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How Analytics and Digital Will Drive Retail Merchandising

How Analytics and Digital Will Drive Retail Merchandising

Posted by | 14-11-2018

Nearly every industry has been rocked by technology in recent years. Technology makes it possible to deliver an amazing customer experience instantaneously, while deriving insights simultaneously.

The great thing about connected retail models is that everything is trackable. Making sense of analytics in order to make future predictions is now a highly valued skill. Retailers entrust analytics to inform their critical investments and decisions.

Analytics don’t just tell you what has happened, they tell you what is likely to happen in the future. Retails can’t afford to base their decisions on whims or retail art anymore. The numbers tell an objective story, and adhering to analytics has paid off for many enormous retailers.

Retailers have been forced to get tech-savvy very quickly. E-commerce used to be an afterthought to brick and mortar locations; Amazon has proven it’s possible to reverse those priorities. People are spending more and more of their waking lives online, using the internet to search for answers to their questions and fulfill their basic needs.

Not having a digital front is almost unheard of for any retailer looking to survive and grow in 2018. Here are just some of the ways that a digital presence and resulting analytics can help retailers make informed decisions that are the most likely to yield them optimal returns:

1) E-Commerce and M-Commerce

The “retail-pocalypse” devastated many brick and mortar brands that were easily replaceable by digital shopping. The response of quick-thinking companies was to establish their own competitive digital presence, using the customer rapport already established to keep their brands top of mind.

E-commerce (having a desktop retail website) and m-commerce (having a retail platform on mobile technology, such as smartphones or tablets) let shoppers browse and purchase at their convenience. They are able to comparison shop much more easily than with traditional retail and can benefit from exclusive offers presented to online shoppers.

Many people, especially of the younger generation, will turn to the internet when searching for a specific piece of clothing rather than planning a trip to the mall. It’s essential that brands have a well-established, user friendly, and up-to-date digital presence to make the shopping experience just as fun online as it would be in-store.

On the brand’s part, they receive valuable analytics. Brands can see where their customers are coming from (social media, search engines, on-page advertising clicks off another website), can see how long customers are staying on their homepage and what their customer journey is from there. It’s essential for retailers to always be tweaking their website to enable even more shopping, given their customers known habits.

2) Digital displays

Online advertising is great, but nothing beats real, palpable promotion. In-store LED displays are stunning, showing the brand’s products in their best light and demonstrating the brand is up-to-speed with technology. An LED digital display is much more eye catching and engaging than a traditional poster.

LED signs aren’t just for looks sake, they drive revenue. 63% of customers will actually notice an LED sign, whereas traditional signage easily flies under the radar. Customers have been shown to spend 30% more money at a store where LED signage is used. And more than 40% of customers would prefer to revisit a store with LED signage. LED displays blur the line between physical and digital advertising, much like mobile technology has blurred the line between physical and digital communication.

3) Smart merchandising

Smart shelves equipped with sensors and artificial intelligence may seem futuristic, but it’s here today. Ambitious retailers determined to make the best use out of every square inch of their floorspace have begun implementing smart merchandising displays. In addition to LED screens being programmed to analyze visitor activity, the shelves themselves can also monitor impressions.

Technologically equipped shelves perceive when a customer is picking up an item, indicating that person is seriously interested. Smart shelves can also alert staff to when restocks are required, or when a display is broken.

Shelves see what retail staff don’t: genuine interest in a product. Sales staff might be met with apprehension or avoidance by customers, fearing the hard sell. Smart shelves are much less intrusive, and give objective data about which items in a store are receiving the most attention. From there, you can test other store configurations to promote that item even further, while finding ways to shine the spotlight on other items.

Retail is far from dead; customers still crave a liveable experience and not just a speedy solution. To avoid being overtaken by digital competitors, retailers have had to quickly step their game up and take advantage of new commerce techniques. People, for the most part, are now incredibly digitally savvy, so brands have innovated in their customer’s direction.

An interconnected approach of e-commerce and m-commerce, plus a shift towards smart signage and merchandising, have put the pall back in the retailer’s court. Having an intelligent digital strategy that draws off close attention to analytics means retailers can spend every penny wisely while giving their customers the experiences they’re asking for.

Looking for LED displays in the Greater Toronto Area? Big Digital has over 15 years experience in providing interactive experiences for trades shows, retail, events, and outdoor operations. Call us at (888) 339-1815 or visit our contact page here to inquire about what type of display is right for your business’s needs.

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