A/B testing is widely used in digital endeavors, but when applied to brick-and-mortar stores, A/B testing is an extremely powerful tool. In order to stay competitive, it is essential for retail businesses to apply the same analytical rigor that is common in the digital world.
A/B Testing Challenges for Brick and Mortar Stores
In the online world, A/B testing is easily accomplished by setting up two variations of a webpage and then directing an equal amount of traffic to each site. Conversion results of website A are compared to website B, and the winner is declared. It is an effective method that can be continually iterated and optimized.
But A/B testing is much more difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers since, unlike websites, every store is unique. Store layouts, inventory levels, geographic location (including proximity to competitors and demographics of shoppers in the trading area), weather conditions, microeconomic factors, and variations in the skill, experience, and effort of the store staff—all create variability that makes comparisons challenging.
The challenge store personnel have with improving conversion rates is twofold:
First, they often can't easily see where the conversion opportunities are being missed.
Second, they struggle with how to adjust behaviors in-store to improve conversion.
FastSensor Comes into Play for A/B Testing in Retail
The good news is that these challenges are now in the past. It is presently possible for platforms such as FastSensor to provide brick-and-mortar retailers with detailed, comparable (across stores or groups of stores), reliable, and easily understood measurement of how shoppers behave in their stores - including which marketing tactics (think storefront ads, merchandising displays, end caps) perform the best. This information provides actionable insights that retailers can use to make changes that will increase sales or improve customer experience.
Retailers can take advantage of FastSensor to look more deeply at customer behavior inside a store, and use that evidence to refine their viewpoints on what makes the store succeed.
How It Works
FastSensor gathers anonymous, non-personal signals emitted by customers' devices, allowing the software to generate heat maps and other detailed metrics to determine how long customers stay within a store, and what they engage with.
FastSensor's powerful AI and machine learning algorithms measure how customers flow through a retail store location, how long they stay and how often they return, and their traffic and dwell time for various areas or features within the store, so you can find out whether important displays are overlooked.
The cloud platform accumulates data from all areas and venues, providing a unified and instant view of customers, across the chain—all in real-time.
Benefits of Using FastSensor for A/B Testing
Using FastSensor, retailers have the opportunity to begin true split testing. They can now have access to the metrics and insights needed to improve their layout and merchandising strategies.
So, what will retailers want to test? Nearly every aspect of the store. They can test product category engagement, layout, marketing programs, fixtures, signage, and even staffing decisions based on foot traffic. They can categorize measured stores by a banner, geography, form factor, and shopper demographics. And of course, each completed test, while helping retailers identify specific ways to improve, also reveals new potential tests that can drive that improvement even further.
With FastSensor, you can:
Help shop visitors find what they're looking for by figuring out how people usually move through your store and interact with service displays. It can even tell you which product categories are most popular, so you can place them close to your customers.
Attract a new audience by gathering new data about unique visitors and figuring out what you need to do to keep those people coming back for repeat purchases.
Increase sales and conversions by learning about shopper behavior and how you can influence it. Discover the areas that your customers are most likely to interact with and use your knowledge to influence bigger and better sales.
With so many variables and different actions that go into the recipe for a successful retail venture, FastSensor relies on technological tracking and analysis to make sense of the data and information available to retailers today. From there, changes to the design, store layout, promotions, messaging, staff interaction, and peak traffic hours can be curated to perfectly suit the ideal clientele. It's a practical solution to today's ever-changing retail industry.