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The retail customer is now more educated than ever before. With a wealth of information at their fingertips, the digital age has made them more conscious, more time-poor and more knowledgeable than at any time prior.
On the flipside, a data driven era offers retailers a better opportunity than ever to really understand who their customer is, what they want, and how they prefer to access products or services that meet their needs.
But it begs the question, how well do you know your customers? If the answer is not well, or just a little, here’s what you need to know about getting up close and personal with your consumer.
As global research and advisory firm Deloitte recently explained, the days of the average consumer are long gone.
“More diversity in areas such as race, education, income and rural-urban residence has led to increased fragmentation and distinct subsets of consumers with varied needs.
“Reduced barriers to entry have resulted in an abundance of new niche retailers and products that provide access to extensive and more competitive options.”
They note the way people choose to spend their money is not all that different to the past. Instead, “economic, demographic and cultural factors around them that are creating the nuances that are turning traditional retail and consumer products sectors on their heads”.
For the retailers looking to cater to the new consumer, knowledge of their habits, their spending, and their lifestyle is now more critical than ever before – not just in terms of what they buy, but the values they hold.
Analytics firm Buxton notes there are 20 key questions every retailer should be able to answer about their customer.
These extend from where their consumers live to what stage of life they’re at, the values they hold, how they prefer to be contacted, what they like about a retailer’s store and why a consumer may choose to buy from their competitors.
They also encompass the lifetime value of a client, the products first-time customers are likely to buy, how much they spend per transaction, and the time lag between first interaction and sale.
Together the answers to these top 20 questions allow retailers to:
• Better hone their marketing strategies
• Improve their customer service
• Target customers directly with offers and incentives
• Engender customer loyalty
• Develop future products to suit their needs
• Mitigate customer loss
“Customer data and insight are essential when shaping retail strategies, but all too often, key decisions are based on guesswork – following the latest trends, copying the competition or implementing a solution that isn’t aligned with company objectives and customer behaviour,” Buxton reflects.
“The goal is to have a real understanding of what your customers want and how they behave as opposed to what you think they want and how you think they behave.”
But which methods can you use to get better acquainted with your consumer?
In today’s data driven era there are numerous ways to gather insight into who exactly your customer is and how they behave.
From analytics at the Point of Sale to search behavior on the internet, the wealth of data that retailers have access to is potentially limitless. Here are just four options available:
At the heart of every retail outlet is a goldmine of customer data, with the Point of Sale offering an insight into what consumers purchase and how much they spend.
In today’s era of mobile POS, that data has the potential to be more comprehensive than ever before.
You can learn more about establishing mobile POS, and the equipment required like such as a tablet, tablet stand, barcode scanner, cash drawer etc here.
Couple POS analytics with customer loyalty data and a truly detailed insight into customer behaviour begins to emerge. Loyalty and rewards schemes allow retailers to know exactly where their customer resides, what stage of life they are at and what marketing strategies they respond to.
You can learn more about setting up instore customer loyalty kiosks using tablets and iPads, along with tablet and iPad stands here.
If you want to really understand your customer, ask them about themselves and how they feel about your store. Courtesy of modern technology conducting an instore survey is as simple as setting up a kiosk comprising a tablet or iPad and iPad stand, then downloading survey software to pose the questions you wish to ask.
See our Survey Software Guide for more information.
Finally, there’s a bevvy of data in your marketing software alone. Who responded to your campaigns, which types hit the mark, what channels proved most effective?
Knowing and understanding the customer is critical to business success, guiding every decision a retailer should make.
Meanwhile, on a competitive retail arena, there’s no longer room for guesswork or assumption, and in a world where data’s readily available there’s no longer an excuse.
If you’re looking to harness the power of customer data through instore survey kiosks, mobile Point of Sale, customer rewards kiosks and more, see our range of iPad stands and tablet stands which allow you to transform mobile devices into data capturing gems.