Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
Analyzing customers’ online behavior is helping to drive offline as well as online sales, as retailers factor in web sales when planning store merchandising and promotions.
The detailed analysis of customer behavior online can help drive sales online – and increasingly, retailers see that the online data can be applied to offline sales efforts as well. Coremetrics Inc. CEO Joe Davis tells Internet Retailer that the web analytics provider has seen a significant increase in demand from retailers for multi-channel reporting over the past year. Seeing the information that comes in from web purchases, store purchases and the call center together can inform merchandising strategies cross-channel, he says.
“You can, for example, watch trends on the web to see which items sell together,” he says. “If customers buy this shirt, do they also buy this pair of pants?” If it’s working on the web, he adds, stores could try displaying those items together, or store associates could suggest the complementary item to customers checking out with one or the other.
Davis says Coremetrics` retailer customers are just now starting to use the data gathered online in such store merchandising decisions, but that they already use it in promotional activities. Some customers are using web sales performance of an item to help determine the inventory needed in stores. “Every multi-channel customer we have is seeing the percentage of sales going through the web increasing rapidly, while same-store sales are slightly up or flat,” Davis adds. “We are seeing the greater importance of web sales, and so it’s important customers understand the data that’s there.”