Many stores today are becoming victims of “showrooming”. They see good number of footfalls but low purchases. So, what can be done to entice the visitors to convert into buyers? Could mobile analytics be an answer to some of the critical analytical challenges that the in-store retail staff faces? At a time when customers are even more informed than the sales staff, how can retailers make sure that they offer the customers with the right reasons to make purchases?
Mobile analytics can aid in “now-casting” when traditional desktop analytics can be time-consuming
Mobile retail analytics places the information where it is needed the most and can have the maximum impact – at the store front. It arms the sales staff with knowledge and insights to tackle the connected customers looking for the best deals. Mobile analytics can be extremely easy-to-use, even by regular in-store staff and not only trained retail analysts, drastically cutting down the time to generate value out of data.
The usability depends largely on the analytics tool you are using, so you must ensure that the mobile module of your service provider is not just the same extensive information that you see on the desktop, but has only the relevant drilldowns, charts, and insights that are needed by the in-store staff in real-time – so that there is no wastage of time and effort.
How can in-store retail staff utilize mobile analytics?
Mobile Business Intelligence has been one of the biggest game-changers in the retail industry in 2011, as it has made retail analytics truly omni-channel. Here is a look at how mobile analytics has speeded decision making and given more power to the store executives:
- Convenient access to useful insights: Store executives can pull-up information on product availability, features, price and real-time offers on their tablets without ever having to leave their customers’ side. At stores like JC Penny, store associates are easily able to show and tell the customers about designs/products available in other outlets, rather than just the ones available at their location. This enables retailers to sell “out-of-stock” items too.
- Easy price changes: Store managers can implement price changes into POS systems with the help of real-time BI updates.
- Be prepared: Campaign managers can receive alerts and notifications on their hand-held devices about upcoming promotions, enabling them to get stock ready. They don’t need to wait for daily/weekly/monthly reports of various KPIs, but can get access to real-time insights anytime to make decisions on the go. Store managers can quickly identify slow and fast moving products to make accurate merchandising decisions.
- Anywhere anytime analytics: With tablet and mobile compatible dashboard, that is easy to browse and drill-down; store managers can interact with data anytime and from anywhere to identify store problems, stock situations (lost sales/stock-outs/over stock), daily sales trends, details on each product/SKU, high/low performers, and so on.
- Create context sensitive offers: Mobile analytics can play a crucial part in building dynamic in-store experiences, and offer visitors with on-the-spot information, discounts, loyalty programs and deals that are highly customized and targeted – right at the showroom floor – so that the sales executive finds it easier to capture the sale.
- Execution compliance of planograms and store layout: Store managers can pull up real-time information on assortment, planograms, gondolas, window displays, presentation, price highlights and promotional signage and ensure that these comply with standards.
- Manage staff schedules: Store managers can reschedule staff timings and reassign the workforce to balance with peak customer traffic in the store and monitor store performance post the changes.
All of the above will lead to better customer service and in-store experience powered by instant and informed decision-making by store executives. A recent survey by SAP notes that 75% of retail associates have said they are able to provide a better in-store shopper experience with the use of mobile, and 67% of shoppers cited a better experience in-store with associates and managers using the latest mobile technologies.
Mobile BI is a step ahead from multi-channel analytics towards omni-channel analytics. By making insights available at the right moment and to the right people, mobile BI can change the way stores compete and react to challenging business situations. Is your business up for it?