GlobalShop is the largest annual visual merchandising trade show and conference for the retail design industry. Although GlobalShop is mostly geared at visual merchandising, the few operational showcased at the conference make perfect sense for the industry. Within a pop-up environment, design allows for many opportunities to deliver curated customer experiences, and technology allows these interactions to be tracked. Once tools that gather customer behavior tools are set in place, brands and retailers should also take it a step further and track the staff behavior within the store. The more data brands are able to gather and analyze, the smarted decisions they will be able to make regarding their operations.
Indyme, is solving problems for both retailers and consumers with their fitting room solution that gives insight to customer behavior within the rooms. For retailers, this means that with the simple installation of a sensor in the fitting room, they get real time data, which can integrate with other data points such as POS and video surveillance cameras for additional analytics. A few of the data points on the customers and how these can help better fitting room operations are:
- Understand staffing needs with dwell times - how long are customers spending in the fitting rooms?
- Help drive conversions with staff assistance - do customers need different items to try one?
- Reduce theft with timers - are customers spending too much time in the fitting rooms?
- Decrease fitting room wait times with smart sensors - which fitting rooms are available?
- Increase cleanliness with notifications - does the fitting room need to be swept or cleaned?
According to research conducted by Indyme, 70% of clothing shoppers use fitting rooms before purchasing, yet only 1 in 10 consumers are satisfied with the experience. For consumers, Indyme's SmartFit TrueView solution is enhancing the fitting room experience by offering three different types of light modes to choose from: daylight, office, and evening. A better experience in the fitting room gives customers more confidence and are more likely to buy the products they tried on.
If brands want to track customers is a less obvious way, Class A Matting makes custom branded mats with twist: concealed inside each mat is thin surface that tracks the number of steps taken on each mat. The smart mats are reusable, movable, and weather resistant. Some of the real time data gathered include:
- Foot traffic - how many people walked in to your store?
- Dwell times - how long are your customers standing in front of a display or key area?
- Traffic patterns - which paths do your customers take when they travel through the store?
Se-kure Controls, is a company focused on providing all things security, from locks to alarms, they have it all. Their newest offerings are RFID cards that replace the traditional lock and key hardware. The RFID card system works for drawers, doors, and storage and display cabinets, and it can be retrofitted to existing fixtures. The value add for using RFID cards is twofold, on one hand you get theft prevention benefits and on the other you get staff analytics. If a staff member accidentally forgets to lock the fixture, the RFID system locks itself automatically. From the use data of the RFID cards, the system can pull up reports on the exact times when displays or doors were opened as well as report which staff member opened the displays and how many times.
Another solution that improves store operations is offered by a queue management company, Lavi Industries. No one likes to wait in line and chances are that if the line is too long customers are going to leave their merchandise behind and come back another day. To combat discouraged customers leaving and increase conversions, companies like Lavi have started to implement smart queue management systems that improve customer flow at checkout lines. It works the following way: cashiers press a button when they are available to check out a new customer, then that register number appears on a large screen where the customer is then told which cashier they should go to. This method reduces waiting time for everyone in line because the average wait time is spread evenly over all customers. Where some cashiers are very fast and others are very slow, the new wait time is much faster. You not only get more efficient checkout lines, but you also get analytics behind the system such as the average time it takes the cashiers to ring up customers, which cashiers ring up the most customers, which ones ring up the least, and many others. The output of data can be used to allocate staff throughout the store properly.
Together with technology, brands and retailers benefit greatly from a deeper look into customer and staff insights. Customer insights are important because brands get to know and understand their customer on a different level. Staff insights are important because from the staff's behavior brands can allocate resources to deliver better customer service. Operational efficiencies can be achieved with the implementation of tools that enable data to be gathered, analyzed, and implemented towards areas that need improvements.