Carlo's Bakery of the hit TV show "Cake Boss" on TLC debuted MetTel Wi-Fi Analytics, designed to elevate the customer experience by bringing fast, online insights and convenience to the company’s 21 locations across the United States and Brazil. The deployment gives Carlo's Bakery a deeper view of customer preferences as it eyes a major expansion in the U.S. and Europe to follow.
The new MetTel Wi-Fi Analytics technology learns in real time how consumers visit the bakery, where they browse, what they buy and don't buy, and helps determine what products they may want to try based on their established preferences. Further insights such as drive-bys, the frequency and length of visits can also provide valuable insights to help better cater to Carlo's Bakery’s customer base.
Over the past few years owner and CEO Buddy Valastro observed a missing link in how shoppers interacted with the 1910-founded bakery. Consumers were shopping more online, using mobile devices to browse before they buy and to acquire special offer notifications. He recognized it was time for Carlo's Bakery to build a media empire to reach mobile and social buyers. As a result, Carlo's Bakery is building a digital foundation to cater to a larger audience.
"We wanted to give our customers the best possible experience through a digital in-store approach," said Valastro. "It's no secret that more and more people are shopping online but many of our customers also like the look and feel and human touch of our bakeries. This technology can help uncover hidden opportunities to bring us closer to our customers while giving them the customized benefits of online shopping – the best of both worlds."
A recent study by comScore and UPS in 2016 showed that the majority of retail purchases today are either made or influenced online. A primary driver of this trend is the analytics capability in smartphone applications that have enabled consumers to bring the world to their fingertips. Digital analytics can reveal shopping patterns and tastes each time a consumer visits a website, enabling retailers to optimize and personalize each individual's shopping experience.
Physical stores, in contrast, have been measured by operations-driven methods such as footfall counters at doors and transactional data from point-of-sale systems for decades. These methods don't compare well with in-store behavioral analytical data that online stores use to fine-tune shopping experiences for each individual shopper.
The MetTel Wi-Fi Analytics solution analyzes each visit to a store, provide real-time data from entire store spaces, and geolocation services and marketing for opt-in customers. Best of all, this is enabled without installing apps on smartphones. This results in stronger customer reach rates for the business through WiFi versus applications.
Step by step, the solution works as follows:
All WiFi-enabled devices, typically consumer smartphones, continuously transmit signals to detect and connect to available networks several times per minute.
The WiFi mesh network at Carlo's Bakery receives the pings from these customers, which is anonymized and does not collect personal or private information.
MetTel Wi-Fi Analytics assesses the signal strength and determines the location and movement patterns of each smartphone.
Through continuous monitoring, the solution determines the full visit – which parts of the store customers visit; their path through the store; how much time is spent at each stop; if they made a purchase and what they bought.
This data forms the basis for the measurement of real-time customer behavior. This gives Carlo's Bakery a clearer view of how their stores are performing at any time and allows them to react to and change any aspect of the operation or experimentation with adjustments to traffic flow, product placement, merchandising, marketing or new concepts, all in the interest of continuous improvement.