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Three ways retailers are collecting more customer data

Posted by Rutvi Sheth on 25th January 2022

Keeping existing customers happy while attracting new ones has always been a challenge for retailers, but it’s become increasingly difficult over the last two years. As brick-and-mortar stores make a comeback, retailers are also keen to harness the power of customer data offline, going beyond in-store transactions, customer satisfaction surveys, online reviews or interactions, and search engine data.

With more consumers continuing to shop online despite the re-opening of physical stores, retailers are collecting higher amounts of customer data than ever before in order to understand their customers better.

Here are three key retail tech trends for 2022 that’ll give retailers access to more customer data.

  1. RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tags

We anticipate that newer methods of virtual reality (VR) will be incorporated into physical retail sites this year, beyond just virtual changing rooms. A vital step in this process is to mimic web browsers’ ability to follow users and tailor offers to them when they buy at a physical location, such as a flagship store.

Burberry for example intends to launch an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) tag in conjunction with the opening of its new digital flagship shop in London. This tag will launch an interactive VR film that explains the production process of its clothing and accessories that may be used to complete the outfit.

When customers explore these RFIDs and shop at an in-store kiosk, they will leave a digital record of every move they make, which can help recreate customers’ mental processes through precise tracking.

  1. In-store data analytics

In-store data analytics provide retailers with an anonymous identification for each customer that visits the store using their smartphone’s Wi-Fi connection. Nowadays, it’s assumed that

stores should provide free Wi-Fi to consumers. In fact, 96% of customers prefer and almost 60% demand free in-store Wi-Fi connections.

Customers’ phones automatically look for Wi-Fi hotspots in-store and connect using their own digital identity.

This information may be paired with visual data from CCTV cameras to provide insight into the consumer journey.

  1. BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

Retailers will not only benefit from gaining insight into customers’ behaviour online, but also in physical stores thanks to technology.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) emitted from customers’ smartphones in-store can be used as a key data-generating tool to extract data from each user’s devices. Without accessing any personal information, customers’ online behaviour can be identified through BLE – which can be helpful to understand target segments.

So, what does this all mean?

Today, a customer profile is similar to that of a person characterised by hundreds of data points. Thanks to evolved data mining technology, data science is progressing to the point where it’s not only reshaping the purchasing environment, but also influencing the market.

This year, brands might extract more knowledge of their customers’ in-store experiences as they share reviews of their experiences on social media, hence impacting the future developments of retail spaces.

As a result of the collection of customer data, we predict a shift in how retailers understand consumer needs.

What do you expect to happen in the retail tech space this year?

Rutvi Sheth