Online stores have been testing their sites for years, playing with the design, figuring out where items should be positioned to catch the eyes of shoppers, figuring out how to position first, second and third offers or suggest followup purchases.
Brick and mortar stores have not only been stuck without those types of analytics, they have also suffered the ignominy of serving as real-world catalog showrooms for the e-commerce companies — buyers will visit stores like Best Buy and often, in the store of all the nerve, check inventory against pricing from Amazon.
Now the physical stores have tools to collect data on their shoppers by monitoring their movement, and their pauses, as they move around the aisles of real stores. RetailNext is one of the providers of shopper intelligence through video that can provide up to 10,000 data points per store visitor, allowing stores to, for example, develop heat maps so they can put the items they want to sell in areas of the stores with the most traffic. Coming soon — cameras that can detect a shopper’s mood through facial expressions. Try that online!