What Insights Do Retailers Need To Boost Foot Traffic Over The 4th of July Holiday
Whether selling lifestyle products, fireworks, cars or gardening services, there are always opportunities to make offers to customers for things hadn't planned to purchase -- especially when they're taking a holiday break, writes Near's Smriti Kataria.
Many retailers are filled with a sense of foreboding once July comes around. Historically, this month is well documented for uncomfortably hot weather and sluggish sales figures. However, it is also one of the biggest holiday months of the year, and with the right approach could be one of your most prosperous, too.
Figures show that a number of brands that employed traditional discounting tactics last year experienced an 8 percent drop in footfall. The reason? Shoppers are predominantly using online sources to purchase the products they need.
Prospecting With Sales Data
Data science has been helping retailers to define their target markets for years, but it is only now that are able to dig down really deep into the detail to achieve new insights that increase sales, boost profits and ultimately create happy, satisfied customers who will return time after time.
Analysis of Big Data can help you increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, create intelligent sales strategies and meet the demands of your target market. By digging down deep into customer data you can start to identify how you can maximize your sales:
Identify Barriers and Opportunities
By analyzing customer data for the same period last year or similarly slow months, you can identify the products that customers frequently purchased in-store and plan promotions around those products. Also, look for cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, especially during the holiday period.
Whether you are selling lifestyle products, fireworks, cars or gardening services, there are always opportunities to make offers to your customers for things they never knew they needed.
Insights on where your customers shop, their personal interests and income can also assist you in your efforts. For example, Near’s data shows that 16 percent of H&M shoppers in New York have household income between $36k and $70k while for Zara this number stands at 26 percent. H&M’s customers are also seen to be more interested in Sports. Using these insights, these brands can make stocking decisions that will help drive the Average Sales Order Value upward, resulting in a favorable sale season.
Competitive Intelligence For the Win
Knowing what your competitors are up to can provide you with actionable insights and new strategies that will help you to gain the competitive edge. By analyzing when, where and how customers shop with your competitors, you can pick out the patterns where their strategies worked well and where they flopped.
For example, data by Near shows how Black Friday encouraged more store walk-ins for many retailers. The research shows that Forever 21 took the lead with a 95 percent increase in walk-ins.
Most of these walk-ins occurred over the weekend. However, Macy’s walk-ins only increased by 43 percent on the Friday, but dramatically dropped over the following two days. Macy’s could learn a thing or two by studying Forever 21’s data and better understand how to promote their sales and promotions.
Creating Brand Playgrounds and Enhancing Customer Experience
The retail store as we know it today is dying a slow death. Compared to the excitement and convenience that online shopping brings, retail stores need to be perceived as being more than storage areas for products. However, big brands are learning that their retail spaces can be turned into brand playgrounds where the customer is put front and center.
For example, Nike has created an immersive in-store experience that brings their website in-store on interactive screens. And Ikea is creating virtual reality showrooms that enable customers to see products using virtual reality technology. From playing a “pillow toss” game to interacting with a panda inside a bamboo lamp, customers are encouraged to play first and purchase second.
While July 4th is better known for its barbecues and fireworks than shopping, it’s still one of the best weekends for promoting products and services. By using customer and competitor data, you can plan your promotions with more confidence and give your summer sales a big boost in the right direction.
*Smriti Kataria is director of Research & Marketing at Near. Smriti is responsible for developing and leading the company’s communications as well as steering demand for the Ambient Intelligence platform. She also manages Near’s data and consumer research business. Prior to Near, Smriti was heading brand & market communication for Bharti Airtel, the third largest telecommunication provider globally. She has years of diverse experience in sales, marketing, product management & new business development. Smriti holds an MBA from the Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. She enjoys portrait photography and leisure travel in her free time.