Analytics are helping retailers make smarter decisions.

It is no secret that technology is making larger headway in the retail world as point of sale software and the latest systems are allowing organizations to gain more information about their customers and create new best practices. However, we are only in the beginning of the push toward business intelligence and analytics in the retail sector.

A recent article from Fox DC profiled a potential new “smart shelf” that could be available starting in 2015. Created by Mondelez, which owns brands like Chips Ahoy and Ritz, the idea is that high-tech shelves equipped with camera would monitor grocery stores. This could allow merchants to get a better idea of how customers shop, including consumer physical breakdowns, items that are taken from shelves but put back without being purchased and how long individuals spend deciding what to buy.

This is another example of the growing push of technology systems to improve operations. Furthermore, a number of retailers are going to need to explore this topic themselves in the coming years. While some have already started to embrace analytics solutions at the cash register, the latest POS software solutions allow for integrated reporting that includes real-time sales figures and inventory levels. What’s more, as mobile payment options take a larger foothold, the need for these software solutions will continue to grow.

Every merchant should want to know everything about their customer base—it’s just good business. The use of further analytics systems seems like a no-brainer and retailers should start preparing now.