During the winter holiday season, many retailers extend their opening and closing times by an hour or two. They are trying to capitalize on the quantity of customers that are shopping at alternative hours. I know that on national retailer took a look at their people counting systems and determined that they would maintain those extended hours for the rest of the year.
It brings up a good point, should you open earlier or stay later? Some stores even question if they should open an hour later and save payroll. Without people counting systems such as VisiPlus, it can be very difficult to make an accurate determination.
The VisiPlus people counting systems provides empirical data for your stores to analyze. Here is one way that it would work for you.
Your VisiPlus report will give you a breakdown of customer traffic during each hour of the day. You can then take this report and compare it to your sales per hour. That gives you an understanding of what times during the day your sales are coming in.
At one retailer I worked at, we used the VisiPlus system and noticed that we consistently had customer traffic and sales after we were supposed to have the stores closed. When we started to break it down even further, we realized we had a large client base that was coming in about ten or fifteen minutes before we closed and was taking a while to shop and finally check out.
We started to stay open an hour later, staffed accordingly, and found that not only had we increased sales, but our recovery process was easier at night- since we provided additional staff during that time. Our employees felt less burdened, and our morning crew had an easier time opening the store and getting other projects done since they weren’t compensating for an unrecovered store in the morning.
What a difference that one hour made. Instead of being completely behind and scrambling to get things done, our store was more efficient and profitable. None of this would have been realized had we not started using people counting systems to our advantage.