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  Ripple 2.0 - Benefits to Bricks & Mortar   

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    Jun 27, 2018    Views: 2449

The Ripple Effect - Halo Metrics launches Ripple 2.0—a multi-store reporting tool that combines traffic and sales data for a holistic view of the in-store customer journey by Sean C. Tarry 

ACCORDING to Halo Metrics, retailers that use sales transactions as a proxy to measure visitor traffic are underestimating their numbers on average by 90 per cent. To help retailers combat the problem, the company introduced Ripple Metrics in early 2017—a software solution that allows users to capture actionable insights about the in-store customer journey. Ripple’s insights inform retailers around things like store layout and design and the placement of promotional displays, allow them to track the performance of marketing events, and optimize the scheduling of staff, all in an effort to improve the shopper experience while increasing sales.
Response among Ripple users has been extremely positive thus far, says Ravinder Sangha, Halo Metrics’ Marketing Manager. And now, just a year after launching Ripple, the company has released 
Ripple 2.0, an improved iteration of the software that includes new features to augment the already beneficial software tool. “Ripple 2.0 is where traffic and sales data meet with multistore reporting,” says Sangha. “Not only can we see how customers move throughout the store. But we can now also directly see the impact on sales, conversion and basket size.”
With Ripple 2.0, conversion is calculated based on Halo Metrics’ TRUcount of traffic coming into the store against transaction counts. Sales conversion can drill down to a product category as well. For example, of all the shoppers that came into a store on a given day, the retailer can easily determine
how many visitors purchased items from a single category.
“The metrics become Key Performance Indicators for the business,” says Sangha. “And now, with our multi-store reporting, senior level managers can see at a glance how their stores are performing across multiple stores within a region or across the company.”

Customer experience game-changer

And, as the performance of brick-and-mortar stores continue to come under scrutiny by some analysts within the industry, understanding the evolution of today’s consumer is essential in determining how to appeal to their tastes and the right business strategies to employ to meet those objectives.
“Despite what some out there might be saying, it’s important to have a brick-and-mortar presence.,” Sangha explains. “It’s becoming critical to use your brick-and-mortar store to deliver memorable and sharable in-store experiences. But how do you measure the success of these initiatives? Sales alone will not inform you of how successful your work was.”
Whether thinking of improving the store layout, strategically placing promotional displays, or hosting special in-store events such as tastings, demos, or educational events, retailers can leverage Ripple 2.0 to help evaluate the impact of these efforts.
Another benefit of the software is in understanding better how customers move through each department within a store, the path they took to get there and their exit path. As a result, retailers using Ripple 2.0 are using this information to put high margin products on the popular paths of the shopper to improve sales. They’re also better able to schedule knowledgeable product category experts on staff during the peak traffic times within each department, benefitting from an instant lift in sales.

Case in point

To illustrate the benefits of Ripple, Sangha shared some of Halo Metrics’ case studies. And, in some instances, the benefits are so stark, Sangha says that for retailers using the software, “it’s often almost like shining a light in a dark corner.”
In one case, a liquor store that’s branded itself as a destination business carries a high-end selection of premium Scotches and Wines. Its staff is trained as Sommeliers. It does frequent tasting events, and regularly changes the unique selection of craft beer they have on display. It was surprising to the retailer to learn that 50 per cent of its traffic stayed in the store five minutes or less. Because it was catering to a large set of convenience customers that they didn’t even really realize they had, they immediately started to look at their store layout and product mix to maximize the sales from these convenience customers.
There’s no question that in the intensely competitive industry that is retail today, any advantage that a retailer can leverage will be beneficial to the business and to understanding ways to improve the overall customer experience. And, according to Sangha, Ripple is the tool that will help uncover those advantages.
“The insights from Ripple add a new dimension to your existing data,” he explains. “They inform the retailer, enhancing their view of what the instore customer journey truly is, allowing them to better serve the customer.”
After all, isn’t serving the customer better what retail is all about?
Retailers have enough data at their disposal. But, what do they do with it to develop a better, more holistic view of the customer. As Sangha points out, it can be overwhelming to disseminate all of it to find those meaningful insights—a bit like “trying to drink from a firehose” he says. However, retailers can manage the insights they glean using Ripple 2.0 by taking the following steps:
Continuously measure success: Senior level managers should be watching to see if the needle is moving in the right direction when it comes to the KPI’s generated by the Ripple dashboard.
Own initiatives: Managers from different parts of the business should take ownership of certain initiatives that Ripple provides actionable insights for. These include:
• Store layout and design and placement of promotional displays
• Marketing events and promotions
• Staff scheduling and optimization of labour
Review regularly: Meet to review results in these areas.
Halo Metrics connects monthly with retail customers to review insights and to provide suggestions on actions the business can take. It becomes a great partnership and makes it very easy for retailers to operationalize the data.

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