Due to changes in customer behaviours, buying patterns, and enhanced competition, retail and hospitality business owners struggle keeping business in continually good shape. Today the marketing landscape has changed quite dramatically. It’s a combination of traditional methods of print advertising, email, direct mail, and of course Client Relationship Management (CRM). Newer platforms, such as social media, mobile phones, and e-commerce portals have also dramatically altered the way business speak to their customers. Today’s customers are known to engage with brands, and before making their buying decision they use these various platforms and devices. Hence today brand managers, business owners, and retailers have no other option but to manage increased volumes of assessing and analysing behaviour data.
The Marketing Process Has Become More Complex
There is no doubt that behavioural analysis is fast becoming an integral part of business planning and strategizing. Providing improved customer service is no longer about looking at a few aspects of marketing and brand building. There is something known as business intelligence or BI which needs to be understood by business managers and owners.
What is Business Intelligence All About?
Business intelligence is the process of making business management easy and simultaneously understand more about the behavioural pattern of customers. It is also a process by which retailers are able to get easy access to data. Whether it be for analysis of customer buying patterns based on behaviour, or the type of devices which they use for researching brands and then making a buying decision.
Hence having business intelligence processes that focus on behaviour can go a long way in better planning of various product launches, product upgrades, and whenever to introduce new buying platforms for customers.
The data is gathered from different sources and can be converted into actionable information. This means business owners can make faster decisions based on facts and solid research, avoiding acting on gut feeling and hearsay. The beauty is that this information can be collected during, before, and after campaigns.
How to Get the Best Out Of Behavioural Science
Below are a few tips & tactics which will help retailers and hospitality business owners to get the best consumer insights. It could lead to greater understanding of how customers behave in different situations and circumstances.
1) It Is Important To Get All the Data in One Place
As a manager or business owner, when managing a few hundred or even thousands of customers, the onus lies on you to know who your customers are. However, this is not easy because data can be gathered from many different sources. This is amplified when businesses work across state and international boundaries. Simply put, scattered data can make the entire job of behavioural analysis quite difficult. Therefore bringing data together in one place is extremely important.
2) The Brick and Mortar World Is Still Strong and Healthy
Though many of us might be focusing on online buying of products and services, the conventional brick and mortar outlets still continue to be robust and in good health. Hence there is a need to understand the behaviour of customers who make repeated visits to these physical establishments. It is a known fact that retail environment is fluid and always dynamic, which makes if not only difficult to gather the correct information but also difficult to effectively analyse it. Therefore any behaviour analysis in an offline scenario should always take this into account and requires expert analysis.
3) Factors Which Impact Consumer Behaviour
Consumer behaviour is a complex subject matter and there are quite a few things that impact it. Psychological and social factors play a big role influencing behaviour of customers. This is further altered depending on individual demographics such as age, gender, financial situation, etc. Hence any retailer should attempt to take this into account when devising strategies for handling customers and ensuring that it turns into a profitable business proposition.
4) It Helps to Understand Lifestyle and Demographics
No product launch or promotional offer will have the desired impact if it targeted the wrong segment of the market; i.e. customers. However, identifying and classifying customer segments can be done only when their demographics and lifestyle are identified. This can be done by analysing their behaviours when prospective customers visit brick and mortar outlets, or via online outlets. Understanding why someone buys a product or service, rather than what or how they buy it, is the cornerstone of understanding how human habits affect purchases. Understanding demographics and customer lifestyles will aid significantly in identifying the why.
5) The Act of Purchasing
The actual act of buying also tells about the consumer behaviour. The places of purchase, the frequency, the quantity, whether they are interested in promotional offers, are a few important aspects that give direct feedback about actual behavioural patterns of customers.
6) What Action Can Be Taken With Behavioural Findings
Various tools allow us to scientifically pinpoint the exact needs and requirements of customers. For example, some customer segments might like to purchase in a specific area of the city because of logistics, comparable shops, and other conveniences. Hence, if the right data is located, the product listings of a store can be changed to match the desires of the newly found customer demographic.
7) Chosen Mode of Advertisement and Information Gathering
Behavioural analysis also provides insights into where customers are gathering their information from. While there is no doubt that the print and electronic mediums are the most commonly used platforms for advertising, there could be many customers who might like to do some research and then decide. They could take information from friends, or read testimonials from blogs and other websites. This specific information helps business owners target these areas of advertisement for those specific segment of customers, rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on outbound advertising.
At the end of the day both hospitality and retail businesses are extremely competitive and highly demanding. Hence the onus lies on managers & business owners to find out ways and means understand the customer impulse to devise the right product mix, appropriate means of advertising, and unique and different means of distribution channels.
The objective should be to enhance product awareness and make customers try out a product or service in spite of intense competition. Once business owners are able to establish a rapport and touch the emotional chord, they will be able to move forward quite efficiently and reach out to a larger customers base.
You can find out more about this subject and the benefits it can have to your business by contacting us here at Lumin Hospitality & Retail Consultancy.