There’s a popular saying in the business community:
What gets measured, gets done.
It’s as true for stock performance as it is for an in-store promotion. It’s also one area where online retailers currently have an edge over their brick and mortar competitors. Online, it’s easy to track every step of a consumer’s shopping trip, from the landing page right through to the payment.
Can you replicate the sophisticated metrics used on the web to increase sales in the store? Absolutely! It all comes down to people counting.
How People Counting Can Increase Sales Opportunities
It’s no surprise that web insights are an essential tool for online retailers. All major decisions are made with a multitude of data points, all designed to convert browsers to shoppers.
This is one area where brick and mortar stores can learn from their online counterparts. Then they can use the enhanced service that only comes with an in-store shopping experience to blow their competition away.
There is a lot of data that can be collected, but for now, let’s examine five amazing ways top retailers are using the stats from people counting to drive sales.
1. Track Sales Conversions
Sales conversion means, quite simply, the number of people who make a purchase divided by the number of people who come into the store. However, such a simple mathematical equation can do a lot to drive the strategic direction of the store. For example, you can make educated decisions about staffing and store layouts.
You can get right down into the weeds with sales conversion data, analyzing by the day, the hour, or even every 15 minutes. This lets you see the peaks and valleys on your sales floor, thus allowing you to plan accordingly.
2. Measure the Effectiveness of Marketing Campaigns
Of course, the real test for the success of an advertising campaign is an increase in sales, but there are a few other helpful metrics. For example, were there more visitors to the store during a particular campaign? It’s pretty hard to convert sales without more people coming into the store! Assuming there was an increase in sales, was it proportional to the increase in traffic?
What about after the campaign? Did the number of shoppers in the store stay up, or did it drop right off again? Without the benchmark data that can be gathered from people counting, you may never know.
Counting people can also help measure the effectiveness of window displays and in-store promotions. Once you know what visuals most resonate with your shoppers, or how many shoppers a new display drives to the store, you can decide what themes to display and how long to keep them.
3. Identify the “Power Hours”
Assuming you are not bound by a contract with a shopping center to maintain specific hours, counting people can help you determine the optimal times to open and close the store.
- Why pay for staff to be there at 9:00 in the morning when nobody arrives before 10:00?
- Why close at 9:00 in the evening when you’re shooing people out the door?
With accurate counts of the people in your store at a given time, you can tweak the store hours, and then determine if the changes are actually bringing in new customers, or just affecting the times existing customers shop.
4. Staffing Levels
Regular break-times fall into a pretty organic pattern. Nowhere is this clearer than the line at any bank or government office over the lunch hour. With enhanced data on the shopping habits of your customers, you can make sure they feel more important in your store than they do standing in line at the DMV!
Armed with the facts, you can take real, measurable action – like ensuring customary break times for your sales associates don’t coincide with the mid-morning rush. You can allocate more staff exactly when needed.
One might think sales figures already paint this picture, but how much money was lost because there was nobody available to close the sale?
5. Queue Management
Have you ever gone shopping for something, hoping to pop quickly in and out, only to see a long line when you arrive at the front of the store? Many people faced with a long line will decide they can live without the items they were about to purchase.
Even worse, if they’ve dealt with long lines at your stores, they’re less likely to return!
For apparel retailers, there are TWO opportunities for shoppers to say “Oh, forget it.” Long waits for a fitting room are a wet blanket on an otherwise promising sales opportunity. With accurate data on the people in your store, you can avoid both hazards.
The Final Word
There is no doubt that many stores will continue to make tweaks without without embracing the advantage that people counting can provide. As time marches on, some will survive, and others will not. The real question is… Which category will YOUR brand fall into?