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

What’s Wrong with In-Store Tracking Measurement

I didn’t start Digital Mortar because I was impressed with the quality of the reporting and analytics platforms in the in-store customer tracking space. I didn’t look at this industry and say to myself, “Wow – here’s a bunch of great platforms that are meeting the fundamental needs in the space at an enterprise level.” Building good analytics software is hard. And while I've seen great examples of SaaS analytics platforms in the digital space, solutions like Adobe and Google Analytics took many years to [...]

By | April 19th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

In-Store Customer Journey Tracking: Can You Really Do This?

When I describe Digital Mortar to folks, the most common reaction I get is: “Can you really do this?” Depending on their level of experience in the field, that question has one of two meetings. If they haven’t used existing in-store customer tracking solutions, the question generally means: is the technology practical and is it actually OK to use it (i.e. does it violate privacy policies)? If they have experience with existing in-store customer tracking solutions what they mean is: “does your stuff actually work [...]

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

An Overview of In-Store Tracking Technology

How does it work? Can you really do this? Is it legal? Those are the questions that I get asked the most about in-store customer journey tracking. The same kind of questions, to be honest, I used to get fifteen years ago in digital analytics. And when you have to answer questions like these, you know it’s still pretty raw out there. Collection technologies are a core part of measurement - whether it's tags in digital analytics or PCAP files for in-store customer tracking. Technology [...]

By | April 6th, 2017|Gary's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

The Moving Parts of Store Behavioral Analytics

Store analytics is digital analytics (with a heck of a lot more moving parts). Customer behavioral analytics in digital and physical places are not distinctly different. A customer enters the digital/physical space. He/she are presented with a number of paths. He/she goes somewhere first. And spends a distinct amount of time there. The customer then has a finite number of paths of where he/she can go to next. And follows one by click/foot. Along the way, they might reach key milestones like selecting a product [...]

By | March 31st, 2017|Jesse's Posts, Retail Analytics|0 Comments

Measuring Public Spaces: Customer Journey Tracking in Airports and other Public Venues

For this last stop in my whirlwind tour of customer journey tracking outside retail, I picked airports as a prototypical example of a public space. Airports are large, complex spaces with key chokepoints, broad wifi-coverage, and an interest in purely anonymous tracking. As with the vast majority of public spaces, there’s little or no interest in CRM type applications. We don’t need to know repeat visitor rates and don’t need to identify specific users. For large public spaces, the business focus is almost exclusively on [...]

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