I had not thought about the importance of retail traffic counting or its relationship to conversion rates until recently in my retail job. Quite honestly I had never even heard of retail conversion rates as a measurement tool until three years ago. It happened that our store manager, with whom I have a great working relationship, was talking to the employees working one night about our conversion rate and I asked him more about it. He told me the company was adding it as a measurement (everything in large retail chains is measured these days) to the store reporting tools. Well I learned that the company was concerned about the amount of measured foot traffic versus the number of transactions. They had installed cameras at the doors and a door counting sensor to track this activity. As I thought about it I understood and realized it could be a very beneficial measurement if used properly. The key word here is properly. Unfortunately these types of measures can also be a nuisance when used on their own without keeping it in context of a larger sales picture.
By now you can probably figure out what a retail traffic counting system does but you may not know that if you have a Sensormatic electronic alarm system (EAS) tower you might be able to add a counter quickly and easily. The Sensormatic door counting sensor can be incorporated into many existing towers OR if you do not have an anti-theft system yet you can purchase one with the counting sensor installed. If you are not sure you need an anti-theft system I would like to ask you to visit the Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. website and learn more about the advantages of having a system and how it can save you thousands of dollars a year (hint: You might even want to take a look at their ROI Calculator, it is free to use and you will see how a Sensormatic system can pay for itself).
When used in a sensible manner data retrieved from a door counting sensor is useful in everything from planning to scheduling and even measuring the effectiveness of advertising and new product lines. Here are the perks of measuring door counts:
• When a store embarks upon a new advertising campaign the door counts will give a picture of how many more people have visited the store when compared to prior days. Increased foot traffic can be an indicator of a successful ad campaign.
• Retail sales receipts only give a partial picture of store activity. You can see how many transactions you had but you don’t know how many shoppers were in the store. The advantage of retail traffic counting is that you can compare the number of people that were physically in the store to sales transactions. The difference will be a good estimate of how many opportunities were missed for additional sales. Managers can strategize to pick up those missed sales.
• A traffic counter also pinpoints the activity by times of day. The advantage of knowing peak traffic in the store is a manager can allocate payroll more efficiently. Schedule more staff during those busy times so that customer service is optimized. Customers who would have walked out empty-handed may be persuaded to make the purchase they were on the fence about.These are effective methods for using data that can help drive sales and manage payroll allocation.
What is a nuisance is when such data is used to penalize a store for not meeting an arbitrary goal. Not meeting that goal means risking bring the wrath of some faceless, higher corporate power down upon the collective head of the store management team. Well, that may be a slight exaggeration but the numbers do seem arbitrary and often scores are assigned as red, yellow and green. Score less than a green and a manager does begin to feel pressure. Stay under a green score too long and your store starts to be a focus store and after that a problem store. Having experienced the pressure of staying green rather than simply understanding numbers and working to use them to my advantage I know it can lead to an unnecessarily high stress situation.
To all of you store owners I say this, buy a Sensormatic security system WITH the door counting sensor. Enjoy the increased profits you will see with reduced theft from the EAS technology. Increase efficiency and improve sales with the proper analysis and planning gleaned from the data of a door counter. Don’t stress about it just get started with a call to Loss Prevention Systems, Inc.
Retail Traffic Counting is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.