Retail marketers struggle to come up with new ideas. They tend to repeat what’s worked in the past to diminishing effect. Often, they may not actually understand why a previous promotion worked, and then try to use the same promotion in a different context in which it has little chance of success. Above all, they may not understand their customer’s behavior to create efficient and effective new strategies.
If you’re a retail marketer, I bet I can guess what you’re doing right now: you’re sitting at your desk reviewing revenue reports with dwindling numbers and wondering what you can possibly do to turn those numbers around. How did I guess? Well, you’re not the first, and you won’t be the last. Coming up with new ideas plagues even the best retail marketers.
Want a ground-breaking solution for designing new marketing strategies that drive revenue, profits and customer loyalty? Here it is: data analytics for retail. With insightful data collected via a Wi-Fi analytics platform, you can get ahead of your competition with unique, forward-looking retail marketing strategies.
Let’s say you have a swimwear and accessories store. With countless online swimwear stores to compete with, you don’t exactly have it easy, do you? On the other hand, you benefit from having customers who like to try on the product and you offer easy up-sell accessory items. You’re likely located in a well-trafficked shopping plaza or mall.
When it comes to data points for your retail marketing, you want to know:
- of those who pass by, how many customers enter your locations each day;
- how many customers return to your store; and
- how frequently does each customer make a purchase.
You probably also want to know:
- what brands each customer buys;
- whether the customer is a big spender or a bargain shopper;
- how many customers sign up for your email list; and
- how many customers who walked into your store later visit your website or social media pages.
Let’s say have all the data points to track these metrics (and yes, it’s possible with a Wi-Fi marketing & analytics platform). The data tells you that of all the traffic passing by your store each day, only 3% are coming inside and browsing. The number of visitors who aren’t making a purchase seems to be increasing, and your repeat customers are not visiting as frequently this month as they were last month. Sign-ups to your email list are dropping off, as well. What do you do? With that data in hand, you can roll out one or more of these concrete marketing strategies and watch things turn around.
Draw in Customers with Signage (then Assess Your In-Store Strategy)
If you know you’re missing out on customers who walk by and don’t come in to browse, you’re not getting a return on the investment you’ve made into your current location. Improve your ROI by drawing in more foot traffic. How? Try this: put a small, attractive sign out front or in your window display touting “New Clearance Items”. This will bring in people who are looking for bargains or simply need an “excuse” to shop for swimwear when they may not need it.
If after a week or month you see an uptick in your overall customer visits, you know that your location is drawing bargain shoppers. With that information, you can consider whether you want to expand your sale or clearance section. Or, even consider slightly increasing your prices so that you can discount more items more often. (Plus, price increases may even help your sales!)
This is a great example of how using data analytics for retail provides concrete feedback for marketers. Not only were you able to gauge where you had an opportunity to improve, but you can accurately track exactly how well and in what environment your new marketing strategy worked.
Send Discounts via E-Postcards
To address the drop-off in repeat business, you can send out an email to your best customers offering them a discount on their next purchase. DSW does this in print format all the time. As soon as you purchase, they ship out a discount postcard (so you can go get that one pair of shoes you tried on but told yourself you didn’t need, since you were buying another pair already). And, it works.
Create a digital copycat for your business. Collect customer emails and then, within a week or two of any customer’s visit, send out an e-postcard with a discount. How will you know exactly when any one customer visits? Your Wi-Fi-generated data can tell you.
Offer Re-Stocking Notifications
A great strategy to capture first-time shoppers who walk out without purchasing is to offer email or text alerts. It happens all the time: customers come in and love an item, but you don’t have the right size or color in stock that they want. You can tell them to try back in a few weeks once your next shipment arrives (quite unhelpful) or offer to send them a personalized notification.
Just ask the customer to log-in to your Wi-Fi with their email address and you will send them a note as soon as you have the item re-stocked. In the meantime, send them a 10% off discount, and you’ve got a sale!
Encourage Selfies & Sign-Ups
If you’re in clothing retail, you know your customers are taking selfies in your dressing rooms. Encourage it! Put a sticker on the mirrors with your store-specific hashtags, and encourage people to Snap away. The more time they are engaged with their phones, the more likely they are to opt to connect to your Wi-Fi.
Similarly, to help increase your email list sign-ups, have your salespeople encourage visitors to download your App. Consumers are often inclined to connect to Wi-Fi when downloading items/apps to save on data. Or, give the customer an immediate benefit for signing up, like a store credit they can use on their next visit (or, of course, discounts, discounts, discounts!).
Every retail operation is different. But, the one thing all retail operations share: the value of their customer data. Data analytics for retail operations is becoming ever more valuable. Behavioral data, in particular, paired with email addresses is a foundation for killer marketing campaigns. But to come up with new and interesting retail marketing ideas, you need tools like a Wi-Fi analytics platform to track and analyze your key data points.