Retailers are placing a premium on monitoring in-store customer traffic and conversion rates of consumers who visit their properties, according to research released this week.

A study of 124 retail executives across operations, marketing, merchandising and loss prevention from the US, South America, Europe and Asia also showed that developing an understanding of which promotions attract customers, where customers go in the store and what products they choose are key requirements in today's market.

Some 71% of the retailers surveyed by technology firm Brickstream for its 'Retail Analytics: what's in store?' report said that they use or plan to use people counting technology in their stores, while 68% said they are looking to to introduce in-store Wi-Fi and loyalty systems.

The report also indicated that marketing departments were most likely to instigate initiatives around in-store analytics, with other areas of the business expected to follow suit as the value of the technology deployed is proven.

Through the use of cookies and other dedicated analytics tools, online retailers have been able to build quite a comprehensive understanding of their customers' behaviour over the years, but the advancement of technology in recent time promises to give brick and mortar stores an opportunity to play on an even playing field. Facial recognition and other biometric tools are touted in some quarters as the future of in-store retail, while new systems are being developed all the time allowing retailers to gain more information about customers in a bricks and mortar environment.

Steve Jeffrey, CEO of Brickstream, commented: "The results of this survey tell us that while the market for in-store analytics is still in its early days, it is primed for significant growth.

"Retailers see the benefits of using in-store data across numerous areas of the business, from marketing and operations to merchandising, loss prevention and more."

Data collection is a key part of retailers' strategies in today's market, and there are a number of options available for businesses looking to invest in this field.

In an interview with Essential Retail earlier this year, Ivar Campbell Cole, operations and project manager at jewellery retailer Thomas Sabo, said that introducing in-store analytics system from ShopperTrak has given the business multiple ways to measure the performance of individual stores – rather than solely relying on revenue figures.

Talking in February, Campbell Cole said: "It's a big project and there are lots of things to learn.

"Managers want to improve store performance, so they are willing to embrace any tool that helps them achieve that."

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