There has been a lot of talk about the future of brick-and-mortar retail and how it can survive and prosper with the increasing amount of purchase channels available for consumers today. The fact is that in today’s world, an ever increasing amount of purchase decisions or actions that lead to a purchase decision are conducted not in one particular channel but across all three major purchase channels; brick-and-mortar, internet and mobile.
One thing both digital channels, online and mobile have in common is the ability for retail sellers to understand not only the purchase as an end result, but each action taken that has resulted in that purchase. After all, knowing the end result is important, but useless, in case the reasons and actions behind that end result are unknown. To-date, this has been much the case for retailers.
Traditional POS-systems and market research fail to provide an accurate, constant picture about the road that leads to the purchase, which has partially disadvantaged brick-and-mortar retailers from really knowing what they need to know in order to improve their bottom line.
Just how important understanding the trip (actions before purchase) in addition to the destination (purchase) is, can be seen from the simple fact that many online payment providers (think PayPal) are trying to move into the brick-and-mortar world, mostly due to the recognition that for retailers, developing this cross-channel understanding of actions before the purchase is becoming a necessity for retailers wishing to retain and improve their market position.
As a business, RapidBlue is positioned to be central to the development of such an understanding for retailers. Plugging into our API enables any point-of-sales or payment terminal vendor to start providing not only sales data but also data regarding shopping trips which do not result in purchases to the retailer. Understanding how often customers visit versus how often they actually shop and how many visits does it take for a purchase to be made are crucial for brick-and-mortar retailers if they wish to hold on to their market positions.
The fact that such an understanding can be achieved from systems currently already in retail stores without the need for the retailers’ staff to change their behavior or look at additional separate reporting makes the adoption extremely easy.
As we’re already partnered both with retailers directly as well as POS-system providers, we’re seeing just how crucial having the type of understanding we can provide is.