In the era of the omnichannel consumer, the optimization of the shopping journey comes from the understanding and analysis of the purchase. It is therefore necessary to have the capability to capture the data at each point of interaction, online or offline, in order to provide the shopper with a flowless experience, ultimately boosting sales.
Like the multitude of online analysis solutions readily available, new technology has emerged to help retailers and brands improve how to track shoppers through in-store visits.
Two types of technology stand out in the market
Wi-Fi: The pioneering positioning technology is based on the measurement of Wi-Fi radio frequency intensity from the visitors' smartphones. The Wi-Fi sensor detects the Wi-Fi MAC addresses of smartphones within close proximity to the box. It is not necessary to connect to the Wi-Fi network or to have a mobile application.
VIDEO ANALYSIS: This analysis technology detects the movement of visitors through video. Some more advanced solutions offer recognition of socio-demographic profiles (gender/age) or recognition of the mood of visitors.
Other in-store localization solutions
BLUETOOTH: Comparable to Wi-Fi, this type of technology is based on the measurement of Bluetooth radio frequency intensity from the visitors' smartphones. The Bluetooth sensor detects the Bluetooth MAC addresses of smartphones that are within close proximity to the box. You do not need to enable Bluetooth or have a mobile app.
THE BEACON: Unlike the classic Bluetooth, the beacon (Bluetooth low-energy) is a positioning technology based on a mobile application downloaded on visitors’ smartphones (i.e. store app). The mobile app captures the ID of the beacon nearby to recognize its position. It is also based on the beacon’s Bluetooth radio frequency intensity measurement.
ULTRASONIC: Like the beacon, ultrasonic positioning technology is based on a mobile application downloaded on the visitors’ smartphones. The microphone of the smartphone picks up the ultrasonic waves emitted by the speaker. Each wave has a different ID to recognize the position of the visitor.
NFC: The short range of the NFC is particularly well suited to micro-location but does not allow true in-store geolocation. The NFC uses passive tags to capture a nearby device (less than 4in away).
GPS: The most widespread outdoor positioning technology that is not as effective indoor. It is based on a mobile application installed on visitors’ smartphones that detects the GPS coordinates of the customer (approx. 33 ft accuracy).
LASER: The tracking solution that consists of sensors at the entrance of the store, counting the number of people entering through laser detection.
New types of technology are emerging in the field of in-store analytics, i.e. structured light 3D scanner, Li-Fi, thermal imaging, infrared beams and the use of magnetic fields. Range analysis solutions can also rely on several technologies at once (Wi-Fi and beacon to provide precision and flexibility.
Today, the data captured by in-store tracking solutions give retailers and brands real indications of the buying habits of their shoppers.
Tracking in-store traffic, while essential in store flow management, is no longer sufficient. To fulfill the customer’s requirements, it is necessary to offer an unforgettable in-store experience. This can be accomplished through collecting reliable and precise data from the shopper, allowing retailers and brands to enhance the purchasing experience to increase revenue. The world of retail is being revolutionized by in-store tracking solutions that help reduce the gap between online and offline. According to a study published recently, in 2021, 75% of stores will be able to identify the shoppers’ presence in store, while personalizing their buying experience. *
* Retail Reinventing: 2017 Retail Vision Study - ZEBRA