There are a lot of services providing detailed retail analytics. Connectivity is all about automation, and generating as much data as possible allows the platform’s data analytics to generate detailed illustrated reports about customers. Merging Google Analytics data with internal network traffic provides a full picture of customer activity.

But what about foot traffic? Does foot traffic analytics exist?

Monitoring Internal Network Traffic

In the retail industry, monitoring customers in-store is as simple as monitoring local network traffic for mobile devices. Every mobile device on the market is designed to ping Wi-Fi as often as possible, and inside a building, phone signals are weaker.

Having a strong wireless signal onsite entices all phones to ping the network, and monitoring that network traffic depends on the budget and network size. For enterprise users, IBM and NetCool’s Consolidated Event Management platform could pick up the signal of a microwave. Those on a budget can check out Advanced IP Scanner or Pandora FMS to pick up MAC and IP information from any mobile device in store.

Using these tools in conjunction with webserver logs and Google Analytics data allows for customer devices to be tracked to purchases, regardless of whether it’s made in-store or online. This provides a much fuller picture of customer behaviors and demographics.

Sorting Internal Site Traffic

There’s already a great tutorial online on how to identify and filter internal traffic using Google Analytics, but what I recommend in addition to excluding internal network traffic is to create separate segments that only include internal traffic.

In actuality, this will leave you with 3 sets of reporting, as customers accessing any website through internal networks needs to be segmented, as does all employee traffic. Employees are customers as well, especially in retail, though because they work for the company, different marketing is necessary.

Once reports are created, running them and exporting the data for further analysis is the difference between a successful business and an empty brick-and-mortar plaza with no anchor store. Doing it in real-time is a herculean task, and that’s where Connectivity shines.

Automating Analytics from Everywhere

As with most Google Analytics features, analysis can be completed in external spreadsheets and databases. Connectivity’s secret sauce lies in automating queries run on standardized datasets in order to merge records from multiple sources (including internal customer contact list) to paint a full picture of the business.

Creating these reports and figuring out how to best use them is a difficult process. Running them on a regular basis needs to be part of the business operations for every retail business. Automating this process leaves business owners able to perform high-level tasks and make important decisions to steer the company towards success.

By combining Google Analytics with Bing Analytics, internal network reports, customer lists, and purchase receipts, any business can gain in-depth insight into how to best cater to their customer base. Big data analysis may turn off tinfoil hat conspirators, but using free resources to relieve pain points has always been the part of the human condition that fuels innovation.

Connectivity has dedicated the month of October to all things analytics. Check out the rest of our blogs for more information.

Brian Penny is a Google Analytics expert, as well as a contributor to the Connectivity blog.