How to design your physical store like a big website

Nowadays, a retailer who owns a store either on the street or in a shopping mall can adopt a much more aggressive and strategic attitude in the management of his or her space to yield positive results on sales.

An online store knows which pages were visited by a consumer, the section in which he or she stayed longer, and the type of things that the clients who have the same profile are inclined to buy. In no time, it identifies virtual hints, analyzes the users’ behavior on the Internet and provides personalized tips. Until recently this asset belonged exclusively to online retail stores, but some chain stores and shopping malls are implementing the same method to any person who shops with a real shopping cart.

Nowadays, a retailer who owns a store either on the street or in a shopping mall can adopt a much more aggressive and strategic attitude in the management of his or her space to yield positive results on sales. It may sound extreme, but the performance of an electronics and household goods store can be affected by the mere position of a sofa! A retailer from South America realized this not long ago. They used a software that generates on-screen heat maps and shows the traffic flow of a certain area, and noticed that a sofa placed near the store entrance was working as a diffuser of the customers’ flow —virtually a barrier that blocked the access to the electronics area, which is associated to impulse shopping compared to sofas. It’s as if a given page with great potential in sales were hidden within a tiny menu on the website.

Knowing what is the customers’ flow in a store and how many receipts are issued represent in fact significant statistics in order to grasp business profitability and customer conversion rates. For instance, a hit counter which tracks visitors may yield useful data on the number of customers that enter the store and buy a product. While many store managers and marketing experts are wondering how to apply the assets of online shopping to regular stores, the answer may well be on the store roof.    

Amid the aisles and shelves of a regular store you can identify how many people come and go, the approximate age of each customer, their gender and the areas in which they stayed longer. These details may lead to the creation of advertisements aimed at a specific customer profile, thus using the information to reposition products, measure the effectiveness of special offers and increase sales. But how, you may wonder: by using the same network cable which transmits web data, only with network cameras.

In general, there is an inevitable tendency to digitalization and mobility. Almost 45 million smartphones and 11 million tablets caused a market shift towards the end of 2014. Most of the people who have smartphones use them in the stores, 42% of them report on the prices, 30% of them send messages or pictures related to the purchase and 25% of them look up more information on the products that they have seen. This is a transforming scenario in which retailers pay to innovate and use technology as a tool for new business opportunities, especially for regular stores that compete against online stores.

This change starts when big city customers flow smoothly between clothing racks and links, benefitting from either shopping system according to their needs. Soon, most of the big retailers will also see information about their customers’ movements in their stores. Just like on the Internet, this will be real-time imaging, anywhere in the world and only a click away.

By Marcelo Ponte – Axis Communications Marketing Manager

About Axis Communications

Axis Communications provides advanced security solutions that enable a smarter, safer world. As the global market leader in network video, Axis is driving the industry by launching innovative network products based on an open technology platform. Axis has long-term relationships with partners all over the world in order to share knowledge and develop new markets.

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