How retailers know as much about their customers offline, as they do online Xsights Team - 23 February 2018 - Beacons, Data capture, Retail

Retailers have always understood that maximizing their relationship with customers is the key to long term success. But there is a massive gap between understanding what a customer does online and what they do in-store.

Wayfinding beacons help diagnose breakdowns in the buying journey

What retailers struggle with is how to leverage the data that can lead to better, more effective campaigns and personalized shopping experiences.

When a customer does their research online, we know things about them like their age and gender, where they live, and what other things they are shopping for. We know how many times they visit the site, which pages they linger on, and even how they were directed to the site.

Ironically, once they are in-store, we know virtually nothing about their shopping journey.

Beacons solve the data gap with in-store optimization

Imagine the same customer who spent thirty minutes on the website researching bicycle helmets comes into the store, their mobile device interacts with beacons, and the store learns where they spend their time while browsing. Proximity beacons track them throughout the store and will show what they peruse, where their attention is drawn, and can even show which items they consider during their trip. They find that the customer also spent time looking at gloves and cycling shoes, and after checkout they communicate that during this trip, only the helmet was purchased.

The retailer can now connect the online interaction with the in-store visit and understand things like:

  • Did the shopper get distracted by other offers?
  • Did they go right to the product they researched, or did they do further investigation?
  • What in-store tools influence the buying journey?
  • Do similar groups of people share buying habits?
  • Which in-store marketing efforts are most effective?
  • How effective was the store team’s interaction with the customer?
  • What is the customer’s average spend per visit?
  • How effective is the store’s layout?
  • What other retailers and products does the shopper research while on site?

Targeted future offers are possible

Research shows that personalized email messages vastly improve customer engagement and conversion. With the same shopper in mind, consider that following their visit, the customer receives bounce back offers for cycling accessories like the gloves and shoes they visited on their last trip. The data cycle can continue, by watching which campaigns are most effective in prompting returns to the store.

Personalized Proximity Marketing

The store app is key to making the connection between online and in-store buying personas. It allows for market segments that recognize personal data to connect what is in a shopper’s online basket with what they do in store. A 50-year old woman who buys hair color online might receive a digital offer for color-care shampoo when she nears the health and beauty department in-store, while a 35-year old man who shopped for camping gear online could receive an offer for grilling tools. Personalized messages and offers increase brand loyalty, and repeat customers spend more with businesses that understand them.

Beacons provide big data

Retailers see data such as:

  • Footfall traffic
  • Heat maps
  • Merchandising effectiveness
  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer segmentation
  • Effectiveness of store schedule and resources
  • Increased revenue

Long Term Strategies

Too much data can be a bad thing if not interpreted correctly. It should tell you who your customer is and how their buying journey evolves, and there should be a sold plan in place for its use. If it doesn’t support long term analysis and have the proper tags built in, it is potentially a waste of time.

To go beyond the basics and truly invest in understanding your customers, contact us at Xsights for demonstrations. We will help you bridge the gap in your buyer’s personas and learn how to improve and leverage the very personal connections that beacon data makes possible. Simply reach out to us at or fill out the contact form here.