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This report is designed to benefit a wide range of readers, including: Every retail or e-tail organization, and individual retailers of all types and sizes; Every brand that sells through either the retail or e-tail channels; Every brand that utilizes mobile technologies for sales and retention activity; Every company that plays a role, or could, in equipping retailers to better compete

Executive Summary

Stratecast offers ongoing research and analysis of the Wi-Fi market and its supporting and enabling infrastructure. This is the first report by either Stratecast or Frost & Sullivan specifically on the topic of merging Big Data, analytics, and business intelligence (BI) with Wi-Fi to help combat some of the major negative forces whipsawing retailers, and impacting e-tailers, today.

Points of analysis will include: What is the best way to implement this, from the standpoint of both technology and shopper (customer) experience? What are some of the privacy issues surrounding it; and what is the tradeoff between privacy concerns and the ability of retailers to optimize their businesses? What similarities exist between this new technology and online analytics?

This report is designed to benefit a wide range of readers, including:
• Every retail or e-tail organization, and individual retailers of all types and sizes
• Every brand that sells through either the retail or e-tail channels
• Every brand that utilizes mobile technologies for sales and retention activity
• Every company that plays a role, or could, in equipping retailers to better compete

Introduction

The retail industry is enormous. In the U.S. alone, retail contributes approximately $ trillion to the economy through one million retail stores and other locations.3 Yet, this massive industry is facing sizable challenges. For starters, the global economy continues to struggle because consumers generally have less discretionary income, and are saving more. The Age of E-tailing—or to express the concept in its leading brand-specific form: The Age of Amazon—is placing a vast multitude of items, which at one time were available only in retail stores, at the fingertips of consumers, on any Web-enabled device, at lower prices and with minimal wait times to receive the merchandise.

Retailers are also being forced to come to grips with the scenario known as “showrooming,” which occurs when consumers shop for items at retail stores, where they can see, touch, and even try out items, then buy the identical items online at lower cost. As difficult as showrooming can be for retailers, it is only part of a broader problem that Stratecast characterizes as The Battleground in the Aisles: consumers armed with mobile apps on their smartphones that let them compare items for sale in the store where they are shopping, not only with Amazon and other e-tailers but also with other retailers within easy driving distance.

If retailers are to survive, they must find ways to engage with shoppers, or, at minimum, to better understand what shoppers want. Retail experts believe this requires better training for store associates, new tools to assist in selling processes, improved store layouts, and that national and global retail organizations should grant each store more autonomy to meet the particular needs of its own local market. All of those things are true; but one area that many retail experts are not counting on, and do not seem to even be aware of, is how to leverage mobile analytics to help retailers better understand their customers.

This Stratecast report introduces an approach that is helping retailers better understand both their customers and their own operations by harvesting analytics from the in-store and near-store Wi-Fi, which many of them are already providing to shoppers.

Retailers Face a Cartful of Challenges

Some critical factors have retailers facing a changing, challenging business environment today:
• Declining incomes – The most current U.S. census data showed that families experienced income reductions from to percent.4 Less income translates into lower spending; and that is a direct hit on retailer revenues.
• Brand switching – An erosion in consumer brand loyalty is underway, with private-labeled (store brand) merchandise achieving parity with name brands.
• Brand extension = brand confusion – Traditionally, retailers specialized in certain types of products and services; but today, large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target are selling their full range of normal merchandise as well as groceries. Grocers, and any smaller or specialized retailer, can get caught in the crossfire as shoppers increasingly meet many of their needs under one roof.
• Smartphones make smarter (or at least more elusive) shoppers – percent of mobile app downloaders have used deal-of-the-day services such as Groupon or Living Social; and percent of mobile consumers frequently use their smartphones while shopping.5 These deal services have the potential to make, or at least influence, local merchandise markets. Smaller and midsized retailers also face threats from huge, so-called Big Box retailers; and all bricks-and-mortar retailers, of every size, face perhaps their strongest competitive threats from e-tailers such as Amazon. All of these things contribute to the showrooming activity mentioned in the Introduction.
• E-tailers may have better data to work with – A dynamic exists between e-tailers and retailers when it comes to knowing their customers, which is similar to the contrast between online advertising and so-called ‘traditional’ forms of advertising such as print, outdoor, and broadcast. While online advertising at first struggled to get a foothold, it quickly caught on. One reason was the mind-boggling expansion of Web traffic. Another, though, was when advertisers started receiving granular data on exactly who (even if only in aggregate) was responding to online ads. This was in marked contrast to the “homes passed,” “pass-along readership,” and “road traffic flows” information they were receiving from traditional advertising outlets, which felt more anecdotal than factual.

Retail analysts sketch out some broad-brush solutions for retailers: getting to know customers better, and building relationships; creating better customer communications, part of which is effectively using, and responding to, social media; implementing mobile communications strategies, from mobile apps to mobile ad campaigns; and optimizing business processes through both automation and streamlined organizational processes. All of these are sound concepts, but what retailers need are specifics, fast, to deal with the challenges outlined above.

One place retailers might look for answers is mobile: the impact of smartphones on retail purchases is expected by some analysts to increase to $ billion (or % of total store sales) by 2016.

Table Of Contents

The Human Bounce Rate: Can (and Should) Retail/Wi-Fi Analytics Help Retailers Survive in the Age of Amazon?
Table of Contents

1 | THE HUMAN BOUNCE RATE: CAN (AND SHOULD) RETAIL/WI-FI ANALYTICS HELP RETAILERS SURVIVE IN THE AGE OF AMAZON?

BDA 1-05
1. Executive Summary
2. Introduction
3. Retailers Face a Cartful of Challenges
4. Retailers Are Checking Out Retail/Wi-Fi Analytics. . .
5. . . .which Bears a Striking Resemblance to Online (Web) Analytics
6. RWA Capabilities Support Mobile Commerce Analytics and Retailer Strategies
7. RWA Vendor Strategies
8. Tracking the Elephant in the Room: Does RWA Destroy Shopper Privacy?
9. Stratecast - The Last Word
10. About Stratecast
11. About Frost and Sullivan



List of Figures

Figure 1: The Battle For the Customer: E-tailers Have an Information Advantage 5
Figure 2: Selected Insights a Retail/Wi-Fi Analytics System Provides 7
Figure 3: How Retail/Wi-Fi Analytics Supports Retailer Competitive Strategies 8
Figure 4: Euclid Analytics Retail Store Opt-Out Window Stickers 12

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