What can retailers learn from store heatmap analysis?

Store heatmaps are a powerful tool and a rising star in retail optimisation and analysis. They’re invaluable tools for gaining insights into everything from customer flow patterns to product popularity. With the data they yield, retailers can make more informed and intelligent decisions about their stores, increasing profits and improving customer journeys. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the things store heatmaps can teach us.

What are store heat maps?

A store heatmap is essentially a visualisation of customer foot traffic. They are just another way for retailers to analyse their stores to optimise them for profitability and customer experience. Retailers have been doing it for years by taking isolated snapshots, but today camera systems exist that can provide this service in real-time.

The example above is a heatmap produced by a convenience store. At a glance, you can see the entire spectrum of customer foot traffic throughout the store. Red channels denote customer flow patterns, blue pockets denote dead zones, and the base map reveals what products customers were most interested in. Their simplicity and level of detail make heatmaps a superior alternative to traditional flow analytics.

How do you create them? 

To create an effective heat map for customers in your retail location you need cameras that capture customer traffic. In addition, you’ll need a base map to overlay the traffic data onto. The base map is what allows retailers to begin to make sense of the data they’re collecting by attributing traffic levels to specific areas of the store. By using a base map you can have an accurate depiction of how customers flow through the retail space, where they tend to stop and shop, and what products catch their attention.

Retailers have been using camera arrays to take snapshots for years, but this was usually a periodic process. Today, there are camera arrays that can collect heatmap data in real-time, meaning that heatmap data collection and analysis have become continuous processes.

What can retailers learn from store heatmaps? 

Heatmap by CSP Daily News, What is a store heatmap analysis?
Source: Heatmap, CSP Daily News, What is a store heatmap analysis?

Heatmaps have the potential to be transformational tools in any retail location due to the range of operations they offer insights into. Here are a few notable examples:

Improving customer experience

Store heatmaps offer several data points that can be used to improve customer experience. By examining data over time, retailers can determine the optimal location for new merchandise. If certain products are in high demand, retailers can place them in locations that naturally receive high traffic volumes.

In addition, heatmaps allow retailers to allocate staff to high-traffic areas where their assistance is most likely to be required. This means customers get the help they need when they need it.

Streamlining operations

Retailers can also optimise their store layout with heatmap data. By seeing where traffic tends to bottleneck in a retail location, items can be moved around accordingly to improve store flow and maximise point of sale transactions. Customers appreciate intelligently designed stores, and heatmaps are the perfect tool for creating them.

Smarter inventory management

Heatmaps can also be used to better understand which items are selling best (and when). By monitoring real-time data, retailers can see how certain items perform on a particular day of the week – or even a specific time of day. This data can be used to optimise inventory management by allowing retailers to develop inventory management practices that not only respond to customer demand but even predict it. 

Using heatmaps for this information combined with floor plan maps can help you create an optimal shopper journey that maximises sales.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed this post: What can retailers learn from store heatmap analysis, be sure to check out our recent IoT and AI pilot with Adnams here: AI and IoT for retailers how physical stores can enhance customer experience

Proven benefits of Alertiee technology

Alertiee will help you realise missing sales opportunities, stores’ performance based on conversion rate, and stores’ sales hotspots areas.

We support and guide you through how you best convert both inside and outside traffic opportunities by supplying you with options around service risks and how to serve your existing and potential new customers best.

Alertiee will help you to provide a harmonious customer experience across your omnichannel business. Our technology enables customer experience, marketing and retail teams to close the gap between customers’ digital experience and their physical experience.

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Sahand Malek