A review of 2023 outcomes, 2024 forecasts, and how Kepler is changing the game in foot traffic analytics
By Tom Gleeson, CEO, Kepler Analytics
As we close another remarkable year at Kepler Analytics, it’s eye-opening to reflect on the strides we’ve made in retail analytics technology and the growth of our company.
In the past 12 months, the Kepler team has remained laser focused on helping our customers unlock the high-performing potential of retail through innovative technology, processes, and data analytics.
Even in a year marked by significant economic challenges — from market volatility to rising interest rates and inflation — our retail customers are using our data analytics dashboard to move faster than the competition, expand market share, and deliver incredible growth results in their brick-and-mortar channel.
Kepler Analytics is at the forefront of transforming how retailers measure, report, and leverage their foot traffic data, enabling clients to access the kind of insights typically only seen in the realm of ecommerce.
In this blog post, I will reflect on and celebrate my team’s successes from the past year as we continue to advance the future of brick-and-mortar retail analytics.
Expanded leadership moves and hires to support customers and expand global momentum
Following my appointment as CEO in early 2023, the Kepler team has continued to make strategic moves and hires across key functions of the business.
In October last year, Kepler Analytics Founder and Executive Director David Mah moved to the United States, doubling down on the company’s strategic investment and expansion in the North America market.
In addition to David’s move to the U.S., Kepler has brought on several new hires who each bring a unique perspective to our company and position our business for growth and success:
- Danny French, General Manager of Customer Analytics: Danny’s strategic hire reinforces our commitment to helping customers make better, more informed data-driven decisions. Danny brings more than 20 years of experience in consumer markets across both retail and consulting organisations. Most recently, he served as the Director of Analytics on PwC’s Retail and Consumer team. With his proven ability to deliver data-driven insights and solutions that have helped deliver lasting transformational change, he will be an asset to both our team and clients.
- Anthony Foudoulis, Chief Finance Officer: With extensive experience in startup, emerging, and online technology-based businesses, Anthony is a commercially focused finance executive and leader who focuses on delivering exceptional customer experience to all stakeholders, as well as achieving revenue and profit growth. He brings a breadth of experience in capital management and providing strategic and tactical advice to maximise returns to shareholders.
- Tyler Jarratt, Vice President of Sales, Americas: Tyler brings extensive experience from across the retail and business development landscape, having previously held roles at Oracle, Dentsu-Aegis Network, Sensis, ChannelAdvisor and more. He also founded Enrich Trading Group, a full-service marketplace agency to help retailers and manufacturers plan, launch and accelerate their marketplace growth.
Continued product innovation: Surrounding Active Shoppers and dashboard improvements
Product innovation is at the core of our identity as a business. Leveraging our proprietary Smart Sensor technology, Kepler measures the radio frequency density from smartphones to revolutionise the way retailers analyse traffic across the physical retail customer journey. This allows retailers to achieve insights they have never before seen in their brick-and-mortar stores, including Passer-by Traffic, Shopfront Conversion, Dwell Time, Bounce Rate, Active Shoppers, and Fitting Room Conversion.
Recently, we unveiled a new metric to Kepler’s Exterior Traffic Toolkit — Surrounding Active Shoppers — that enables retailers to calculate their share of traffic within a 45-meter radius of their store. Customers can view how many shoppers are captured and converted into their stores relative to nearby competitors, thus improving their ability to understand the total traffic opportunity of a store. When combined with other metrics in the Exterior Traffic Toolkit, retailers gain a comprehensive view into how they are attracting and converting potential shoppers.
In addition, Kepler has made significant improvements to its analytics dashboard, including:
- New firmware that improves sensor performance
- Infrastructure modernisation that provides better global scalability and industry-leading system up-time
- Improved data monitoring to improve customer response times and system accuracy
Further global expansion into North America and Europe
Kepler Analytics is investing in product innovation and customer service, following our guiding principle that “customers must succeed.” As a result, we are seeing strong traction with current and prospective customers around the globe. In fact, as a result of our team’s efforts to provide the best possible experience to customers, Kepler Analytics this year achieved a positive net promoter score (NPS) of 58.
In the last 12 months, we also launched The Kepler Academy, a new self-guided online training course that allows customers to gain Subject Matter Expert and Kepler Way certification and improve their ability to drive value from the Kepler platform.
In the last year alone, Kepler Analytics has brought on more than 65 new customers across North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Our Kepler solutions have proven to be highly effective for our clients. For instance, one of our clients experienced a 15% increase in sales conversion rate and a 14% increase in average transaction value after implementing our fitting room solution.
Market insight for 2023
Throughout the year, we have regularly shared valuable retail market insights with our clients through webinars and email newsletters. Some of the key insights into shopper behaviour and retail performance from 2023 include:
- Household budgets are under pressure – Globally consumers have been feeling cost-of-living pressures driven by higher inflation and interest rates. We have seen these factors become increasingly prevalent as 2023 progressed. In Q1 2023 (Jan to Mar), we saw retail sales up 2% versus 2022 but by Q3 2023 sales were down 9% on 2022. Overall sales ended the year down 5% versus 2022.
- The rise of the considered consumer – Consumers have become much more purposeful in their shopping missions over 2023. Consumers are less focused on window shopping (foot traffic outside stores is down 8% versus 2022). Instead, more consumers are going to the shops with a specific purchase intent as demonstrated by shopfront conversion (the percentage of passer-by traffic that enters a store) increasing by 5% and thus inside store traffic declining only 4% versus 2022.
- Importance of Black Friday – With consumers becoming increasing value focused, the importance of Black Friday in the annual retail calendar continues to grow. During the Black Friday week, our customers experienced 50% higher inside store traffic and almost double the sales of an average week in 2023. On average, 1 in 2 people who entered a store ended up making a purchase.
Difficult trading environment in Q1 2024
We are anticipating that trading conditions in Q1 2024 will be worse than Q4 2023 (and more in line with Q3 2023) as consumers recover from their Black Friday and holiday spending. Pressure on household budgets will remain high with continuing inflation and little prospect of significant interest rate relief in the short term.
We are immensely grateful to our customers, investors, employees and everyone in the Kepler Analytics community for their ongoing support as we redefine the future of in-store retail analytics.
Kepler plans to invest in product development, market expansion and customer enablement throughout 2024 to help retailers improve in-store sales conversion rates and achieve high-performing potential.