In the digital world, working out how many visitors a store has, how those visitors use the online store and what promotions are delivering results is fairly easy to do. But what about the real world? If you have a bricks and mortar store how do you gather the kinds of metrics that can generate essential insights for driving sales and making essential decisions about marketing and spend?
The answer is footfall counters.
Footfall counters are everywhere
People counting technology has already been rolled out to public spaces such as train stations and museums, as well as thousands of retail stores. These are systems that enable retailers or station operators to keep track of the numbers of people passing through. Infrared technology accurately counts people who pass by its sensors and some of the more advanced systems can even analyse whether people are coming or going.
The concept of footfall counters is simple enough – monitoring visitor numbers – but how do they actually deliver results?
How do footfall counters work
Footfall counters are sensors that capture movement and combine this with software to help produce a range of metrics. Accurate and repeatable footfall measurements can provide key business data that allows a store to calculate certain crucial metrics, for example:
- The conversion ratio of your store (total sales transactions divided by total traffic)
- Footfall patterns within a particular store
- The way a store compares to others within a global network
Why do footfall counters work?
The information that is generated by footfall counters can be used to deliver genuine ROI to a business. For example, it can be employed to optimise the way that the store is laid out and to reorganise staffing levels to improve efficiency.
Footfall counting data also plays an important role in helping to boost levels of customer service – the more insight you have about the way customers behave in your store, the more you will be able to deliver the kind of service that will convert them into loyal and permanent customers.
A case study
One great example of the way that footfall counters work comes from an international store that had been hit hard by the recession. People counter technology enabled the store to see that half of its customers left without buying anything and that staffing levels were excessive during hours when traffic was low.
Thanks to people counter technology, the store also noticed that conversions dropped by 5% when there was no store manager around. With this kind of information, the store was able to make adjustments to customer service and staffing that delivered a sizeable increase in performance and helped to combat the effects of a negative economic environment.