Insights, Innovation & the Great Data Debate

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Insights, Innovation & the Great Data Debate

By Josh Goodwin - 02/22/2016
Note, the following is an opinion piece by the author and in no way reflects the beliefs of the Eileen Fisher Company.
 
While Eileen Fisher does not currently collect consumer analytics with respect to digital signage, I strongly believe data like this is invaluable in a retail environment. 
 
As the collection of customer data through digital signage becomes more prevalent, what it can offer becomes more varied.  The most obvious benefit is the increase to drive sales.  Currently digital signage has the capability, through the integration of signage with smartphones, social media and email, to detect returning shoppers in real time and deploy client specific content.  This type of capability has even more potential with the uptick in interactive or touchscreen displays. 
 
Additionally, with the use of small cameras on the screens, demographic, viewer tallies and dwell time data can all be collected and analyzed to gauge consumer behavior and interest.  This data can then be used to determine the best position for digital displays within the retail space.
 
Furthermore, spontaneous sales can be generated in store to meet the clients’ immediate needs.  Data can be collected and linked to previous pertinent shopper information as they interact with the signage.  Point of sales, CRM and loyalty cards usage can all be analyzed and client specific promotions can be generated and personally sent to the shopper in real time.  
 
Adding to this is video synopsis.  Data collected for a specific time frame is continuously generated and stored, allowing an instant summarization of pedestrian traffic and dwell time. It is possible to encapsulate a 24-hour period of event-trigger entries in as little as 15 minutes, reducing incident review time by at least 50 percent.  Systems are also in place that can alert store managers to what’s happening at the register.  For example, if there are long lines at the register, a text message is sent to the manager and appropriate action can be taken to alleviate wait times while making purchases.
 
As data collection becomes more efficient and processing within the camera or encoder faster, the most important data is systemically secured, sent and/or stored for post-incident analysis. Conversely, cameras equipped with advanced processing capabilities as well as solid state storage are more expensive, though the cost of these units, like anything else in technology, continues to go down. Individual camera trouble may exacerbate vulnerabilities and liability as well. Also, too much data can be overwhelming and difficult to sift through.  To combat this, analytics can be collected on a fixed set of data rather than getting caught up on huge amounts of data and the surplus of information it can provide.
 
In conclusion, the collection of data from digital displays in a retail environment, in my opinion, is far more beneficial than not.  The opportunity to generate buyer specific sales would increase revenue.  The power to evaluate pedestrian traffic would dictate directed content and the cost of repairing defective equipment could be considered negligible when compared to the potential return on investment while using analytical technologies. 
 
In todays’ world of vast technologies, the retail world would be remiss not to use these capabilities to collect and convert this important data and translate it into tangible revenue.

-Josh Goodwin, Digital Media Specialist, Eileen Fisher

 



Author Josh Goodwin, a DSE Advisory Board member, weighs in on the benefits of collecting customer analytics real time, to be discussed by a panel in an hour-long conference seminar entitled, “Insights, Innovation & the Great Data Debate,” at DSE 2016 on Thursday, March 17 from 8:00-9:00am at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information go to www.digitalsignageexpo.net.
 
Joshua has been employed with Eileen Fisher as a digital media specialist (concentrating in digital signage) for more than two years and serves on the Digital Signage Expo Advisory Board. Working in such a varied field has afforded Joshua the opportunity to see many facets of digital media. He injects himself in every process from pre-production to deliverables.  Joshua is currently restructuring Eileen Fishers video delivery system companywide.
 
He was born and raised in New York City, and is public school-educated with a bachelor's in fine arts in film and animation from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. He has been employed in the post-production industry for more than 23 years, including 18 years as a video editor.  Employed mainly in facilities that cater to broadcast television, major record labels and advertising agencies has given Joshua the skills to compete in a fast-paced environment as well as allowing him the opportunity to be creative. He has collaborated with clients such as MTV, Nicklelodeon, Sony Pictures, Elektra Records and more, to create all forms of creative content from feature-length films to 30-second station promos.