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.


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.


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.


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.