Insight

The Rise of New Retail Tech

Technology is disrupting retail insight and consumer behaviour

Q+H attended an insightful event at River Island’s Shoreditch tech hub last week presented by Tech London Advocates. There were speakers from retail tech start-ups and a couple of these caught our attention from a perspective of consumer insight and changing shopper behaviour.

First up was Hoxton Analytics who have developed ground breaking pedestrian analytic technology. Floor level analytics spot footsteps and footwear which then identifies a person to be male or female. Crucially no personal data is collected, making this system accurate and not invasive plus complying with the complex data regulations. The accuracy on gender is 80% whilst counting people is at 95% plus it is intuitive to spot different segment groups such as families. This is much more accurate when compared to manual counting. The system itself is flexible to install and easy to deploy, with the opportunity to place multiple cameras in different positions.

The benefits to brands for accurate retail insight are amazing. It can help staff optimisation and opening hours, one store extended it’s opening hours after using the system as most foot traffic passed the store an hour after the closing time. Inside the retail environment you can measure the success of displays and foot traffic, for example are enough males going upstairs to the male fashion section. Outside the store you can do A & B testing on external POS and shop window displays to see the effect on incoming foot traffic, or even see if running a press or TV campaign leads to an uplift in-store.

We also enjoyed the presentation from Syte.ai. They have developed technology over the last three years in visual search, combining machine learning and artificial intelligence, which makes any image shoppable. The first sector, and the hardest, they have cracked is fashion. An example they talked through was an image sent through Facebook Messenger, which gave instant results of a product feed showing similar outfits. This sort of technology has only been possible in the past with manual intervention, however this is all automated.

This allows consumers to shop on trend straight from a picture in a magazine, or no more going up to strangers and asking where they got their outfit from. The benefits for consumers and brands do not stop at fashion, the same technology can be applied to shopping for furniture, interiors, packaged products - really putting the power in the hands of the consumer by giving them the ability of automatic visual search. There is an opportunity for early adoption of the software by retailers and publishers signing deals with brands to show their products first in visual search. What makes it unique is no need for any tags, text or manual intervention.

At Q+H we can help brands influence the consumer to make the right decision in the journey to purchase. We understand the hugely crowded market place with a wealth of knowledge gained from working with some of the most successful brands in the world. The creative agency has been involved in retail at all levels, from insight and strategy to shopper marketing and campaign roll out. Our experience in retail - in-store, out of home, and of course online, helps us understand how consumers shop and provide the insight you need.