Retail is becoming more and more competitive as it allows almost anyone to launch an online store within hours. Millions of digital retailers are already active on the Internet, but only a few of the top performers know how to get ahead of their competition and gain significant market share.
At the same time, traditional retailers still retain the majority of market share and successfully meet the challenges of the internet age. What is the secret to the success of both?
The answer lies in data analytics, including smart store retail analysis. If you're hoping to grow a stable retail business, you need to harness the benefits of big data. Studies show that people, things and organizations will generate 463 exabytes of data per day by 2025 - the equivalent of over 212 million DVDs.
This gives you more than enough opportunities to analyze consumer behavior and use that information to improve business performance. If you're still unsure of everything, keep reading this article for six practical reasons why retailers should take advantage of predictive data analytics.
1 - Identify the buyer's personas
The first reason to use predictive analytics is simple but fundamental: it allows you to precisely identify the personality of a buyer.
By definition, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. Essentially, this means that you can use your existing business information to determine the following details about your buyers:
- Demographic characteristics such as location, gender and age
- Marital or relationship status
- Everyday interests, hobbies and habits
- Average income and education level
- Personal beliefs, mission and values
Jake Gardner, a essay writing service professional at Rush my essay, says data science can help you stop creating generic products or services: "With all the consumer information available to you, it will be easy to design a perfect offer for each customer separately."
2 - Free customization
Speaking of perfect deals, that's a goal you can't achieve without data analysis. Namely, the concept is developed with one thing in mind: to ensure the highest level of personalization in retail.
Instead of bombarding potential customers with more or less irrelevant content, you can now take your business to new levels with personalized offers.
A well-known example comes from Amazon, the world's largest e-commerce company. Every time you visit their website, you'll notice personalized product recommendations based on your previous interactions with the content.
An even better example comes from Netflix. One of the most popular media providers uses data analytics to craft personalized content recommendations. Such a system allows Netflix to save on $ 1 billion per year in its efforts to capture - and hold - the attention of its audience.
The same principle applies to physical stores, but this time it's about building relationships with shoppers in a real environment. Your sales reps need to remember repeat customers, know their names, and recognize their needs and habits. In this way, visitors to the store will feel recognized and appreciated.
3 - Improve inventory management
A major problem among retail companies is the proper management of their supply chains. After all, inventory management requires real-time feedback and no human being is able to constantly monitor changes without making substantial mistakes in the process.
This is where data analytics comes in to help. Warehouse management software contributes to retail in different ways:
- Inventory management becomes more precise. You can keep inventory at the optimum minimum without worrying about running out of popular items.
- Data analysis successfully predicts seasonal peaks and periods of low demand, so you can prepare for both in a timely manner.
- It helps you communicate with suppliers and prepare them for new orders.
4 - Improve customer service
Another thing you can do with data analytics is improve your customer service operations. While the system itself cannot completely replace human agents, it can make customer service activities much faster and more efficient.
The idea is simple: customer service software analyzes information to get the right information about each prospect individually. Your employees can instantly see the full history of previous interactions with a given customer, giving them plenty of opportunity to improvise. A returning customer doesn't have to explain their requests again, so you can speed up communication and probably sell other items as well.
We can't forget to mention chatbot technology as well. Almost 50 percent of consumers are already open to buying items using a chatbot, and the figure is set to grow in the years to come. Smart robots are available 24/7, allowing you to maximize the uptime of your digital business.
5 - Prevent wastage of resources
With everything that has been said so far, it's clear that analyzing data can help you solve several critical issues. Namely, you can use it to reduce or maybe even eliminate the waste of resources. Instead of wandering around without having a clear idea of what to do next, you can identify the right strategies to make your business much more productive.
What can you save by using predictive analytics? There are three major advantages here:
- Win time: Instead of spending hours every day doing manual labor, let smart machines do the work on your behalf.
- Save the workforce: Now that the system itself can handle many tasks, you and your team can focus on more creative and important tasks.
- To save money: Predictive analytics also allows you to reduce staff and spend less money while doing the same amount of work.
6 - Predict industry trends
The final reason to use predictive analytics in retail is pretty obvious - do it to identify upcoming industry trends and prepare for new buyer demands. Data analysis systems allow you to behave proactively and design new products or services based on daily consumer comments, remarks and inquiries. This will make your business more competitive and help you outperform less agile competitors in the long run.
Modern consumers are leaving all kinds of footprints online or in-store, which you need to tap into to increase the productivity of your retail business. In this article, we've discussed six practical reasons why retailers should take advantage of predictive data analytics.
About the writer: Becky Holton is a journalist and blogger at best trials in UK. She is interested in educational technologies, Edubirdie review and is always ready to support informative speeches at assignment writing service. Follow her on Twitter.
Are you a retailer ( or retail sales associate ) who’s struggling with how to approach shoppers ? Worried that you lack the magic touch, or that you’ll come off as an annoying salesperson ? Would you rather be awkwardly staring at your store’s point of sale software screen than actually talking to the customer in front of you ?
You should keep reading because, after years of being one of the strongest sellers at my store, I can garantit you : anyone can sell. That’s not to say it’s not going to take a lot of practice. But over the years, I’ve found that a customer will tell you verbally and/or physically how to sell to them. If you’re listening properly and looking for the right cues, you can always tell if a customer is interested in what you have to say, what approach to take with them, and what exactly they’re looking for.
Check out the tips below, put them into marche, and you should find yourself successfully closing sales : Practice Active ListeningActive listening isn’t just about standing in front a customer silently. There are a few important things you should be doing to engage in this practice :
The most important part of réactive listening is to not form a response while the customer is speaking. This is really to do, and is going to take a lot of practice. It’s very natural to latch on to one part of a comment and form a response to it, and then shut out the rest of the comment. to become a good listener, a sales person must resist doing this. Active listening should engage your whole body. Things like nodding and having an open stance show the customer that you are listening to what they have to say. Once it’s time for you to speak, give the customer a quick summary of what they said. This has a few purposes. First, it allows you to come up with a response post-comment without things being awkwardly silent. Second, showing the customer that you heard everything they had to say will often open them up to providing you with more information than they initially supplied.
Practicing active listening means that you are fully engaged with learning what the customer wants. This engagement makes a huge difference. Not only will you understand what the customer wants in a deeper way, but you also gain their trust easier.
Next : Pay Attention to Body LanguageAlong with active listening, you should be practicing ‘active looking. ’ ( Yes, I just made that term up. ) People will betray a lot of what they’re thinking in the things that they do with their body. A lot of body language experts will tell you some odd things to look for, like watching if someone scratches their nose, but I don’t think that level of depth is necessary. In fact, I think that if you’re watching for a customer to scratch their nose, you’re probably not practicing active listening.
However, there is still plenty of body language you should be paying attention to while you’re actively listening. Let me give you a bermuda list of tells you can easily pick up on during a conversation with a customer. 1. Eye ContactWhere a person’s eyes are looking is one of the easiest ways to tell what they’re focusing on. If the customer is looking at you, or the products you’re sérieux with, that’s a good sign. It means they’re engaged with you and are interested in what you have to say and sell.
If they’re looking around, at someone else, out the door… anywhere that’s not where you are – that’s not a great sign. Usually if this is the case you should say something like, “Let me know if you need anything else, ” and let them do their own thing. No eye contact doesn’t mean you won’t be able to close the sale – but it could spell dysfonctionnement if you don’t pay attention.
Hands/ArmsAnother important thing to pay attention to is what people do with their hands and arms. Typically, if someone’s arms are crossed, they are uncomfortable and probably not interested in what you have to say. You should tread gently : let this customer know you are there to help. If you’re talking with a customer who is clearly shy and uncomfortable with talking to you, I recommend acting in a more reserved manner and avoiding things like answering questions the customer has yet to ask. In addition, because this posture reflects a closed off mind, I mostly suggest avoiding suggestive selling. Suggestive selling does not work well on someone who is not interested.
Open arms and palms facing towards you, however, are an excellent sign. If your customer has taken this sort of forme in your conversation, you’re doing well. In fact, I would definitely recommend going for it with suggestive selling. ( Of course, make sure you’re showing them items that are actually related to what they want, not just some pre-placed item that your manager wants to get rid of. )
Facial Expression—Particularly the Curve of Their MouthLastly, you should be paying attention to the expressions you customer is making. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to pay close attention to your customer’s facial expressions. Even if a customer is pulling a straight face at you, most people’s mouths are fairly expressive in small ways. Often, the corners of the mouth will be curving slightly up or slightly down. Down is not good for you – it indicates frustration or annoyance. Curving up, though, is an génial sign. Additionally, you should pay attention to how tightly the lips are held. If they’re pressed tightly together, it can mean the same thing as crossed arms.
That’s the three major areas of body language you should be paying attention to while actively listening to your customer. Keep in mind that while the customer’s body can give you an indication about how they feel towards you and your product, it’s the listening that is going to yield you the important information about what they want. Now that we’ve established good customer reading techniques, let’s talk about what to do with the information you pick up :
Respond With Similar Body LanguageOne of the easiest ways to set someone at ease is to “mirror” their body language. You don’t want to go overboard on this – that can seem creepy or just mean. But little things are really important. Start with pace and timing. Is the customer in a hurry ? Or do they want to take things slow and steady ? Speak and act at the same pace as the customer. If she’s in a hurry, speaking quickly and speed walking across the store, then you should speak quickly and speed walk across the store as well. If she’s speaking slowly and moves slowly, your speed talking and walking will only come across as aggressive to her.
In addition, you can do subtle things like adopt a similar positionnement, or use similar hand gestures. With the hand gestures, be careful. You don’t want to come across as mocking your customer. Don’t make exact replicas of hand gestures, keep it general. Determine if someone is ready to buy ( or not ) based on non-verbal cuesHere are a few more tips to help you differentiate shoppers who are ready to buy versus those who aren’t interested.
According to SCORE contributor Lee Perlitz, signals that shoppers are interested in a product include : Spending time looking at or discussing one product type – When a customer spends time focusing on just one product, there’s a good chance they’ve already set their sights on that one and are interested in purchasing it. Looking around for somebody to help them – Catch the shopper’s gaze when you see them looking around. According to Perlitz, you can approach them “if they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows. ”Body language – A shift in body language signals “a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. ” For example, if the shopper suddenly looks relaxed after you’ve answered their questions, that could be an indication that they’re ready to buy.
Be sure to approach customers once you see them exhibiting these signals. Failing to spot these signs or not acting in time could result in you missing out on the sale. On the flip side, here are the non-verbal signals indicating that someone isn’t ready to buy. Avoiding eye contact – If a customer doesn’t hold your gaze when you look at them, it likely means they’re not ready to make a purchase yet. Making ‘not now’ excuses – Statements like “just looking” or “not now” are clear signals that they aren’t ready to buy. Perlitz recommends that retailers “make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. ”Looking at many different products – Not being focused on just one product is another indication that shoppers should be given space.
When you see or hear people exhibiting the signals above, then it’s best to hold off on the hard sell. Figure out the type of customer that you’re dealing with and respond accordinglyAs you know, there are several genres of customers who walk through your doors, and you need to tailor your approach accordingly. tera help you do that, we’ve put together a quick slideshow summarizing the most common variétés of customers in retail. Check it out below :
More tips ? Those are our tips and tricks to help anyone become a good sales person. It’s important to remember that truly good sales people work on creating trusting relationships with their clients before they sell them anything. If you are capable of creating a trusting relationship, you are capable of selling. These tips are intended to help you create that relationship.
What tricks to reading customers do you employ ? Let us know in the comments below ! Author Bio : Cara Wood is a digital administrative assistant at Capterra, a company that puts business software buyers in touch with business software vendors ! When she’s not at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.