This case could even beat the curious case of Benjamin Button because understanding customer behavior is by far the most difficult task for retailers. Have you ever wondered how challenging it is for the retailers to decipher the interests of their customers? Be it the tech-savvy millennials who prefer on-line shopping or the baby boomers who prefer shopping in stores. Retailers undergo quite a hard task to figure out the changing preferences of their customers.

Why are customer preferences constantly changing?

The reason why customer preferences are constantly changing depends on multiple factors like “price”, “experience”, “durability” of the product. These are few of the factors! It is important for retailers to change according to their customer’s preferences and please them. This pleasing is possible only if the retailers have understood their customers on a whole new level! Now, how is this understanding achieved and how can retailers raise their game and be on the same track, so that they don’t lose their customers? Well, it’s pretty simple with the help of analytics.

How to be on Track?

To be on track and to deal with the curious case of dynamic customer behavior, it is important to gather insightful data given by customers. These days’ data is available in every nook and corner! Data is basically available up for grabs where it is the retailers’ choice to acquire them and use them wisely.

Social Sites is where usually customers vent out their frustration or praise about something. These are the areas where the retailers must focus on where millions of data can be captured. Capturing huge datasets and analyzing is the role of Big Data Sentiment Analysis. Through this analysis, you can find out the percentage of customers who have a change in their interests, what are actually their interests and what you can do to retain them.

Retaining customers can be done only by acquiring insightful data and analyzing them. Analysis is a vital step that needs to be done to find out the changing customer behavior and the sentiment of customers. “Customer Sentiment Analysis” is an analysis that significantly helps retailers understand their customers on a much higher level and also a blessing as it helps avoid customer attrition or churn.

Customer sentiment analysis

Customer sentiment analysis basically relies on Natural Language Processing which involves mining of text and calculating the aspect ratio.  The Natural Language Processing Sentiment Analysis (NLP sentiment analysis) allows machines to read through millions of insightful data. And the Data for Sentiment Analysis are generated by numerous social sites every day. Each text is analyzed to find out if the opinion given by the customer is positive, negative or neutral for a particular product or experience. This opinion of the customer is then taken into account and the Sentiment Data Analysis on the whole will answer the dynamic change of interests of the customers, with which necessary enhancements could be made to make the experience for the customers better. This is with regard to on-line or off-store customer behavior.

In order to understand in-store customer behavior, product shelves is where you will have to spend time & find insightful data. Strategic shelf planning plays a major role in smart selling. Things could go haywire if this is not handled carefully.

According to WWD  Macy’s, The Limited American Apparel, Sears Holdings Corp., BCBG Max Azria, Wet Seal, J.C. Penney, Abercrombie & Fitch have shut down 1,000 stores. This disappointing result was due to multiple factors but the main reason for this unfortunate event was bad product assortment. In simple words, the retailers failed to put the right products on the right shelves, this led the customers buy products elsewhere.

In order to place products smartly, technological devices in the store such as smart screens, smart phones/ tablets and internet feeds are used to help retailers map the in-store customer behavior and help generate better in-store experience for the customers which directly result in loyalty. The benefits that can be achieved through Market Sentiment Analysis conducted with the information got from these devices are: Getting to know the average user attention for each area so you can optimize your shelves, improved insights on which area is attracting the most attention and which area is a turn-off for customers.

Thus, it is high time retailers pay attention to the behavior of their customers or soon they will have to bid goodbye to their business because retail marketing is getting competitive by the day and it is critical to optimize business processes to satisfy the expectations of the customers. Using data to favor customers and to bring business profit is crucial for survival.

Bottom-line: To capture hearts, capture data! Via customer sentiment analyses keep track of customer interests, forecast & plan sales, know future demand, optimize placement of products and be the king of retail!

Nisha Verghese

Nisha Verghese

Research Analyst at Aspire Systems
Daydreamer who is constantly visioning the future. Loves art, big time foodie and a great animal lover. In terms of technology, she is quite fascinated about how data is interlinked in today’s data-driven world.
Nisha Verghese

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