Blog written by Darren Cremins
Halloween, Diwali and Bonfire Night are done and the big UK retailers have unveiled their holiday campaigns, so Christmas must be coming and with it, the hopes of retailers to make the most of Christmas shopping and celebrations. The threat of supply chain disruption looms large over a variety of brands (I think it’s unlikely that I’ll be unwrapping a PlayStation 5 on Christmas Day), but there is an optimism across retail that this Christmas will be a good one with people able to meet in person for gifting and celebrating.
Golden quarter, with the increased footfall in stores, gives brands a great opportunity to gather customer insights that can be used across the year. Smart brands can use the season to optimize customer data to better inform merchandising, pathing and marketing decisions.
As part of the STRATACACHE team, Scala supplies partners, including retailers, a wealth of digital solutions which can help brands serve customers better and help brands get the key retail data that they need. Walkbase TREQ is one of the tools that Scala provides. It is an impressive piece of kit that gives businesses a truly data-driven look at the customer journey.
In Australia, leading grocer Woolworths used Walkbase to offer a safer shopping experience during last year’s Christmas rush. The Occupancy Management component of Walkbase TREQ can measure occupancy with 99% accuracy, which means that it can reliably keep staff teams informed of the numbers in store. For Woolworths this meant they could ensure the safety and security of customers while also looking at how to best serve those customers with the deployment of staff. As mentioned in the linked article, Walkbase can provide a scalable digital solution that can give brands accurate information while also maintaining public privacy.
The accuracy of Walkbase in-store insights is impressive — 99% on occupancy and the use of Walkbase means that those businesses currently using staff and a ‘clicker’ can reallocate those team members to more meaningful customer service roles. This quick deployment of staff creates immediate efficiencies, efficiencies that can be expanded when data derived from Walkbase accumulates. This means that staffing allocation over times of the day, week and seasons can be decided based on the times customers are entering and leaving the store. Email and push notifications can notify staff when a premises or store area is getting busy, creating an automated system of staff deployment. I see this being especially useful in large stores such as department stores or big box premises, shopping malls or premises with a lot of foot traffic, such as airports or hospitals. For retailers, this push notification of staff deployment will also be incredibly handy during key retail times such as Black Friday, Christmas or during the January sales (and returns).
The push notifications along with Walkabase’s capability also reveal something key about the system. Walkbase data is easy to access through any browser based mobile device, tablet or work station. Walkbase TREQ technology can also be integrated with digital signage to show occupancy numbers to customers as they enter the store or displayed on screens in staff areas such as stock or break rooms. Clear communication with customers is not only important for promotions; it’s needed for safety as well.
The most exciting thing for me when it comes to Walkbase is the way in which the accurate data can be used across all parts of the customer journey to create a more efficient and pleasant experience for those in store and hopefully, encourage repeat visits. Queue Analytics is a cloud-based component of Walkbase that gives retailers insight into how they manage a common pain point for customers as they wait to try on clothing, pay for orders or wait for click and collect fulfilment.
Walkbase can also help with customer pathing. Using reliable bluetooth technology, brands can use Walkbase to analyse the ease with which individuals navigate a space such as a store or travel hub and allocate staff or position key signage or merchandise accordingly. Pathing can also be used to assess if shoppers are navigating toward or bypassing high value areas of the store, and change layout or use digital signage to promote optimal pathing. The best bit is that with all of the data gathered by Walkbase, brands can adjust and augment the customer journey as needed, gaining new insight from Walkbase as they go.
Whether it be as people search for the perfect gift or outfit for the long overdue staff party, or as they prepare to go on a long-deserved vacation or make a crucial appointment, Walkbase is the platform that improves not only the customer journey, but it also gives brands easily accessible insights that can then be used to better their business — to increase efficiencies and optimize sales opportunities.
Walkbase is the focus of this blog but it is just one of many of the digital solutions offered through Scala. We’re a flexible and, I’d like to think, clever bunch. Talk to us about what you want to achieve with your business and we will do our best to offer a solution that works for you now and will grow along with your operations.