey also predicts that fashion companies are expected to double investments in technology by 2030.
What does the technological revolution have to offer retailers?
First and foremost, the shopper will benefit from the technological upgrades that brands are integrating. The in-store experience will change including hyper personalization options. But, brands must also keep their needs and goals in mind.
Technology can help them understand what is working in-store, what is less successful, which items to promote, which physical areas of the store sell the most, and much much more.
With this new found info, merchandisers, retail operations teams, and store associates move away from gut-based decision making to data-based optimizations that will directly impact their goals.
What can retailers do to gain visibility?
The first way that retailers can gain information and visibility into what is happening on the store floor is by collecting data from objects in the store. This notion helps move decision making from intuition and anecdotal to data-based.
The traditional method to collect inventory data is through RFID tags on clothes. While RFID provides data to the store, it includes manual, heavy installation that takes time, and relies on the workers in the store to continuously scan the items (otherwise no new information is available). Beyond the manual challenge is the that RFID is primarily focused on inventory management and not customer journey optimization.
Today’s technological revolution has introduced new, more effective methods. Nano BT (bluetooth) IoT-based solutions allow retailers to get full insights into their sales floor without lifting a finger (besides on the computer or tablet where the insights are located).
These solutions are based on chips integrated into items that send live data to retailers, allowing them to move beyond just inventory management to merchandise performance optimization in real-time.
This data can also help to improve sales funnel data.
Today, most retailers have no access to information about engagement, abandonment, or conversion. They simply know what customers are buying and what they aren’t. By integrating this data (which has become the basis of eCommerce analytics), stores can become more efficient and in turn, more profitable.
Why is having access to real-time data so important?
Real-time data allows retailers to integrate the following into their sales funnel and practices:
- Data-based decision-making – Retailers no longer have to guess what is successful and what isn’t on the sales floor. Understanding merchandise engagement prior to conversion helps merchandisers plan, buy and allocate with greater certainty and on a more localized level. This information is revolutionary when it comes to in-store shopping, as up until now, it simply didn’t exist.
- In-store display optimization – How do stores decide where to display different items on the floor? Without Nano BT tech, it’s all a guessing game. With real-time data, stores can optimize their display according to the customer journey. If an item is performing well, it can be moved to a high traffic, high converting spot. Another item not doing so well? Maybe it simply isn’t being seen? That can be solved as well by moving to a better spot within the store. Sale items that are flying off the shelves regardless of their spot? A store manager may decide to put them in a less desirable location. The best part of this strategy is that it can be changed at any time, and according to what is happening at any moment in the store.
- Store performance optimization based on other store insights – One of the main advantages to a chain store, is that branches can learn from one another. With real-time data, a store with lagging sales can learn from a more successful store, what’s working and what isn’t. While different factors such as weather or demographic data can come into play, these insights can be valuable and allow managers to make smart decisions.
- Contactless commerce – Imagine this: a customer sees an item online, walks into her local store, picks it off the rack and walks out. Or maybe, she loves an item when she picks it up in-store, goes on her phone, checks out, and then walks out. This is all part of contactless eCommerce, made possible with Nano BT technology.
- Merchandise visibility – One of the biggest pain points for many retailers is inventory. Not only do they need to know how many of each item they have in stock, but they also need to understand where the items are located. Nano BT technology gives retailers full visibility into exactly where each item is located. This information is critical, saving hours of time for store workers searching for merchandise and giving brands insights into where their items travel around the store throughout the day.
- Omnichannel fulfillment – The eCommerce revolution has forced brands to reinvent the way they do business, specifically in the way that they supply items to their customers. By having better insights into what is happening in-store, brands are able to provide their customers with more shopping options (pick-up in-store, etc.).
- Intelligent buying decisions – Can brands predict future trends? Real-time data gives retailers insights into which items people are engaging with but not buying in the end, potentially giving insights into something that is high-interest and a future trend.
Retail is on the brink of a revolution with Nexite
Nexite is on a mission to change the face of in-store shopping and retail through our next-generation Nano BT based smart technology that makes any store intelligent.
Our Connected Merchandise platform connects physical merchandise to the cloud, providing retailers an automated, in-store tech solution to drive sales and offer new customer experiences.
Using real-time merchandise performance, availability and location data, Nexite presents the first in-store customer journey analytics solution, delivering sales funnel insights to increase engagement and conversion for physical retail.
The platform also enables endless customer experience solutions with frictionless (contactless) commerce, post-purchase applications, and digital product content.