Discover What’s Next for Retail In-store Analytics

The rise in e-commerce has left many consumers wanting a more seamless and personalized shopping experience at both ends, online and offline. To create such an experience requires the brick-and-mortar stores to provide services that online stores are incapable of providing such as the ability to touch, feel and try on products or the opportunity to receive individualized service from knowledgeable staff. Retailers gain a granular understanding of customer journeys within their physical locations by leveraging retail in-store analytics. The data insights generated are crucial to optimize store layout, product placement, staffing levels and marketing campaigns so that the stores can increase their sales and customer satisfaction levels.

The future of retail in-store analytics holds the potential to deliver a more comprehensive and accurate picture of the current business performance about their stores to retailers. This can be accomplished through the application of sensor fusion which refers to the practice of consolidating information from various points of data generation to provide the business user with a more holistic overview of the situation. Think of a network of sensors throughout the store, each capturing unique customer behavior. This symphony of data allows retailers to understand not just what’s happening, but why.

The Rise of Sensor Fusion in Retail In-store Analytics

Traditionally, retailers would rely on sales and transactions data which offers a limited snapshot of customer activity. This data mainly provided insight into the products bought but not how the consumer interacted with them, moved around the store or any other considerations before making a purchase. Sensor fusion, however, bridges this gap by offering deeper, more thorough insight into consumer behavior. Sensor fusion is the process of unifying the information taken from various sensors and creating an enhanced understanding of the subject and environment. In retail stores, the types of sensors and points of data collection include RFID tags, beacons, cameras and point-of-sale (POS) systems. Miniature tags that can be affixed to each product and to track inventory levels and movement of goods are known as RFID tags. In addition to identifying theft attempts and optimizing product placement based on purchasing habits, they can set off notifications for low stock situations, enabling businesses to combat the challenge of understocking. The next type of data creation point is beacons. These are low energy Bluetooth devices that track the movement of the customer throughout the store and gain insights into dwell time in different sections. Lastly, cameras can be leveraged for video analytics that can be used for analyzing high-traffic areas with stores and potential bottlenecks.

All the data combined from the different sensors and devices provides a unified and comprehensive picture of the entire store and the customers visiting them, which would have been impossible with any single data source. Through this, retailers can gain a 360-degree view of customer behavior in their stores.

  1. Optimizing product placement and inventory management: Through the analysis of data, retailers will be able to eliminate out-of-stock situations, determine spots for high-demand goods and improve sales by monitoring traffic patterns and product interaction data.
  2. Enhancing traffic flow and shop layout: Heatmaps created from camera data can highlight places with heavy foot traffic or congestion. This enables businesses to take steps to enhance the shopping experience and consumer flow by modifying worker levels, advertising and store layouts.

Predictive Analytics and In-Store Optimization

Predictive analytics isn’t just the next big thing in in-store analytics, it’s the driving force behind the most revolutionary advancements. To estimate future consumer behavior and demand, predictive analytics can be used. It combines historical data, client demographics and external variables for these projections. Here are a few examples of how the retailer can optimize a variety of aspects of the in-store experience.

  1. Demand projections – Retailers can predict changes in demand for certain items by examining sales statistics, customer demographics and external variables. This enables them to maintain optimal inventory levels and guarantee that the appropriate items are available when needed. Demand for seasonal goods can be similarly predicted using predictive algorithms. This enables merchants to schedule their marketing efforts and inventory purchases well in advance.
  2. Customer Churn Predictions – Predictive models are useful in identifying consumers who might be in danger of churning or discontinuing purchases at a certain store. With this information, retailers can become proactive towards retaining important clientele by providing loyalty programs or tailored promotions.
  3. Personalized Product Recommendations – Product recommendations that have been customized to a customer’s browsing habits, prior purchases and membership profile can greatly increase conversion rates. This can be further enhanced by predictive analytics, which could recommend goods that a customer is probably interested in but might not have thought about previously.


Sensor fusion and predictive analytics are two such developments that have tremendously enhanced in-store operations and it is leading the way for a more data-driven, personalized and ultimately, profitable retail environment.