Measuring engagement beyond retail - trade shows, exhibitions and more

Using new metrics, such as dwell time or coverage of the store are important for any retailer. As we have explained in previous posts, in-store analytics and retail analytics are especially important for retailers that are focused on in-store experience and brand value. We realized, however, that other spaces also revolve around experience, some even more than traditional retail spaces and that ‘in-store’ analytics tools can be very useful here as well. Therefore, we’ll share some cases with you for which these technologies have proven particularly valuable.

*Exhibitions and Trade Shows
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Exhibition booths are all about engagement and interaction. There is huge competition on the exhibition floor and your booth has to stand out from the crowd. The amount of money spent per squared meter is usually (a lot) higher than in a store, since there’s only a very limited amount of space and you’ll have to impress and attract fast. It’s a no-brainer that as a brand or agency that has designed the booth and carefully thought out the concept, you want to understand how successful it is.

Engagement metrics make most sense in this case, as it’s all about the consumer experience: did I attract the right visitor? was she engaged and entertained and for how long? Without technology it is very difficult to measure success. You can, for instance, always track leads coming in at an exhibition, but part of being at an exhibition is about exposure; maybe that lead will only come in 6 months later when a client remembers your name from the exhibition. Many brands realize this and that’s why we’re currently working with some of the biggest car brands in the world to help them optimize their exhibition booths and maximize the brand value.

Showrooms and pop-up stores

Showrooms and pop-up stores are a bit more closely related to traditional retail spaces, but for this category it might be even more important to use non-traditional metrics than for traditional stores. Similar to exhibitions, engagement is important and it is all about conveying the brand.

“A lot of people see Internet as next-generation and brick-and-mortar as being traditional. The way we see it is as a physical space that we can leverage to communicate our brand value,” said Ethan Song, co-founder of online fashion store Frank & Oak. Therefore some of Frank & Oak’s pop-up shops include barbershops and cafes, which suits their goal of creating “dynamic physical experiences that embody [their] digital presence”. Revenue alone will, however, not tell you whether such goals have been reached. Knowing who you’ve attracted to the store, its entertainment value and engagement rate, are much more important factors.

Future spaces

We foresee, however, that it won’t end with the above-mentioned spaces. This is just the start. Compare it to Google Analytics, which is not only installed on online shops, but is installed across the internet. We expect that as technologies will progress and the masses start to understand the value of it, it can be used to optimize spaces anywhere, particularly those spaces in which experience or brand value plays an important role. Think about museums or amusement parks, restaurants or the entire shopping street or city center. A museum or amusement park is as interested as a store to know what type of visitors it attracted, which parts of the building or park were used often and which were ignored and getting to know the length of a visitor’s stay is important for them too. What still needs to change, however, is the realization of how much value retail analytics can bring to the offline world. When that shift has taken place, there is no end and all type of spaces can and will be optimized through analytics.

What type of physical spaces do you think will soon see the rise of analytics?