She became fascinated with the differences between small retailers versus bigger ones. Bigger retailers tend to shift and adjust whereas smaller ones don’t. Their focus remains the same and that is to offer a more niche and more personalized experience for their customers. That being said, they have a lot more flexibility in how they deliver a product or experience and how they engage with their customer through their physical space. Their physical storefront does not extend itself just to customer experiences but also helps shape their communities. Since they overlap with the community theme, they have so much influence in the community and lifestyle of the consumer.
However, with so much opportunity that they have in their physical storefronts, there’s very little being done. Nicole explains that there are two major challenges facing independent retailers and it’s not just e-commerce.
“One of their major challenges is catching up to the consumer and their buying power. Right now we have a unique broad range of consumer audience from Baby Boomers to Millennials to Gen. Y & Z, which have a huge buying power in retail. There’s a lot of consumer appeal that retailers need to cater to. Identifying how to connect with their target audience whether online or offline is a challenge.”
The second one is the way independent retailers measure their offline marketing efforts and the general impact of their environment, whether it'sin, out or around their store, like their storefront displays or local events. Nicole is constantly communicating with them and she knows for a fact that there’s very little conversation about this. For their offline marketing, many just use their Point of Sale(POS) software to help monitor items sold and customer loyalty. Others also use questionnaires like Survey Monkey, excel spreadsheets, word of mouth, basically anything manually. This helps but it’s not enough, especially how fast everything is changing.
Technology will continue to advance and being able to keep up is vital. That’s why Nicole is constantly leaning on data and encouraging retailers to do so as well since it’s so valuable in shaping future business decisions. The biggest measuring tools that they know are more online. Yet some haven’t taken advantage of them because they’re out of their comfort zone. The ones that have decided are finding out that the tools like Google Analytics or other online tools, even if they have to invest in them, are helping them be more efficient and profitable so they’re craving for more and willing to invest.
Not only can advanced metrics be used to benefit online but also offline. Hence, our goal at Measurence, is to understand the relationships between people and physical places, then transform that data into accessible and actionable insights. It's like the Google Analytics many retailers love and use to get insights but this time it's for their physical storefronts. The convenient part about it is that within five minutes it's set up and running. We've worked with organizations in a variety of industries: commercial real estate, out-of-home advertisers, big consumer brands and retailers of all sizes.
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