Linking in-store and online commerce using Sitecore Commerce and valtech_vantage Part 1

Linking in-store and online commerce using Sitecore Commerce and valtech_vantage Part 1

valtech_vantage, our proprietary smart beacon technology, is a unique solution that gathers consumer behavior insight offline, in-store and then connects it with your web analytics. By capturing data offline that is consistent to and comparable with online data, valtech_vantage provides a holistic view of customer behavior across all touch points. 

The technology allows you to understand the influence that both online and offline touch points have on each other and on purchasing decisions, as well as measure and improve the entire customer experience accordingly.

In this series of posts we explore how valtech_vantage, Sitecore Commerce and Sitecore xDB can be combined to create that unified view and personalize the experience across channels.

How does valtech_vantage work?

First, let’s start with a primer on how the valtech_vantage technology identifies people without them needing to install any apps or software.

  1. All mobile devices emit WiFi, Bluetooth and/or cellular signals (GSM/CDMA) providing the opportunity to uniquely identify a device to the person it belongs to.
  2. The valtech_vantage technology detects and uses these signals to show you visitor count, location and more.
  3. Additionally, upon completing a process of registration as simple as connecting to WiFi, users can be identified.

What can we track with valtech_vantage and Sitecore?

  1. valtech_vantage provides in-store analytics. Metrics like number of visitors, most viewed zones/product categories, duration of a visit, and bounce rate are all possible.
  2. valtech_vantage also gathers data on anonymous visitors & loyal customers in store. New vs returning customers ratio, Mrs X’s frequency of visits, preferred product categories, missed product categories, engagement over time, etc.
  3. Beyond in-store. A unified view is where we combine valtech_vantage with Sitecore to reconcile your customer’s behavior on each of your touch points, creating a holistic view of their behavior within your brand experience.

How does this work?

So, how to we make all this work together? The in-store valtech_vantage devices broadcast events to Sitecore (we’ll cover more on this in a later post) which are then ingested into Sitecore’s xDB driving xProfile and personalization. Sitecore can also broadcast events back to valtech_vantage to drive the in-store experience. As a customer enters and moves about the store these events allow us to draw a picture of movement and interests throughout the store, and yes multiple stores are supported.

The result in Sitecore’s Analytics is a view of the customer that includes both online and offline interactions. In the following screen, we can see an overview of a user that has been identified as a kitchen buyer in the online channel (using Sitecore profiling) and has triggered an in-store visit on October 8th.

Sitecore overview section

In a subsequent post we’ll explore how the valtech_vantage connector for Sitecore was built and how this will change with the release of xConnect. Read part 2 of this series here.