Google Analytics For The Physical Store
By Bob Johns, associate editor
Over the past year we have featured numerous articles on how customer centricity is really becoming the focus of retailers in the new omni-channel world. Knowing where your customer is, what they are purchasing, and how they are interacting with your business on every level has become a key ingredient in identifying how to serve the customer and create a product environment that keeps the customer coming back. With that is mind, I recently sat down with Will Smith, CEO at Euclid Elements, and Tad Sheppard, partner at Claris Solutions, to discuss how they are working together to create a better shopping experience.
Sheppard was a cofounder of ShopperTrak, and he has always been a huge metrics guy. He told me, “Key performance indicators (KPI) and metrics drive everything.” At Claris, Sheppard focuses on working with retailers to improve productivity and efficiency through process improvements. These improvements are specifically designed to create that enjoyable shopping experience, increase average sales, and improve conversion rates. He told me, “I was looking for a way to bring the advantages of analytics that are available in e-commerce to brick-and-mortar stores.”
Sheppard contacted Euclid Elements to see what they were developing for the retail space. Euclid was built by people that came from Google Analytics, ShopperTrak, and other analytics backgrounds to monitor traffic in the physical world. The technology is built around smartphones and in-store sensors. These sensors passively track customers’ phones and assign them an anonymous, yet unique, user ID for tracking.
Smith pointed out that he can have a store’s sensor system up and running in as little as 5 minutes as long as there is a network and power available. “We work directly with the retailers to create a frictionless installation that includes a product that is unique, inexpensive (as low as $200/month), and offers a quick ROI through immediate access to data,” Smith said. His aim is to become the “Google Analytics for the physical world” by capturing as much data as possible. The Euclid system can tell a company how long a customer spends in the store, how often they come in, or even if they stood looking at a window display for a minute before coming in.
This data, from average shop time to window capture rates, is all filtered through interactive dashboards that management can access at any time. This is where Claris comes into play. The company will take the data, along with actual physical in-store observation, and make recommendations on everything from associate engagement and training to proper merchandising and placement. Using the same data points and observations at a later date allows for Claris to compare the results of implementing the recommendations to the retailer to prior history. “Having access to the Euclid data before and after changes and/or training are completed allows us to reveal a measurable impact that was not accessible before,” Sheppard said. Previously it was more difficult to track why sales and customer counts were either declining or increasing. Now, retailers can measure results on a customer level, rather than just trying to look for spikes and valleys in sales. They can physically measure if the employee training is working, are displays drawing in the customers, and are the customers returning multiple times?
This unique approach to analytics in a brick-and-mortar setting allows for retailers to truly evaluate if their customers are engaging within the store, or even if they are just walking right by to the competition. This type of technology, combined with instructive consultation, can improve loyalty and build a satisfied customer base.