From technologies widely used in football analytics, Shopper Retail Insight (SRI) claims to bring brand owners and retailers a unique analysis of all shopper behaviour.
With the use of inconspicuous digital recording equipment it is now possible to observe and understand what shoppers are doing in store en-mass. This system was developed using sophisticated video analysis for football player performance and translating it into retail footfall facts.
The key aspect of this analysis is the differentiation between what shoppers buy and how shoppers behave, assessing what they actually do while shopping and more importantly, what they do not do.
There are eight core services at the heart of SRI. Each service may be undertaken as a one-off exercise, as part of a before and after change programme, or as an on-going perpetual study. Results are delivered using innovative heat-maps and data analysis.
The practical application of this research presents brands and its retail hosts with information about an array of shopper groupings. For example, the route shoppers take around the store, engagement between staff and customers, influence of children and partners while shopping, reaction to new brands or products, effectiveness of promotions, interest in new displays and store hot-spots are merely the tip of the iceberg. As with footfall; distance, route, movement, time taken at a position, number of conversions to purchase and interactions with store staff are all cleverly analysed, by both humans and computers, in order to present opportunities to improve customer service and increase sales. Many questions from businesses about how customers shop can now be answered, for example, how do young men with trolleys shop on Saturday evening?
The reason this technology improves on existing research methods stems from the fact that shoppers behave differently when they know they are being researched. It is nearly impossible to collect unbiased and subjective data from questionnaires or accompanied collection. SRI does not intrude on the shopper and simply assesses exactly what they do, naturally. Existing research techniques only tell what shoppers buy and fail to tell how shoppers behave while shopping. The new research tools like, eye tracking and detailed epos analysis deliver specifics about one person or at best a very small sample. Distance, route and movement of all shoppers, at all times of day, seasonality and ethnicity can present businesses with invaluable and profitable information. Recent truths commissioned by well-known brands and retailers have included identifying the loss of £75M of revenue per year due to queue abandonment and that up to 51% of supermarket shoppers are men. Also, that more than 50% of supermarket shoppers do not use a basket or a trolley. For the brands investing in the system application the findings are compelling; would more one-item tills yield staggering financial returns?
SRI is breaking into new markets such as South Africa and South Korea, having already set up in more than 10 countries around the world. SRI is already working heavyweights like Diageo, Tesco, Procter & Gamble and SABMiller.