As a retail owner, developing a detailed understanding of your customers can provide the competitive edge. We recently started working with a retail company in the local area to help them identify tourism traffic. We decided to research effective ways retail stores could gather data. In this article, we will cover five ways you can gather data for your retail business.

Customer Surveys

Getting customers to opt-in for sharing information is a great way to collect data about the market.  With the latest GDPR laws, make sure you’re following the guidelines to protect your company from fines. A few survey tools that can be used to help facilitate data collection include Survey Monkey, Survey Gizmo, and Wufoo.

Rewards Programs

Having rewards programs for your customers can be a great way to learn more about them. This allows you to attach a unique id for every customer that signs up. If you have a customer make purchases certain times of the day or month,  you have the ability to understand their buying patterns. Consequently, this helps you ultimately flex your retail muscles to provide tailored experiences using purchase history data.


Customer Interviews

Customer interviews provide a powerful way to learn more about what your customers truly value. For example, Adidas has constantly evolved throughout their existence due to utilizing customer interviews. As a result of constantly listening to the customers and reinventing their brand, Adidas has remained prominent. Schedule time to sit down with your most powerful customers and listen to their suggestions and desires. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of what they truly want.  As a result, conducting customer interviews will provide information that you would never have thought was important.


Social Media

Social media allows you to have the ability to capture detailed customer information. Even if you’re a local retail shop, spend some time understanding social media and how it affects your retail business. Develop a social media strategy and start testing different platforms. Having a social media management tool such as HootSuite is especially relevant if you plan to be time efficient. By launching a social media campaign coupled with an engagement strategy, you will be able to gain feedback from your customers.


Website Traffic Patterns

If you’re in business today, you should have a website coupled with a traffic tracking system. This is one of the easiest ways for a retailer to collect data on their online shoppers and visitors. If you don’t already have a current system setup for tracking website traffic, there are several free tools available. Some of the tools that can be used include Google Analytics, Monster Insights, and Matomo.


Alex Brooks is the founder and CEO of AE Brooks, LLC (d/b/a,Entreprov), a Seattle-based firm that builds custom predictive analytics and automation tools to enhance a company’s performance and decision making.