The Road Less Traveled: Building a Career Around In-Store Measurement and Location Analytics

Over the nearly two decades I spent in digital analytics, I did a lot of selling. More than I ever wanted to. But during that time, I saw the process of selling digital analytics transformed. When I started, way back in the ‘90s, selling web analytics was evangelical. I had to convince potential clients that the Web mattered. Then I had to convince them that analytics mattered to the Web. If I got that far, I just to convince them that I was the right [...]

By | August 3rd, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Using Analytics to Drive Store Testing: With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Continuous Improvement through testing is a simple idea. That’s no surprise. The simplest, most obvious ideas are often the most powerful. And testing is a powerful idea. An idea that forms and shapes the way digital is done by the companies that do it best. And those same companies have changed the world we live in. If testing and continuous improvement is a process, analytics is the driver of that process; and as any good driver knows, the more powerful the vehicle, the more careful [...]

By | July 12th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Store Testing, Continuous Improvement and DM1

Continuous improvement is what drives the digital world. Whether applied as a specific methodology or simply present as a fundamental part of the background against which we do business, the discipline of change and measure is a fundamental part of the digital environment. A key part of our mission at Digital Mortar is simply this: to take that discipline of continuous improvement via change and measurement and bring it to stores. Every part of DM1 – from store visualizations to segmentation to funnel analytics – [...]

By | June 26th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Visualizing and Optimizing the Store as a Funnel

Visualizing the customer journey in the context of the store is the foundation for analyzing in-store data. The metrics and the store context provide a framework for translating customer measurement data into something that is immediately understandable as a shopper’s journey. But visualizing information is just the first step in making it actionable. Understanding the data is, of course, essential. But you can understand data quite well and still have no idea what to do with it. In fact, that’s a problem we see all [...]

By | June 8th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

It’s all about the Store: Visualizing In-Store Customer Journey Data

Making sense of behavioral data is always a challenge. Suppose I tell you that a shopper visited your store, spent fourteen minutes, lingered twice and had a single Associate interaction. That’s a lot of data, but in most respects, it’s deeply uninformative. What did the shopper care about? What were they interested in? What did they pass by?  What worked? What didn’t? You can’t even begin to formulate answers to those questions based on the data I described. I know, because I spent years trying [...]

By | May 24th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Measuring the Store Effectively: Digital Mortar is creating a Measurement Language for Stores

Driving real value with analytics is much harder than people assume. Doing it well requires solving two separate, equally thorny problems. The first – fairly obvious problem – is being able to use data to deepen your understanding of important business questions. That’s what analytics is all about. The second problem is being able to use that understanding to drive business change. Affecting change is a political/operational problem that’s often every bit as difficult as doing the actual analysis. Most people have a hard time [...]

From Baby Toy to Power Tool: Segmentation is the Key Difference in DM1

The equation in retail today is simple. Evolve or die. But if analytics is one of the core tools to drive successful  evolution, we have a problem. From an analytics perspective, we’re used to a certain view of the store. We know how many shoppers we get (door counting) and we know what we sold. We know how many Associates we had. We (may) know what they sold. This isn’t dog food. If you had to pick a very small set of metrics to work [...]

By | May 12th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Change or Die: Lessons from the Retail Apocalypse

In my last three posts, I assessed the basic technologies (wifi, camera, etc.) for in-store customer measurement and took a good hard look at the state of the analytics platforms using that measurement. My conclusion? The technologies are challenging but, deployed properly, can work at scale for a reasonable cost. The analytics platforms, on the other hand, have huge gaping holes that seriously limit the ability of analysts to use that data. Our DM1 platform is designed to solve most (I hope all) of those [...]

By | May 4th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

What’s Wrong with In-Store Tracking Solutions: Part 2

In my last post, I described four huge deficiencies in the current generation of in-store tracking solutions. The inability to track full customer journeys, do real segmentation, or properly contextualize data to the store make life very hard on a retail analyst trying to do interesting work. And over-reliance on non-analytic heatmaps - a tool that looks nice but is analytically unrewarding - just makes everything worse. Of course, you don't need to use one of these solutions. You can build an analytics warehouse and [...]

By | April 24th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments