Link Analytix: what´s measured is done!

Interesting article for our Polish readers, at www.retailnet.pl

Jak zoptymalizować powierzchnię sklepu, a tym samym zwiększyć współczynnik konwersji i sprzedaż? Odpowiedzią jest zaawansowane oprogramowanie analityczne, które rejestruje i wizualizuje ruch kupujących w sklepie.

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– Oferujemy rozwiązanie, które pozwala lepiej zrozumieć zachowanie kupujących. W oparciu o wideo-analizy wskazujemy częściej i rzadziej uczęszczane strefy w centrum handlowym lub konkretnym sklepie, analizujemy kierunki poruszania się, miejsca zatrzymań klientów oraz konwersję na kilku poziomach – mówi redakcji Retailnet.pl Paweł Piwowar, Dyrektor Generalny na Europę Wschodnią w firmie Link Analytix.

Jego zdaniem oprogramowanie analityczne RetailFux Flow, które dostarcza spółka Link Analytix, można porównać do swoistego urządzenia rentgenowskiego stworzonego specjalnie na potrzeby centrów i sieci handlowych.

– RetailFlux Flow analizuje w czasie rzeczywistym poruszanie się i zachowanie każdego kupującego. Rejestruje, którędy przechodzi, gdzie się zatrzymuje i ile czasu spędza w poszczególnych strefach. Analiza ruchu jest przedstawiana na bieżąco w postaci tzw. map ciepła i daje możliwość porównywania obrazów w różnych przedziałach czasu – tłumaczy Paweł Piwowar.

Wszystkie dane, z różnych sklepów, przechowywane są w wirtualnej chmurze i dostępne w każdym momencie za pośrednictwem internetu. Co ważne, ponieważ dane wyświetlane są w postaci map cieplnych, a nie wizerunku poszczególnych kupujących, nie ma żadnych problemów z kwestią zachowania polityki prywatności.

Merchandasing XXI wieku

Narzędzie RetailFlux Flow rejestruje ruch dzieląc całkowitą powierzchnię sklepu na wcześniej zdefiniowane strefy. Odpowiada na pytania: ilu kupujących przeszło przez daną strefę? Ilu się zatrzymało? Jaki był średni czas pobytu kupujących w poszczególnych strefach? Dostarcza również informacji, które produkty wzbudziły zainteresowanie kupujących, przy których się zatrzymali.

– RetailFlux Flow odpowiada na ważne pytania i dostarcza wiedzę na temat poruszania się i zachowania kupujących, co znacznie ułatwia optymalizację powierzchni sklepu. W XXI wieku tego typu decyzje powinny być podejmowane na bazie faktów i dogłębnej analizy Big Data, a nie samej intuicji – wyjaśnia Paweł Piwowar.

Optymalizacja powierzchni sprzedaży

Jak pokazują analizy przeprowadzone przez ekspertów  Link Analytix, kupujący docierają zazwyczaj jedynie do 20-40 proc. powierzchni sklepu. Podobnie wygląda sytuacja w przypadku centrów handlowych: niektóre obszary są znacznie częściej odwiedzane od innych. Dzięki analizie wideo zarządcy sieci i centrów handlowych uzyskują szczegółową wiedzę, ilu klientów przechodzi przez poszczególne strefy na danym piętrze, przy których witrynach się zatrzymują, ile czasu przy nich spędzają i co najważniejsze – ilu z nich wchodzi do danego sklepu i dokonuje w nim zakupów.

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– Okazuje się, że często problemem nie jest mała liczba osób, przechodzących obok danego sklepu. Problemem jest, ilu z nich zdecyduje się wejść do środka i coś kupić. Mając takie informacje czasami wystarczy wprowadzić proste rozwiązania, np. przebudować wejście do sklepu na bardziej otwarte, przyciągające uwagę i przyjazne klientom, aby zwiększyć współczynnik konwersji – podkreśla Paweł Piwowar.

Euroshop 2017 - what an experience!

We attended Euroshop 2017 in Düsseldorf as an exhibitor and we had some really interesting and exciting days. 

We would like to thank everyone that visited our stand. Thank you for showing interest in our products and for your participation in all informative discussions.
We were intrigued by all of them. 

Our products are rare and very attractive for the market.
We are ready to join interesting cases and assist to solve different issues.

We are really excited to work together with passionated retailers all over the world. 

Conversion Rate Basics for Retailers

The conversion rate is at the core of a retail store. It represents in large part what drives the business success of the store. It consists of two important metrics.

1. the number of sales, 2. the number of people who come into the store.
The conversion rate (CR) is simply the number of sales (S) per visitor (V) or CR = S/V.

To compute the conversion rate you need a reliable way of counting the number of potential buyer-visitors. You can install an electronic traffic counting system to get this metric. Some stores have someone with a counter clicking people off, however this can be an expensive and error prone method of collecting the metric. Then you have to find a way of eliminating non-buyers like children and staff members from the count.

The conversion rate is really the key metric to assess the attractiveness of a retail business. It is very productive to plot conversion rate over time to measure the effectiveness of alterations in your merchandising, the effects of seasonality, advertising and other treatments. 

If the number of visitors increases but the conversion rate does not, that might suggest a decline in something related to the way your products are merchandised. Factors such as overcrowding at checkout or another factor that weakens the purchase decision might be at fault. It is also possible that conversion rate may increase while customer rates remain constant or decline. This could tell a very specific story about what is going on in your business. 

You can increase the number of sales by reducing prices through sales incentives. You can align your sales staff with peak traffic periods. If you continuously monitor the number of potential buyer-visitors, you can establish peak traffic times and schedule sales staff appropriately. You can make conversion rate a gamification metric. This may encourage staff to build their sales. PCount is a leader in business metrics and analytics, offering hardware and software to help you run your business in a scientific way. For more information, please contact us.

Understanding Shopper & Store Interaction Mechanics

Analytics give retailers a better idea of how to enhance customer loyalty because they allow them to give consumers an experience that is tailor-made to fit individual needs. Trying to pinpoint the best ways to engage shoppers these days so they'll keep coming back, is harder to do; especially if you don't have more accurate ways of tracking their behavior. By using applications of heat map analytics in their retail daily operational planning, brick-and-mortar store owners will get an immediate summary of the information they need to improve promotional activities and make these customers brand advocates for life. But what exactly is heat map analytics?

A heat map is a visual representation of data using colors and intensity to show you everything you need to know about your store and your shoppers' activities when they visit. The hot, or red zones show the areas of your store where customers are shopping the most and the cold, or blue zones are where the activity is less frequent. We want to introduce you to an analytic platform today that goes way beyond this because it is an X-Ray device that actually unlocks the power of your in-store video so you can see what your customers are buying in real-time. Here are three of our products to show you what we mean.

PHeat

This is an advanced video analytic application that gives you historical summaries of human movements in heat map format so you can check to see how effective your visuals and shelves are in getting your customers' attention. This helps you to focus your strategies on increasing sales to your regular customers and enhances more loyalty with targeted marketing programs that offer them deals on the products they usually buy. And, if you have a more accurate history of actual times your most loyal customers visit, you can see what they are buying to make sure these items are in always in stock to keep them from going elsewhere.

StoreFlux

This application advances PHeat analytics and takes them one step further by detecting and reporting shopper flow to guide in your strategic customer relationship planning. It does this by giving you clear images of dwell times so you have a more comprehensive picture, in real-time, of the number of people who have an interest in a particular area in your store. This lets you more accurately measure the impact of your marketing campaigns and better predict future behavior so you can exceed their expectations every time they visit. By doing this, these loyal customers will want to spread the word and this will attract even more customers who are continuously satisfied with your services.

PZone

This is our unique video analytic application that can detect shopping activities at pre-defined zones in your store. With the help of PZone, you can track foot traffic to better understand the shopping trends of your customers and use this information for more strategic marketing and sales campaigns. PZone lets you know when and where high traffic and busy areas in your store occur so you can have plenty of associates available when you need them. This helps you deliver more memorable and effective customer experiences to better retain and keep these loyal shoppers for many years to come.

These are just three of the ways our plug & play platform helps you obtain valuable insights into your shoppers' behavior and maximizes their customer loyalty. Our precise heat maps show you exactly how your customers are travelling throughout your store and helps with personalizing their experiences so they feel more valued and just have an overall good shopping experience. At RetailFlux, we have years of experience in the fields of computer vision and embedded analytics with a long-term goal to create better connections for retailers and their customers. For information about how this innovative technology can help your business today, please contact us to learn more.

Focusing on a Better Merchandising

Attempts have been made in the past to map the movement of customers in retail stores to create analytics that would determine the best placement of merchandise to make various items more accessible to buyers, to make potential customers curious, and to create needs.

On the low-tech side, loyalty programs track customers’ buying patterns. Past purchases are tracked to predict future purchases. Human “trackers” dressed in plain clothes, like the customers themselves have been used to follow and map the paths of customers by eye.

On the more high-tech side, devices that track consumer’s cell phones signals use the location systems to map their passage around the store. Facial recognition software uses the data from security cameras to find out more about core costumers’ demographics. Stores have installed smartphone apps that guide customers around the store and suggest items customers may want. Motion detectors, installed within store cameras can be used to track customer movement and viewing patterns. More recently, heatmapping of the buying floor has gained increasing popularity as a way of measuring where customers congregate and how they move through the retail space.

The heatmap idea came from the use of infra-red sensitive cameras to locate warm-blooded animals and people (people lost, criminals, or enemy soldiers) in a location where visual surveillance is difficult. The heat sensitive cameras “saw” the warm bodies of their subjects as sudden rises in temperature and marked them on “heatmaps.”

Heatmap analytics in retail do not require infra-red sensors. The systems are based on software that accumulates the images from video cameras, and maps the densest concentration of images with color gradients available in real-time. Red areas are areas the most traffic, green and blue areas have lower traffic volume. The color heat map is superimposed on visual images of the store layout to mark the locations of high traffic.

A customer traffic map images the areas of high and low foot traffic. The RetailFlux technique looks at finer scale areas, mapping what people in the store touch the most. The heat maps are created in computer system for analysis and over-time comparison. Similar heatmaps are also used to map the areas of web sites that readers hit the most with mouse clicks.

Retail stores use heatmapping to relocate popular items to present them in high traffic areas. Larger stores use the heatmaps to locate staff for customer service and sales assistance. Check-out stations and other facilities can be relocated to areas of lower traffic concentration or areas that help avoid clear bottlenecks. Signage can be more strategically placed. Measuring touching behavior can improve sales by strategically locating items that are picked up or examined closely. Studies have shown that items picked-up most are most likely to sell.

In a large-scale study of one kind of retail, namely convenience stores , the sales statistics revealed that using heatmap data for merchandising increased weekly store traffic by 14 percent, number of buyers per store grew by 12 percent. The percentage of customers who made a purchase remained high and constant (about 59 percent), but the study concluded that using heatmapping for merchandising pushed more people to walk through the stores, and increased the percentage of customers who made larger purchases (more than $8) from 17 percent to 37 percent.

RetailFlux is a plug&play platform that allows you to obtain valuable insights in a cost-effective way when in-store CCTV systems are utilized to extract shopper activity data. Please contact us to learn more.

Heat Map Analytics in Your Retail Store Gives You a Competitive Edge

In order for the physical, brick and mortar retail stores to distinguish themselves today, they need a way to analyze customer shopping behavior and take it one step further to stay ahead of the competition. The best way to do this is by using applications of heat map analytics in retail daily operations to see what is trending in real-time, and then use this data to provide better shopping experiences. Customers are looking for more convenience when they are shopping these days and when they come into your store, this new technology will allow you to satisfy this need because you have a resource that tells you exactly what they are searching for. Heat maps unlock the power of your in-store video capabilities because they quickly identify your store’s hot and cold zones which gives you these three competitive advantages.

More Value Added Technology

As a retailer, you want to invest in technological solutions that are innovative and give you more value for your dollar. Heat map technology is unique because it serves a dual purpose. By being CCTV compatible, it works with your existing cameras to give you surveillance and loss prevention information; but, it also gives you data regarding your marketing, human resources and daily operations as well. This is because you now have path-tracking capabilities that let you concentrate where your shoppers are actually travelling the most while they are in your store and where they are dwelling the longest. This information is valuable because you can locate your promotional displays more effectively, adjust your store layout more efficiently and schedule your staff so they are readily available and can better assist customers in a more timely manner. This will distinguish you as having excellent customer service and set you apart from other retailers in your area.

Better Customer Relationships

Customers today are more individualistic, independent and knowledgeable because they can just use social media sites to do research before they even go out to make a purchase. This is because opinions count for a lot on these social media sites and negative ones can cause a loss in business profits. One complaint shoppers have the most is the wait time in long queues that cause frustration and sometimes makes them leave. By using heat maps in your store today, you’ll have a better connection with these shoppers and give them a good perception of your services before they arrive and when they actually get there. These heat maps help because they detect the number of people who are standing at different areas in your store in real-time, so you can get your staff to those locations as soon as possible. This gives you better control in monitoring your service quality and you can use analytics to look at historical data so you can schedule more employees at your busiest times.

Optimized Store Performance

Heat map technology helps you also have more up to date knowledge about your store’s overall performance and whether or not your employees are fulfilling customers’ expectations effectively. This is because when you substitute actual numbered percentages with these colors that vary according to shopper and people flow, you have a more realistic view of how well your business is actually doing. You can then adjust and strategically plan your store layout more effectively by doing things such as; making displays smaller and easier for customers to walk through in some areas, placing expensive and more popular items in high-traffic areas and looking at historical captures to see where your employees are actually in the store at those crucial times. This helps you to boost sales and have a better idea of what you need to do in the future to stay more competitive. Today, customers are looking for those experiences in brick-and-mortar retail stores that are as convenient and streamlined as the ones they get when they shop online. In order to have that competitive edge, getting a better insight into customer behavior and trends will give you that added advantage you need. By using applications of heat map analytics in your daily operations today, this data makes a difference in how you go about attracting and keeping those customers for a longer time to come. And the more you know about the individuals who come into your store, the better you are at making decisions that improve the customer experience. For a closer look at revolutionary retail analytic solutions that set you apart from the rest, please contact us today to learn more.

Optimize Your Store Layout with StoreFlux

Through painstaking observation, researchers have pinned down general shopper behaviors in retail spaces. Knowing these habits and applying them to store layouts will increase the amount of customer purchases. Applications of heatmap analytics in retail also confirm these behaviors and can more accurately pinpoint where, when, and for how long customers dwell in certain spots in your store. Since our heatmap data appears directly on your floor plan, you can easily see the data that is relevant to your particular retail space. Integrating heatmap data with the traditional, proven science of customer behavior is a recipe for retail success that will increase your revenue and customer traffic in your store.

1. Use the Front to Grab Shopper Attention

According to entrepreneur.com, one of the first things that stores must do is have an attention-grabbing display. These displays should best represent what your store has to offer and be simple, bold, and clutter-free. Therefore, the front of the store is your opportunity to make a potent first impression. Heatmap data usually shows more traffic and customer dwell time at the front of stores because this is the “honey” that attracts the consumers. The best displays, the hottest new trends, and the most interesting, up-and-coming products should take center stage. In fact, experts say that customers are likely to leave the store if they don’t like what they see on the first few displays. Therefore, if you want the heatmap data to show customer flow deeper within your store, you need to make the first 30 seconds of shopping experience really count with gripping visuals and compelling products. After all, the goal is to attract customers and bring them into your store. The longer they stay, the more they are likely to buy.

2. Customers Usually Veer to the Right

Perhaps it is because the majority of people are right-handed, but shoppers make a distinct turn to the right when entering a store. If you want to know where you need the best display, the front right is the usual answer. Now you can use this research and combine it with hard data from your own store. With our heatmap analytics solution, you can confirm this habit and pinpoint exactly where your store’s “hot spot” is, and use it! That’s the beauty of our solutions: you don’t have to just go by research done at other stores, but you can see what happens specifically at your store and tailor your shopper marketing strategy to your unique needs.

3. Customers Move Counterclockwise

Now that you know the hottest spot for customer dwell time, it’s important to know where shoppers go next. Research shows that customers usually move counter clockwise around a store. This means that your next big chance to draw shoppers further into your store is adjacent to the first catchy display. Take the store layout of IKEA for instance. This furniture mega store is basically one streamlined counterclockwise path on which shoppers encounter one attractive display after another. These visuals entice them deeper into the store, with a grand finale in a massive open shopping area where consumers can find everything they saw on their shopping trail. At this point, they can finally go for a retail free-for-all, making informed purchases, inspired by IKEA’s creative displays.

4. Create Breathing Space

Clutter is your enemy when it comes to store layouts. Customers can become overwhelmed if there is too much going on at once and hence desensitized to products, no matter how great they are. Just as there is a dramatic pause before a bride enters the wedding ceremony, a break draws attention to the next feature. In your store, make some blank space and breaks between displays to create anticipation for your shoppers. They will notice displays that stand alone. Though you may be tempted to pack all your merchandise to get them all sold, you actually risk having shoppers overlook some great products because their eyes aren’t getting a break. Don’t just take our word for it: when you collect heatmap analytic data for your own store, observe customer dwell times on your floor plan. Do they pass by a whole section of new shoes that you painstakingly arranged? You will become more proficient in your display tactics when you have accurate knowledge about customer behavior at your own particular location. There are so many ways to make your retail space alluring and attractive to your customer base. Gaining hard data with our heatmap analytic solutions is an excellent way to make profitable modifications to your store layout to draw customers further into your store and increase revenue. Contact us today to find out more about how easy it is to get started with us.

Applications of Heatmap Analytics in Retail

f you are a brick and mortar retailer, how do you organize your product placement, pricing, staffing, promotions, and other aspects of your sales plan? It isn’t easy, and it requires a lot of research and some tough decisions in response to trends in what your costumers want. But how do you conduct the research necessary to discover what your customers are looking for? RetailFlux would like to introduce you to heatmap analytics.

Heatmap analytics is software that functions through in-store video to produce a layout of just where your costumers go while they are shopping. A retail heat map of your store is produced, featuring hot (red) zones corresponding to the areas of your store most frequented by your customers, and cold (blue) zones corresponding to areas less frequented by your customers.

In addition to telling you where your customers go in your store, heatmap analytics measures when they shop and how much time they spend in each area, so you learn what areas of your store attract the most customers at various times during the day and how long they linger. In this way, the system allows you to keep track of how many “passers-by” frequent your store, that is, how many people casually browse in various areas. It also lets you know where the most impression events (when customers stop to look at a product) occur. Finally, it measures dwell time (the amount of time a customer spends looking at a product). All of this information allows you to make important decisions regarding how to manage your store.

In the following paragraphs, we will take a look at how heatmap analytics helps store owners and managers learn their customers’ shopping habits in detail and how they can plan the various aspects of their business approaches based on this information.

Shopper Marketing

All of the functions mentioned above let you know what areas of your store are most frequented by your customers so you can decide where to focus marketing efforts. For example, if you are running a bookstore, and you know that dwell time is high for a particular section, you might expand the section, or possibly split it up to better distribute your customers. This allows you to market your products by tailoring your merchandising and store layout to the habits of your customers.

Promotions

A retail heatmap’s hot and cold zones can greatly assist your promotion efforts. In our bookstore example, suppose you know that the biography section is a cold zone, receiving the least amount of traffic. You might place some biographies on sale to attract more people to that section of your store.

Staffing

Retail heatmaps can help you with your staffing as well. You may concentrate your staff in areas that receive the most dwell time based on your in-store camera’s report of customer behavior, so you are positioning help where customers need it the most. Staff can then field customer questions in these areas where customers dwell the longest.

Pricing

Retail heatmaps can assist with pricing as well. In addition to providing the information on which to base the promotion opportunities above, heatmaps can indicate which pieces of inventory should be the most or least expensive. If dwell time is high for a particular section of your store, but you are not converting to sales, you might consider lowing the price for the merchandise that is attracting customers but not selling.

In short, retail analytics in the form heatmap analysis is a great way to understand your customers better so you can tailor your business to their needs. For more information on heatmap analytics, please feel free to contact us.