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Restaurants and Retailers: Understanding Customer Behavior

  • by: Jonah Babnick
  • On: 3, Apr 2019
5 min read

The key to successful marketing for any business is knowing your customers on a deeper and more personal level. You may already have a pretty good idea of your most valuable customer personas, but do you truly understand who they are, how they feel about your business, and what demographics they represent? This will give you a great head start, but to remain competitive, you also need to understand their wants and needs. Once you do, you can gear your offerings to fill those voids.

Most importantly, however, you need to understand how your customers behave when they interact with your brand. This understanding is especially true in retail and restaurant marketing because the needs that those companies address are very linear.

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Retail and Restaurant Customer Intent

Your customers have a clear need – to eat or to acquire an item – and a definitive “want,” such as a certain type of meal or product. To attract new customers and retain your existing ones, you will need to meet those wants and needs.

Someone craving Italian food will not be swayed easily to order a burger instead, much in the same way that someone in the market for a vacuum cleaner will not be visiting a clothing store to fill that need. Likewise, someone who wants a particular feature – like outdoor dining or a product with a warranty – will not invest in a business that doesn’t offer that feature.

Understanding Customer Behavior

While meeting those wants and needs may be at the core of your business model, you still need more to be truly successful. You will need to see and understand how those customers behave.

Customer behavior starts with problem recognition, the realization that they have a want or need to fulfill. From there, customers search for information and evaluate alternatives. Ultimately, this search leads to a purchase of some sort, be it a meal or a vacuum. Learning how this decision happens will produce a bank of knowledge you can use in your store or restaurant to improve operations, inform marketing, and shape customer behavior – as well as your business strategy.

Collecting Information

While your individual customers are certainly unique, there are ways you can collect information on their behavior. For instance, your business may opt to track zip codes to see where most of your customers live, or it may track which marketing efforts are most effective by using different promo codes for different sources, like running one coupon code or promotion in a newspaper and another in an email marketing campaign, to see which is used most often.

In addition, you can collect information on consumer behavior in-house, using a guest WiFi marketing and analytics platform like Bloom Intelligence. If you choose Bloom, you can enjoy a range of customer behavior intelligence without having to do anything more than analyze your dashboard. You’ll see real-time information, like how long your customers stay in your store or restaurant and what time of day they visit. You can also see how often those visitors stop by and how long it has been since they last came in.

Providing complimentary guest WiFi can give you information about which customers are new as well – and all without requiring them to log into your guest WiFi.

Make Smarter Business Decisions

When you have a more complete picture of your customers’ behavior, you can begin applying that information to help you improve your business. You could easily use that information to inform your scheduling and make sure you have adequate staff during popular times. Likewise you can use the data to execute more accurate purchasing. You could also use the information for more intuitive marketing, giving first-time visitors a discount for that visit or directing them to your loyalty program. The best part is that the information can be viewed in real-time, allowing you to make changes and adjustments when you need them most.

Understanding customer behavior can help restaurants and retailers significantly. Let Bloom Intelligence supply your Wi-Fi marketing and analytics solutions and start watching your business bloom.

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