The TOP 10 takeaways for understanding behaviour in retail stores

Juha Mattsson

The TOP 10 aha’s people wrote down at #WalkbaseSummit 

A couple of months ago, a 100 people -- a majority from top tier UK retailers such as M&S, Waitrose, and Arcadia to name a few --  filled two floors at FabLab London for six hours. Everyone was eager to hear about and learn the latest best practice and future trends of retail store analytics. 

In a nutshell, that was the Walkbase Summit, the 1st ever In-store Analytics Conference by Walkbase. Which, judging by all the great feedback we’ve already received, can definitely be called a tradition.

Pens, phones and pads were whizzing as people were absorbing and sharing dozens of insights and aha-moments throughout the workshops and keynote sessions. We wanted to bring together and share what we thought were the best of these.

In fact, we didn’t actually have to work that much on this, since the 100-ish Tweets with the hashtag #WalkbaseSummit did a great job in putting together the essential bits.

Here’s our TOP 10 selection:

Pete Williams ‏@peteitalia  Jun 9
#WalkbaseSummit, really important to understand behaviour through #analytics in physical #retail estate

Perhaps the one thing everyone completely agreed on was the idea of having a unified set of metrics and KPIs across all channels, from online stores to brick-and-mortar. The more these KPIs reflect actual customer behaviour, and the closer to real-time they are available, the better.

Walkbase@walkbase  Jun 9
@JuhaMattsson on the competitive advantages of Amazon #WalkbaseSummit 

Analysing Amazon’s early on competitive advantages reveals a brutal truth of how retailers will win or lose in terms of pleasing the customer. This is not a rocket science, it’s simply: (1) measure and optimise everything, (2) identify the customer, and (3) personalise. For brick-and-mortar retailers to stay in the game, enabling these for physical stores will be a necessity.

Pete Williams@peteitalia  Jun 9
#mobile is fundamental for good #retail experience in future @mazzaknights #WalkbaseSummit 

So how do you do this? How to measure everything, identify stores visitors, and personalise the shopping experience? As pointed out by Pete Williams from Marks & Spencer and Miya Knights from Planet Retail, the smart device in your hand is the key. It’s the “physical cookie” that lets retailers understand shopping behaviour, and also acts as a channel for customers to opt-in for identifying themselves and getting personalised rewards and benefits in return.

Walkbase@walkbase  Jun 9
56% of shoppers feel that #technology makes their #shopping experience better @mazzaknights #WalkbaseSummit 

And guess what, the end customers love this! A majority of us think technology is making our shopping experience better. Retailers must use high-precision customers behaviour analytics data to be able to generate personalisation that is relevant for the shopper.

Walkbase ‏@walkbase  Jun 9
"Customers nowadays are more likely to expect personalised offers in return to #customer #data" @mazzaknights #WalkbaseSummit

Also a rapidly expanding number of shoppers want to log in to free Wi-Fi in stores, and thus give their identification and location for receiving personalised offers and discounts in return. 

Miya Knights@mazzaknights  Jun 9
#Retailers w. multi-format stores most likely to benefit from zone and category-level #store #analytics #WalkbaseSummit > #BigData hones #cx

Turning to the analytics part of the equation, at the Summit we literally poured a truckload of best practices we’ve learned about analysing customer behaviour in physical stores. Among these were the three core levels of analysis, as well as the realisation that exact indoor positioning is rarely needed -- however, precise store zones are, as they form the basis of effective visit and conversion analysis.

Ed Armishaw@EdArmishaw  Jun 9
M&S Data Wizard @peteitalia w/great thinking on future retail metrics! Love the attention KPI idea! #WalkbaseSummit 

We had some fantastic thoughts and ideas from the floor, and also from the partners who kindly gave presentations. Among these were Pete Williams’ idea of the “attention KPI”, Rotageek’s use of actual customer behaviour for smarter staffing, and Red Ant’s notion of the KPE, i.e. Key Performance Enabler instead of just plain KPIs. 

Walkbase ‏@walkbase  Jun 9
Learn why wi-fi is the most versatile technology #WalkbaseSummit #retail

A thorough analysis of alternative ways to measure the physical store revealed Wi-Fi is still holding 1st place as the most versatile technology. None of the alternatives are able to reach >50% of store visitors, cover entire stores, analyse entire visits, analyse repeat visits and loyalty, enable proximity marketing, and identify of opt-in shoppers without the need for an app. All these in one package.

Ed Armishaw@EdArmishaw  Jun 9
@walkbase CTO @bjornsjolund launching  #TrueCount in front of 103 bright retail minds at #WalkbaseSummit

Many retailers still cling to camera based footfall counters for data because they count also people without Wi-Fi enabled devices. The downside is obviously that such counting isn’t able to produce any of the behavioural analytics or proximity marketing listed above. To get the best of both worlds, we launched True Count™ -- a technology that uses live door count data from a few stores to extrapolate Wi-Fi analytics to be 100% accurate to the actual number of visitors in all stores. Smart, isn’t it!

Pete Williams@peteitalia  Jun 9
@walkbase partners with @IBMAnalytics @IBM on #retail and  #location #analytics Exciting! #WalkbaseSummit

True Count™ and dozens of other innovations are something both us at Walkbase and our dear friends at IBM see fitting nicely together. We were proud to announce Walkbase’s partnership with IBM’s retail solutions! #MoreToFollow :)

I know it’s 10 already, but as the infamous phrase says, “these go to eleven”. So I wanted to share one more:

Walkbase ‏@walkbase  Jun 9
Aaand it's GT o'clock! #WalkbaseSummit 

This points to our almost year-long partnership with the Kyrö Distillery Company and their award winning world’s best gin Napue -- likewise offered for the absorption of the guests at the concluding networking & cocktail party. Looks like a tradition has formed here, too!

The Walkbase Summit Materials Download


Walkbase provides a retail analytics solution for improving the impact of marketing on physical stores and personalising in-store shopping experience.