Next Gate Research Case: Ways to Improve Customer Experience in Retail with BLE RTLS Technology

To be successful, every business needs to know its customers and their preferences. It is especially crucial when it comes to retail, where every physical store works hard designing new ways to gain customer loyalty. And while offline stores are constantly developing in pursuit of client happiness, the needs of shoppers may change with time.

So, in order to provide the best shopping experience, every retailer has to understand who the target audience is and what their needs and wants are. This is especially important for large stores as they need to optimize both their operational activities and physical layout to better suit customer behavior patterns.

Studying Customer Behavior Offline

So how can a store get to know its customers? And, moreover, how can it automate this process, making it more precise and cost-efficient at the same time?

This is the exact question that the company Next Gate Research, a consultancy for retailers specializing in shopper behavior analytics, was trying to address as part of their new retail project. Usually, they gather all the necessary information manually. And while this approach works for smaller stores, with a big retail warehouse they had to look for options to automate the process.

And that’s when Next Gate Research representatives found the Leantegra Bluetooth Low Energy Real-time Location System (RTLS).

In order to understand how shoppers move around the area, Next Gate Research is planning to provide each customer with a WiBeat BLE location tag every time they enter the store, and retrieve it when they leave the venue.

As a result, Next Gate Research will have the necessary data to identify 1) the most / least popular areas, 2) the preferred customer paths, 3) the average time a person spends in a certain zone, and 3) the stores’ busy hours. With this kind of information at hand, it will be much easier for the company to determine what the strong and weak points are, and provide their client with recommendations.

Apart from BLE RTLS, Next Gate Research is also interested in Leantegra’s Proximity Marketing solution and has already ordered WiBeat BLE beacons and a custom Pilot mobile application.

Taking Actions to Improve Customer Experience

So what kind of improvements can a store make as a result of the location-based shopper insights generated by BLE RTLS?

1. Improve navigation, make it easy for shoppers to find what they need.

If the BLE RTLS data shows that customers just randomly go back and forth, such behavior can be taken to mean that they have difficulties to locate products or places inside a store. In this case one can determine how to optimize product placement and indoor navigation. One can either put navigational signs, adjust the store layout, or introduce the Leantegra beacon-enabled indoor mobile navigation system.

2. Monitor aisle traffic and define the most crowded areas.

Once one has spotted the most popular and, therefore, crowded locations, it is the right time to either expand or reposition them, providing more space and making the shopping process more convenient.

3. Create special promotional displays in the most popular locations.

Knowing which parts of the store are in high demand, it is a good idea to use this space to draw shoppers attention to the products you want them to buy by sharing information on discounts and special offers.

4. Use mobile applications to send useful / promotional information to your customers.

One can also engage with customers via mobile devices using the Proximity Marketing solution. There are plenty of ways you can interact with shoppers: notify them about special deals and ongoing sales, promote new products, encourage them to make a purchase by sending coupons, remind them about current giveaways, etc. This approach becomes even more efficient when all your notifications are personalized and offer unique value to each customer.


Next Gate Research: Lorena Escudero

Leantegra: Ariel Wolfe

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