A 'top-down' approach to customer experience management

It's important for retailers to gauge how shoppers react to their stores' layouts to determine what, if anything, needs to be changed to be successful.

It's important for retailers to gauge how shoppers react to their stores' layouts to determine what, if anything, needs to be changed to be successful.

Computer scientist Rajeex Sharma and his colleagues look to offer a solution - VideoMining. The software was created to analyze shopping trends and acts as a visual form of customer experience management to determine shopping patterns, brand loyalty and preferences, LiveScience reports. Basically, it's a "top-down view" of how people shop and what they buy.

A general study by the software's creators revealed certain nuances - such as the fact that shoppers prefer wider aisles and women tend to take longer to shop than men. Another important factor they noticed was that brand loyalty seemed to be waning in favor of lower price.

"What we're finding in some categories, people are going to the store and making up their mind right there," Sharma told the media outlet. "You can see people coming in, going between brands and picking up the product based upon price."

Retailers and manufacturers should be aware of these trends, and use video mining strategies to track in-store traffic patterns, find out how long it generally takes a shopper to decide between competing brands (the moment of truth) and see which areas of the store get the most attention.

"By providing the data to retailers and manufacturers they can customize and design the stores and the shelves and the products to match the shoppers' interest," Sharma added.

PepsiCo recently decided to try VideoMining software to increase its beverage sales in convenience stores and supermarkets, hoping to better understand shopper behavior, according to the Shelby report.

The company looked specifically at shoppers' paths to purchase in stores, and compared how Hispanic beverage buyers differ from non-Hispanics.

"Because our products are discretionary and impulse based, we really need to understand what’s going on in-store in terms of behavior," Kent Bassett, Senior Director of Shopper and Channel Insights for PepsiCo, told the media outlet.

In terms of quantitative research, PepsiCo found that 59 percent of purchase decisions were made in-store, 58 percent of beverage growth is from Hispanic shoppers and 50 percent of shoppers were aware of new products.

Bassett noted that the metrics are significant because they explain "what exactly has to change to be successful in the marketplace," the news source reports.