Why store intelligence planning is your brand’s new BFF

The Covid-19 pandemic might have given the retail industry a shake up, but it hasn’t weakened it as much as some people would have you believe.

Lockdowns and social distancing measures may have caused a shift from physical stores to ecommerce, but once the uncertainty of the pandemic has passed, traditional shopping is expected to make a comeback, reports The Drum.

According to a study by Activate Consulting, physical retail will generate £16 trillion in sales by 2024 compared to £5 trillion by ecommerce. That’s over three times more sales in bricks and mortar shops than online over the next three years.

Saying that, advances in technology will continue to disrupt shopping patterns, so retailers and brands need to take an innovative approach to their marketing. As well as transparency, data ownership and customer privacy issues, brands will also need to focus on emerging concepts – for example, store intelligence planning.

So, what is ‘store planning intelligence’ exactly? The idea is that when it comes to planning campaigns, brands should give as much attention to understanding their physical store locations and customers as they do to their data-driven targeting efforts.

That’s because understanding your audience can only go so far. Your ideal customer might live 30 minutes’ drive from your store and persuading them to make that journey is never going to be easy. But with store intelligence planning, you can flip things on their head, using data science to work out which local areas have the highest number of your audience targets.

The result is more comprehensive knowledge of the ‘physical’ reach of your retail outlet. Where your audience lives, works, commutes, and how far they are willing to travel to purchase from your store gives retailers crucial store mapping information.

No more wasted hours trying to persuade a specific target audience segment to visit your shop (when in truth, they can never be convinced). And instead, efforts go into targeting customers with the highest affinity and the right mobility to make the trip in-store.

We can expect a rise in store intelligence planning over the coming years, not just among retailers, but across all verticals. Used responsibly, location data can help create stronger, more personable brands and give a clearer picture of who customers really are.

As we move away from uncertainty, retailers and brands need to make the most of omnichannel evolution and innovate. Making store intelligence planning an integral part of data-driven marketing will help brands optimise against future changes.

What that means in practice is that store intelligence can help you create a quality customer experience for customers as they browse and purchase. It can inform targeted, engaging content that is displayed on in-store digital screens, providing interactive, personalised messages and an in-store experience customers will want to make the journey for.

At Delta, we can help you manage the content for your in-store digital screens. Get in touch with the team to find out more.