How To Calculate Retail Conversion Rate

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If you own or manage a retail shop, then it’s essential to know your analytics. Numbers answer nearly all your questions. Should you change your store layout, or is a new layout working effectively? Do you need more or fewer staff? Do you need to order more stock? Was a recent promotion or campaign successful?

When your business doesn’t rely on metrics and analytics, you’re just taking shots in the dark, hoping for the best and relying on instinct when it comes to measuring success.

Well, it seemed busier this week, and our sales were up, so we must be doing something right. Right?

But without metrics, it’s difficult to know where you should attribute your growth or your decline.

One vital question you should be asking that can help you better understand and answer all these questions is, What is my retail conversion rate?

To answer any analytical questions you might have about your business, you must have numbers to compare to, so the sooner you start tracking your retail conversion rate, the sooner you can begin digging into your metrics and start making more informed – and numbers-backed – business decisions.

This step-by-step guide will get you started. But first, let’s discuss retail conversion rates and why they are important.

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What is Retail Conversion Rate?

Your store conversion rate is the proportion of the number of visitors to your store to the number of visitors who made a purchase. This tells you how well you’re doing at turning browsers into buyers. Your retail conversion rate gives you critical insight into what’s happening in your store. Again, without measuring data such as this, your business decisions are basically based on guesswork.

Calculating your retail conversion rate is one of the best ways to measure the success of your business. Focusing on driving foot traffic into your store and increasing the number of transactions based purely on more bodies is one simple strategy you can employ to boost sales, but more bodies won’t necessarily equate to more money. We’ll explain why in the next couple sections.

Instead, measuring your conversion rate — as opposed to looking only at transactions — paints a much more accurate picture of how well your store is doing.

Calculating retail conversion will tell you how many leads are converting into actual sales — meaning more money for your business — as well as help you analyze other factors. And if you decide to revise any strategies, such as the goods you stock, your window displays or your store layout, or if you try out a new advertising approach, your retail conversion rate will tell you if these things are helping or hindering your bottom line.

retail conversion rate formula

How to Calculate Conversion Rate for Retail Stores

So how do you go about calculating your retail conversion rate? It’s pretty simple when you have accurate foot traffic and sales numbers.

First, determine the timeframe you want to examine. Then, take the number of sales made and divide it by the number of customers who visited your store during your designated period, which will give you a decimal. To convert this decimal to a whole number, multiply it by 100. This will give you your conversion rate. Below is the conversion rate formula written out:

retail conversion rate = (number of sales / number of customers) x 100

Pretty easy, right? And the data you receive will be invaluable to your business.

Why Is It Important to Count People and Customers?

It’s tempting to make all your business decisions based simply on transaction metrics. If you’re making sales, and you can track how many sales you make and your average transaction value, many business owners will call that a day and think of that data as “good enough.”

That’s because it’s easy to calculate your transaction data. However, when you begin to count the number of people entering your store, and whether they make a purchase, you’ll get a lot more details about how you’re genuinely doing.

Let’s look at an example.

Say that your store made $6,000 in week 1. You had 150 transactions, so your average transaction value was $40. In the following week, week 2, you made $7,200 and had 160 transactions, so your average transaction value went up to $45. Seems like things improved in week 2, right?

Maybe not. Let’s use the retail conversion formula instead.

First, we need to know your store traffic so we can calculate your conversion rate. In week 1, you had 1,200 people enter your store. Of those, 150 made a purchase, so your conversion rate was 12.5 percent.

In week 2, you had 2,000 people enter your store. That’s a lot more foot traffic. During week 2, you made 160 sales. This equates to a conversion rate of only 8 percent. So even though your average transaction value increased, and even though you made more money in week 2 over week 1, you converted fewer sales per visitor.

Your conversion rate dropped by more than one-third.

If you had maintained that 12.5 percent conversion rate, even at the lower $40 average transaction value you had in week 1, you would have pulled in $10,000. That’s a big difference!

To accurately calculate your conversion rate, you must know how many customers enter your store. Inaccurate store traffic numbers will skew conversion results, so it’s critical to have an accurate people counting system.

Consider the helpful experts at Traf-Sys for your people counting needs. Our thermal imaging people counting systems are up to 98 percent accurate, so you know you’re getting the right numbers to calculate your conversion rate — and all other foot traffic metrics — every time.

average retail conversion rate

What Is the Average Retail Conversion Rate for a Retail Store?

Now that you know how to calculate your store conversion rate accurately, you may be wondering, What is a typical conversion rate for a shop?

These numbers can be a bit difficult to nail down as businesses are often reluctant to share this data — and fewer than 25 percent of retailers even engage in people counting — but industry average conversion rates for brick-and-mortar stores is around 20 percent.

One thing is certain — every industry is different, which makes it even more important to start measuring your own conversion rate and begin tracking it for comparisons, week-over-week, month-over-month and year-over-year.

And once you start calculating your foot traffic — using an accurate people counting system — you’ll be ahead of your competition and well on your way to making better business decisions.

factors that impact conversion rate

What Factors Impact Your Store’s Retail Conversion Rate?

As a retail shop owner, the worst thing that you can imagine is this scenario — a customer walks into your store, takes one look around and immediately walks out. That’s a lead that didn’t convert — a sale that wasn’t made. But this scenario is avoidable.

Many factors will influence your ability to convert.

  1. Strategically position your displays. The way you position your displays is important in determining conversions. Make sure you have attractive window displays since this is something that every customer will see. Most customers will likely enter your store, scan the area and move in a clockwise rotation, so make sure that you put your newest, most attractive and highest margin items to the left of your entrance. Make aisles shorter and angle displays to remove the grocery store-like monotony that comes from long aisles. And position low-priced, impulse buys near the register and checkout area.
  2. Place retail sales associates on the floor. Are your team members greeting customers and guiding them through the purchasing process? If not, then you’re missing sales opportunities. With the high amount of e-commerce that has taken over the retail industry, many customers shop in-store because they want to ask your sales associates questions and learn more about your products. So make sure your employees are available, greeting and engaging with customers, and knowledgable about the items they’re selling. Also, be sure you’re staffing according to traffic, so you have more associates available when traffic is highest.
  3. Manage your inventory. Make sure you have what people want in stock by performing spot-checks and physical audits. And though you want to be certain you have enough inventory in the stockroom, placing fewer items on the floor will give shoppers the feeling of scarcity — which makes the items feel unique to the customer and will increase their perceived value, boosting conversions.
  4. Re-evaluate your checkout line. People hate waiting, and many customers are scared off and may abandon a sale if the line is too long. Consider putting your registers in the back of the store to hide the line. Or even better, think about getting rid of registers altogether by implementing mobile checkout that allows your employees to ring up customers wherever they are on the floor.

Increasing conversion can be a matter of simply making a few tweaks. Continue tracking your conversion rates as you make changes so you can know what’s working and what isn’t.

Questions This Data Will Answer

Once you begin tracking your retail conversion rate, you can start to answer some questions based on your store traffic and revenue, which will give you new insight into your business that will help you make staffing and inventory decisions.

  1. Is there a time of the day when the conversion rate is highest?
  2. Is there a time of the day when the conversion rate is lowest?
  3. Is there a day of the week where rates are highest?
  4. Is there a day of the week where rates are lowest?
  5. Does your conversion rate change when you are understaffed?
  6. Do conversion rates increase when sales associates are encouraged to promote a specific item or promotion?

When you have reliable data and numbers to back it up, you can begin digging into these questions, and many more.

retail kpis

Other Retail Key Performance Indicators You Should Be Measuring

Once you start analyzing your data and digging into the hard-and-fast metrics that prove your company’s mettle, you’ll be hooked! You’ll want to look at all your key performance indicators (KPIs) to know how you’re doing in every aspect of your business.

Let’s dive into other important retail KPIs your store should be tracking:

  • Revenue per visitor: Revenue per visitor tracks the amount of money generated each time someone walks into your store. This is important to measure because it shows you whether efforts to increase traffic are working. A positive trend in your revenue per visitor metric proves that more people are visiting and buying, while a negative trend can indicate that though you’re receiving more traffic, you’re still not converting.

    revenue per visitor = total revenue / total number of visitors

  • Average transaction value: This metric shows you the average value generated from each transaction. This number lets you know how much customers spend on average when they come into your shop. A higher amount means that either people are buying bigger ticket items or purchasing larger quantities. You can use this number to determine if you’re pricing items appropriately.

    average transaction value = total revenue / total number of sales

  • Sales per employee: Sales per employee can help you with scheduling and incentivizing your employees. It can also help you make decisions in regards to hiring and compensation. You can also drill down even more and measure this number based on each employee to determine how each of your staff members is performing individually.

    sales per employee = net sales / number of employees

  • Year-over-year growth: How is your business doing? Are you improving every year? For the answer, you need to determine your year-over-year growth. As a business owner, you should strive for continuous development. This number helps you know if you’re getting better or worse each year.

    year-over-year growth = (current period revenue – previous period revenue) / previous period revenue x 100

  • Net profit: Net profit tells you how much you’ve earned minus the cost of goods and all other business expenses, like administrative costs, employee payroll, rent and more. This determines if you’re putting money in your pocket or if your overhead is too high to make any money. The equation is simple.

    net profit = all revenues – all expenses

  • Sell-through rate: This is the percentage of items sold compared to the total number of items available. It lets you know how your inventory is performing so you can make better purchasing decisions.

    sell-through = number of items sold / beginning inventory x 100

  • Shop rate calculation: How much should you be charging on retail items? There isn’t necessarily a hard-and-fast calculation that you can use to determine this number. Consider the market rate and be sure to cover your labor and overhead costs. A simple rule of thumb is to double the wholesale price.

    retail price = wholesale price x 2

  • Foot traffic: Foot traffic refers to the number of people who come into your store. It’s pretty straightforward! This metric can help you evaluate whether your marketing efforts are working effectively. It’s calculated by simply counting the number of people coming through your door.

    calculated using accurate people counting systems

Go ahead and embrace your inner math geek. When it comes to business, KPIs are king. The more you’re calculating, the more you know about how your business is performing, and the more you can do to enhance your performance, improve your marketing and convert more leads into customers.

traf sys retail conversion rate quote

Choose Traf-Sys Inc. for Your People Counting Needs

When you’re ready to take more control of your business metrics, contact Traf-Sys today to find out how we can help you measure traffic coming into your retail establishment.

Our people counting systems are highly accurate and provide a range of benefits for your business. People counting and traffic analysis will allow you to calculate your conversion rates as well as allow you to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising and promotional strategies in real time.
  • Optimize your staffing based on traffic and determine where your customers are going within your store, so you know where staff is needed most.
  • Implement effective marketing and operations strategies based on best practices for your niche.

Call us at 888-815-6568 to talk to our experts and learn more about our people counting system and request a free quote for services.

How to Increase Retail Traffic Conversion Rates

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Want to know how to drive conversion in retail? Gathering store retail analytics with a people counting system like Traf-Sys makes increasing your retail conversion rates simpler than ever. Customer data informs retail conversion strategies that have a higher chance of success. You can use your information to observe your customers and practice effective staff management that sells. Learn how to convert in retail with these data-driven and customer-centered approaches.

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Optimize Staff Scheduling by Analyzing Store Traffic Data, Not Sales Data

Building your staff schedules around customer traffic numbers can improve your team’s preparedness during busy times of the day. A staffing strategy based solely on sales numbers fail to account for the total number of customers in your store who need assistance. Imagine that it’s lunchtime and a few of your daytime associates are off-the-clock on their lunch break. Employees from businesses across the street are leaving for their lunch breaks as well and decide to kill some time in your store. Suddenly, you have a flood of customers in your store and a shortage of employees to take care of them.

Research shows that during peak traffic times, conversion rates tend to drop. Why is this exactly? In the example above, conversion rates would drop due to long lines at the register or a lack of employees available to assist customers on the floor. Your associates do need to eat. However, to remedy this particular situation, you could consider scheduling breaks a bit before lunch and a bit after lunch so that you are not left swamped during the mid-day rush. If you are tracking the traffic in your store, you will be able to identify other high traffic times during the day, week, month, and year. Knowing your peak traffic times will allow you to ensure that you have enough associates available to assist customers and improve your retail traffic conversion rate.

Observe Store Operations to Identify Why Customers Are Not Buying

Simple observation is another way to identify the reasons why your customers may not be buying. Walk your aisles or stacks discreetly and observe your customers. Are they looking for something that they just can’t find? Or has the item been shelved incorrectly? Is there an associate nearby? If so, are they available to help the customer? What about your store’s merchandising? Is it causing the customer to look twice?

By simply taking the time to watch your customers and jot down some notes, you will be able to determine a few ways that you can begin increasing your retail traffic conversion rate. If you make any changes based on your observations, you will then be able to see if your changes helped by looking at the traffic data.

Develop Sales Associate Training and Set Goals to Help Conversion

Your employees are the ones on the front line dealing with customer after customer every day. It is likely that they may see and experience things that you do not. Talk to them. Why do they think that people don’t buy? How do they believe the store could improve?

Make sure that your staff understands what retail traffic conversion is and how each one of them has a hand in influencing it. Conduct a staff meeting where you determine targeted goals for your retail traffic conversion rates. Turn it into a collaborative or competitive staff effort that will be rewarded somehow. Either way, get the staff excited about increasing your conversion rates. If your staff isn’t passionate about improving conversion rates, then conversion rates will not go up, no matter what you try to do on your own. Once you get your staff excited about improving retail traffic conversion, you can train them in effective ways to help customers and encourage them to buy.

Control Your Register Lines to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Long or slow queues can discourage customers from finalizing a purchase or returning to your store. Make the register line more pleasing for your patrons with strategies such as:

  • Placing registers in the back of your store: If you run your registers close to your entrance, try moving them further into your store for a subtler feel.
  • Switching to a single-line model: Queuing customers in a single line for all stations can result in faster checkouts and shorter wait times.
  • Keeping customers occupied as they wait: Consider ways to make the area near the line more interesting, such as by placing merchandise there.

It may take some experimentation to find methods that improve the queuing experience for your customers. Pay close attention to your traffic, sales and customer satisfaction data to see which approaches deliver the right results.

Improve Store Your Layout 

Understanding your store’s flow of traffic will allow you to improve your store layout and ultimately your conversion rate. There are a few key things that are vital to take into consideration when thinking about your store’s layout.

  • 90% of people are right-handed, which also means they are right-footed. When people enter your store, they are more likely to turn right and work their way around your establishment in a counter-clockwise fashion.
  • Aisle width: Wide aisles encourage customers to power-walk through them to their intended destination. Narrow aisles encourage customer browsing and will increase impulse buys.
  • However, extremely narrow aisles may get clogged and will make customers exit your store. It is important to find a balance that fits your available space.  Narrow aisles could also difficult for people counters to properly count customers.
  • High traffic areas and low traffic areas: Promotions will be most successful in high traffic areas of your establishment. Consider placing high-profit items in busy areas and high demand items in low retail store traffic areas, such as at the back of your store. This will help draw customers all the way through your establishment. A greater number of sales associates available to assist customers may be required in these high traffic areas as well.

Offer Price Matching to Compete With Major Retailers and Online Stores

If you sell in a competitive market, price matching can set you apart from other businesses in your industry. This practice can promote retention and make conversions that could go to other retailers. Offering a price match reassures your customer that you prioritize having the lowest prices on the market. It also lets you keep customers who would otherwise go to other retailers with lower prices.

When you’re implementing a price matching policy, remember to balance regulations with ease of access. Find ways for your customer to offer reasonable proof of your competitor’s price that protects your profits. For example, you can provide a 30-day window that gives customers time to redeem their offers.

Present Employee Incentives to Enhance Morale and Increase Store Conversions

You need your entire team to work together to get the most conversions possible. Giving your staff performance incentives gets them involved in conversions and rewards them for their hard work. Ask your employees what they would want as an incentive for sales performance, and help them reach those goals. Make converting customers a team effort by:

  • Teaching your staff about conversions: Explain the concept of conversions to your staff, and give them advice on how to finalize sales.
  • Setting reasonable goals: Set your conversion targets relative to your current performance to keep employee achievements within reach.
  • Asking for employee input: Your staff has one-on-one interactions with customers, so see what they have to say about customer opinions.

These strategies can increase your team’s morale and help them feel involved in your store’s success.

Lead by Example to Demonstrate Top-Quality Customer Service to Your Staff

Small business leaders often involve themselves in day-to-day operations. If you work with customers, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show your team how you want them to behave on the sales floor. Your employees will model many of their sales strategies on the ones you use in front of them.

As you become a model for your employees, you can make it clear that you expect them to follow your example. Point out when one of your customer interactions succeeds in converting and explain why. If you happen to make a mistake, you can also overview it with your staff and brainstorm better ways to resolve that kind of situation. Opening up to your team in these ways shows that you also want to learn, building trust.

Provide Free Samples to Promote Trust and Brand Awareness

When you give your customers free samples, drinks or snacks, you tap into the human desire to give back. Samples give your customers the feeling that they want to do something for you in return since you gave them a free item. This strategy can also increase conversions by:

  • Giving customers a reason to stay: Free drinks and snacks encourage your patrons to browse the store as they enjoy them.
  • Offering the chance to try out new products: If you give out samples of a new product, you can get feedback about customer interest.
  • Raising awareness about your business: People who get free samples that they enjoy will often tell their friends about the experience.

Remember to choose samples that fit your audience. For example, you may want to provide a vegan option if you offer food samples at a holistic wellness store.

Manage Your Inventory Levels to Keep Your Business Well-Stocked

Maintaining a stock that matches your sales patterns will promote customer satisfaction and raise conversion rates. Pay attention to your patrons’ favorite goods, and check on their stock numbers. Keeping popular items in stock ensures that your customers will count on you as a source for their favorite products.

In instances where you run out of a well-loved item, a contingency plan can help you keep customers moving toward a conversion. Find ways to encourage them to wait for your item to come back or purchase an alternative. For example, if you have online sales, you can show them where to order the product and offer free shipping. You could also promise to text or call them when the product comes back in stock.

Implement and Promote a Hassle-Free Return Policy

Returns are an unavoidable part of retail. Some managers only see the negative side of the return equation and miss out on the positive impact it can have on sales. Train your team to promote and highlight your store’s return policy. This can be an effective way to minimize the fears and hesitations some customers may have before completing their purchase.

Here are some common concerns your customers may be asking themselves before walking to the checkout counter:

  • This cost more than I was planning to spend. Can I really afford to make this purchase?
  • The product seems great now, but will I actually use it?
  • What happens if the item is defective or breaks?
  • Looks great here in the store, but what if I don’t like the way this looks in my home?

Concerns like these can be eliminated with a simple reminder of the store’s return policy, increasing the rate of conversion. Granted, a small percentage of these sales may come back as a return, but the net-benefit from additional sales can have a substantial impact on the bottom line.

How People Counting Data From Traf-Sys Can Help You Increase Retail Conversion Rates

If you need a reliable and valuable retail store traffic counter system, let our state-of-the-art technology guide your business strategy. Our hardware and software can record accurate data on the number of people entering or leaving your store. Let precise foot traffic information inform your conversion strategies and increase your profits. Request a free quote today by contacting a customer representative.

How To Convert Retail Showrooming Visitors

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Over 60 percent of shoppers — roughly two out of every three — use their smartphones during their stop at the store. What began as an innocent multimedia experience has snowballed over the years into a transformed retail environment — one that’s turned shopping from retail therapy to e-therapy.

Sales staff to store owners alike wonder: What can we do to reclaim the in-store shopping experience and convert showroomers, and their mobile methods, into engaged customers? It turns out the same showrooming trend causing this quandary is also the solution.

what-is-retail-showrooming

What Is Retail Showrooming?

Showrooming refers to a common behavior today where a consumer will visit a retail store to compare the online price of a desired good with its in-store price. After making the retail environment comparison, the showroomer then proceeds to purchase the merchandise online, often from a competitor.

It is not difficult for sales staff to notice potential showrooming consumers. They’ll likely be evaluating a product or good for a significant length of time while reading their phone. When this happens, there’s a good chance the customer is using your physical inventory to sway their shopping purchase toward an e-tailer’s lower sticker price.

For this reason — and more — many retail managers and marketing personnel have come to see showrooming as a bane, not a boon, to their business. In the ever-evolving landscape of consumer tastes and preferences, is there a better way to reframe showrooming?

Why Retailers Have Tried to Minimize Showroomers in the Past

Over the past decade, reducing showrooming has been a challenge for many conventional stores, mainly because:

1. It Slows In-Store Retail Sales

E-commerce sales reached $517 billion in 2018, up 15 percent from the previous year. These figures represent the overall momentum behind online shopping, which — in fewer than 10 years — has almost tripled its slice of total retail purchases, from 5.1 percent in 2007 to 14.3 percent in 2018.

Showrooming has affected some companies more than others. Consumer electronics store Best Buy revamped its brick-and-mortar stores when it saw significantly sliding sales lingering into the late 2000s. Best Buy now employs mini “stores-within-the-store,” with dedicated areas for specific electronic brands and experts stationed within, showcasing products and facilitating conversations with patrons.

2. It Diminishes the Retail Environment

Nearly 84 percent of customers admitted to showrooming, with over half reporting they wanted to see a product in person before buying. Many retail stores say this behavior reduces their role within the buying journey, relegating them to the margins of the consideration and decision phases.

3. It Makes Sales Staff Feel Irrelevant

Showrooming mitigates, if not eliminates, the impact and reputation of a store’s customer service. Interesting enough, many e-commerce brands — particularly in the apparel industry — have sought to built stronger brand loyalty and create more immersive customer experiences by deploying pop-up stores. Pop-ups by their nature mimic the personalized attention of retail customer service, proving human-to-human interaction still has a valuable role in today’s retail world.

How to Convert Retail Showrooming Customers Into Increased Retail Sales

Showrooming has traditionally been the nemesis of traditional, physical retailers. Those big, bad online retailers are huffing and puffing profits away, with undercut prices and the camouflage of convenience that comes with online shopping and delivery.

This attitude is not only cynical, it’s self-defeating. Retailers and their sales staff must leverage inevitable showrooming as a place to identify genuine sales opportunities, using best practices to increase retail conversion rates. Showrooming allows retailers to make foot traffic the foundation of performance analysis, answering once and for all how many opportunities you had to make a sale — then sharpening those opportunities tomorrow.

  • Educate your sales staff: Change the conversation within your store’s walls. Use Best Buy’s dedicated product experts as an example of how to rearrange and engage customers, so they get authentic retail customer experience with in-depth product interactions.
  • Make it personalized: Research shows over a third of shoppers have interest in personalized or tailored products. Mass customization of product aesthetics, features and content can be an in-store-only option to entice showroomers.
  • Humanize the trip: Stores can combine sensory experiences, personalized product offerings, expert sales staff and omnichannel assisted selling tools to create a maximum-engagement, fully humanized shopping experience customers can’t get online.
  • Price-match the extra mile: Major retailers — from Walmart and Target to Lowe’s and Nordstrom — offer generous in-store price matching policies to combat showrooming.

Continue reading for more in-depth explanations on these conversion strategies to reverse showrooming and reinvigorate the retail customer experience.

showrooming-customer-benefits

Benefits of Showrooming Visitors

Rather than staying stubborn in their approach to showrooming, retailers can embrace the foot traffic-based engagement and conversion opportunities the trend affords.

1. They Give You Insights Into Hot Products

What merchandise or sections of the store receive the most showroomers? If the aim is to increase retail conversion rates, sales staff and management must first understand where browsers are heading, then tailor in-store incentives accordingly. Think digital signage promoting user-generated content, advertising keen cross-sell recommendations or displaying product-specific QR codes showroomers can scan to see product information and ratings instantly.

2. They Signal Buyers Already in the Decision Phase

While showrooming initially seems to lessen the impact of the store environment and sales staff on purchase conversions, it does indicate buyers who have moved beyond simple browsing and into actionable decision-making. When customers arrive already primed for a specific product or vendor you carry, you have the persuasive leg up. They’ve already indicated interest. All you need to do is seal the deal.

3. They Create More Personalized Consumer Touchpoints

Personalizing your customer touchpoints reframes interactions to center real people. Just remember: More often than not, these touchpoints are marathons, not sprints. Showroomers want in-depth product expertise, trustworthy customer reviews, physical product interaction, omnichannel affordances and authentic customer service. Only in-store shopping delivers all that.

4. They Generate Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Showroomers converted into in-store customers are a vital word-of-mouth evangelist — notably when they experience a price-matching strategy or unexpected discount. It’s hard to tell what people like more: getting something on sale or telling people they got something on sale.

convert-showroomers-strategy

Strategies to Convert Showroom Visitors Into Buyers

There are numerous retail conversion ideas stores can use to increase their in-store purchase rates, strategies revitalizing sales staff interactions, boosting in-store technology and matching contemporary consumer tastes.

1. Implement a Retail Price-Matching Strategy

If a customer shows a reputable online competitor selling an identical product at a lower price, offer to meet that price. Price matching isn’t bowing down to e-commerce. After all, 75 percent of revenue per sale is better than no sale at all, especially when a patron has taken up employees’ time. Plus, some of the largest and most successful retailers have spearheaded the price-matching strategies you can employ today alongside other price-based incentives.

  • Consider additional in-store value add-ons to entice further cross- or upsells, such as extra loyalty rewards.
  • Use in-store mobile marketing that sends coupons or deals to customers as soon as they enter the store, but only during that visit.
  • Administer consistent price controls, so regardless of the channel where the customer makes their purchase, the price is the same. Apple, for example, is well-known for pioneering omnichannel identical prices for products sold in its flagship stores, on its website and at other mass retailers.

2. Highlight the Benefits of a Physical Shopping Experience

The retail environment holds strengths and capabilities online shopping can’t match.

  • Sensory story: Think the signature smell of Abercrombie and Fitch stores and the hands-on journey of creating a Build-a-Bear. Sensory experiences trigger greater brand recall and can even imbue a sense of ownership between the consumer and merchandise before they buy.
  • Sales staff expertise: Knowledgeable, friendly staff there to answer questions, check stock, describe warranties or perform product demos are invaluable to the customer journey.
  • User-generated content: Digital signage and in-store kiosks can display interactive or user-generated content, like Instagram pictures of customers with your products using a branded hashtag, Pinterest feeds of stylized merchandise or actual product reviews from your website.

3. Explain Further Time and Cost Savings

Use in-store signage to promote your price-matching policy and sales associates to further engage customers on the advantages of buying now.

  • Instant access: No waiting on delivery — the customer gets the online price and receives the desired item in one swoop.
  • Avoid shipping and return fees: Many e-commerce sites sneak these in at the end of the shopping cart journey — or make you buy more items to avoid it altogether.
  • Hassle-free returns: Everyone has a horror story of trying to send an item they bought online back to the e-retailer. With in-store purchases, return headaches go out the window with clear and intuitive return policies.
  • Security: Who cares about free shipping if someone steals your package off your front porch? The “conveniences” of e-commerce purchases disappear when a customer must make special arrangements at home or work to safely receive a package, or even worse, file tedious claims if the product gets stolen, broken or wrongly delivered.

4. Make the Phone Your Friend

Over 50 percent of consumers say they seek sales staff holding tablets or similar technology when shopping in a store. Why? In-store omnichannel technology gives both the employee and the consumer instant access to the very things showroomers are evaluating. Sales staff using devices can:

  • Compare prices, proving price neutrality or offering informed, on-the-spot price matching
  • Estimate shipping costs, showing customers what they save if they buy in-store
  • Together review actual customer reviews
  • Make product referrals
  • Add customers to loyalty programs or redeem loyalty points
  • Create customer wish lists
  • Detail product customizations and features, using multimedia as an additional resource

For example, beauty retailer Sephora harnesses smartphone technology by setting up QR and barcodes around in-store displays. Store patrons can scan those codes to read product reviews, earn loyalty points or receive store coupons.

5. Offer Retail Price Matching on Your Website

Price-matching consistency is especially crucial for multi-location retailers who get sales and promotions from corporate headquarters, not from in-store managers or associates ideating them.

Train sales associates to identify engaged but on-the-fence customers. If a patron is hesitating based fundamentally on price, ensure your team launches into its price-matching guarantee available both online and in the store. Have the sales rep pull up customer reviews submitted on your website to seal the deal.

6. Be Polite and Engaging

Warm, knowledgeable customer service is more valuable than ever to increase retail sales. As the saying goes, one pleasant visit may not turn a shopper into a lifelong customer — but one bad visit will create a lifelong critic.

Friendly sales associates can spur meaningful, authentic conversations with showroomers in many ways:

  • Recounting personal stories about their usage or experience with a product
  • Narrating a product’s features with its benefits so consumers can understand what it will do for their quality of life
  • Performing live demonstrations or troubleshoot product issues in real time
  • Letting customers physically engage with a product before purchasing
  • Asking appropriate questions about a customer’s lifestyle or pain points, then offering non-salesy suggestions on in-store products that fit their situation
  • Highlighting in-store technology and interactive kiosks where customers can look up further information or engage in self-service tasks

7. Speak Their Language

At their core, showroomers derive strong motivation from beating the system. They want to feel like experts who understand loopholes and cost savings. Their ultimate reward may not even be the product or products they just bought, but the satisfaction in how they bought it.

It’s a powerful emotion, one brick-and-mortar stores can harness to increase traffic, engagement and sales. Use showrooming opportunities as a chance to relay the “insider” perks of being your customer, from price matching to store loyalty rewards, store credits, exclusive sales and promotions, other vendor partnerships and more. One of the most valuable tips to increase retail sales is to speak the “hack the system” language of the showroomer, thereby increasing your conversion rate.

How People-Counting Systems Can Improve the Retail Environment

People-counting systems are pieces of hardware and software that sync up to count foot traffic in a particular area. They introduce one of today’s most powerful tools to strategize retail conversion ideas, reverse showrooming and see greater in-store sales.

  • Track visitors by period: People-counting systems give you unparalleled resources into in-store traffic segmentation. You can track consumers by quarter, month, week, day — even by the hour — turning those metrics into savvy business intelligence reports for stakeholders.
  • Calculate visitors by department or product: Similiar to tracking overall visitors by period, you can follow consumers in individual departments or store areas. That strategy reveals real, data-backed solutions for which goods get the most in-store attention — and help you try to figure out why.
  • Deduce successful promotions: You and your sales team can review people-counting systems alongside other marketing and sales KPIs, connecting the dots between what products or services you’re currently promoting and the amount of in-store foot traffic those campaigns generate.
  • Better allocate sales staff schedules and talent: People-counting systems let you aggregate visitor reports and employee footfall data with greater breadth and accuracy. With peak and low store traffic insights, you can better schedule your sales staff during your busiest hours, maximizing labor costs and ensuring no one is wasting time.
  • Inform better price-matching campaigns and sales: Store areas with high traffic counts, yet few actual sales, indicate a missed conversion opportunity. To remedy this, try an experiment: Place signs stating price-matching and special in-store sales for products in those high-traffic areas. Then, track the sales spikes for those products — spikes you would have missed if not for your people-counting system.
  • Determine your retail conversion rate: Do you know the percentage of visitors to your brick-and-mortar store that result in a purchase? Is there data tracking these ratios and informing better conversions? A people-counting system is a foundational tool to make these calculations in today’s retail world.

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Count on Traf-Sys for Your People-Counting System Solution

Interested in reversing showrooming to work in your store’s favor — and seeing retail conversion rates boost as a result? Traf-Sys can help.

Our state-of-the-art people-counting systems combine hard data with actionable ideas that make foot traffic the basis for your store’s business decisions.

Contact a representative to get started on a free, no-obligation counting system quote for your retail store.

Clicks and Bricks: 3 Reasons Omnichannel is Important in the Retail World

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We’ve all read the headlines. Millennials are killing industries left and right. Currently on the chopping block: brick-and-mortar stores. Regardless of whether you believe the hype or you feel like these stories are just sensational pieces made to move papers, it is worth considering what current shopping behaviors are relevant now. Online is becoming more and more popular, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the death of brick-and-mortar stores. Smart retailers are using an omnichannel approach to their stores, and are able to leverage their online sites to gain foot traffic at their physical locations.

What is omnichannel? In short, it boils down to meeting your customers where they are, both online and offline. Utilizing an approach like this means that you have to know who your customers are and where they are doing their shopping before you can successfully gain visibility. But why is this important? Let’s get into the main points.

  1. It makes it easy to please.

Shoppers want convenience. In a world of instant gratification and in-your-face ads from every store, if you aren’t as available and efficient as your competition, you are likely to be left out. According to bigcommerce.com, almost 100% of Americans have shopped online before, and 80% have done so just in the last month. It’s no secret that an online channel is important, especially with millennials and Gen-Xers. However, in-store shoppers account for about half of all purchases, and are still popular with older generations and those who don’t want to wait for shipping, so an omnichannel approach is the best way to reach your audience using their preferred shopping methods.

  1. It drives in-store traffic.

As great as it is, online shopping isn’t always the preferable way to get products for some shoppers.  Some consumers don’t want to pay shipping costs or risk having a package stolen or a missed delivery if they don’t have a secure drop-off location.  And having to wait for standard ground shipping can cause a customer to abandon their online cart before checkout. With omnichannel retail, buy-online/pickup-in-store (BOPIS) is a favorable option many shoppers prefer. Customers can purchase an item online and pick it up at their convenience, often times with the speed of expedited shipping sans costs.  This drives foot traffic to your store, which you can then measure with your people-counting solution. By combining the convenience of online shopping with the security and affordability of shopping in-store, you create a win/win situation in the eyes of the customer.

  1. Data, data, and more data.

When it comes to making business decisions, never go in blindly. Instead, you should always rely on hard numbers to inform you and fuel those decisions, so you can be sure that you’re doing what’s best for your business. Combining omnichannel data from online shopping, social interactions, and in-store purchase histories gives you a holistic, large-scale view of shoppers, so that you know what to stock for inventory, and how to create the best targeted marketing campaigns. Utilizing this data alongside data from your people counting solutions can provide you with all of the information you need to make successful, knowledgeable decisions that better your business.

Omnichannel is becoming omnipresent. Position yourself for success by making sure you offer all the shopping channels your customers demand. Then, contact us to discuss your people counting solution options and see how our technology can compliment your omnichannel solution.

The Pros and Cons of a Video-Based Sensor

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Overhead video-based sensors are an excellent way to track your customers entering and moving about your retail stores. This data can help you chart shopping trends or determine your staffing needs based on the busiest times of day. Using video-based sensors can also enhance security and theft prevention.

The video-based Eclipse people counter uses advanced image recognition technology that records highly accurate data under a wide set of conditions, such as high traffic areas, variable lighting, and wide entrance areas.

The Advantages of Video-Based People Counter

Consider these ways a video-based sensor for people counting can benefit your business:

  • Using multiple units, you have the ability to cover wide areas, which is beneficial for larger stores and shopping malls.
  • There is support for remote video capture when using an Internet-connected laptop or tablet.
  • In the event of a power outage, data can be safely stored within the solution’s flash memory, saving up to 10 days’ worth of data.
  • Video-based sensor counters can adjust quickly to changes in lighting and temperature.
  • These solutions have the ability to filter carts, children, and strollers, providing you a more accurate count of actual shoppers versus total number of people in the store.
  • It’s easy to upgrade these solutions so they are always running the latest software version.

When Video-Based People Counters May Not Be the Right Solution for You

Even though video-based people counters offer a wide variety of advantages, there are situations in which they may not be the optimal choice. Here are some additional facts to consider:

  • Areas of your facility affected by shadows, complex backgrounds or varying light levels may impact the counting accuracy of a video-based counter.
  • The capital investment and time and labor cost for installation is sometimes greater than for thermal sensor or infrared beam people counting systems.

Which System is Better?

Business owners and managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. The fact is, both systems have their advantages. A thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts, whereas overhead video-based sensors give you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for. Speak an experienced people counting solution provider to determine which is the right system for your business.

Traf-Sys is dedicated to providing solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data. Learn more about the Eclipse video-based sensor system here.

Reasons to Choose Thermal Imaging People Counters

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There are many people counting products available in the retail business market (e.g., door-mounted horizontal infrared beams, overhead video, thermal imaging, etc.), and not every type is right for every application. For malls and larger retail stores, museums, and libraries, the smart choice is a thermal imaging people counter designed to accurately monitor foot traffic numbers and pattern and to provide insights into customer or patron habits. Traf-Sys designed its Gazelle series thermal imaging systems to meet the challenges of these applications and deliver the best coverage and data collecting accuracy in the market today.

Here are six reasons thermal imaging people counters are the best investment for your business. 

Read the full article or jump to a specific section: 

Foot Traffic Data from Thermal People Counters

A thermal imaging people counter provides more accurate foot traffic data when compared with less expensive systems such as infrared beam door monitors. Using infrared radiation detection, it is triggered by body heat, and can determine exactly how many people enter your store. Our Gazelle IP features state-of-the-art thermal counting technology and also provides you remote configuration capabilities.

Variable Lighting Conditions

Whether your establishment has bright sunlight or darker, lower lighting conditions, a thermal imaging people counter will be able to accurately determine traffic data because it does not depend on ambient light. The infrared sensors monitor temperature changes only, so the amount of light is irrelevant. This is especially beneficial in rapidly changing lighting conditions such as day-to-night outdoor monitoring. Our Gazelle 2 90° Wide-Angle Format people counting sensor is designed for highly accurate counts in these conditions. It also provides a 40% greater detection area than standard counters.

Accuracy Over an Extended Area

Larger facilities such as major retail businesses, university libraries, and museums have a more complex layout but still need an accurate people count over a large area for proper data analysis. Using multiple thermal imaging solutions, such as our Gazelle DualView or Gazelle IP along with Gazelle IP Node and Gazelle Relay Output for areas where a wired connection is impractical, provide counting capability over extended areas.

Easy Installation

Do you prefer a system that can be installed well out of the way? Thermal people counters usually are ceiling mounted — though they can be affixed to a wall with brackets if preferred — and you can install them between 11.5 feet and 27 feet from the ground. Discrete and unobtrusive, thermal people counters are a great solution for businesses looking to keep their traffic-tallying technology tucked away.

Array of Sizes of Thermal People Counters

While some people counters are limited in terms of where they can be installed effectively, thermal people counters perform well in entrances that are expansive or narrow, again because they rely on heat mapping to assign a count to each person in your doorway. In especially wide entrances, you can network together several thermal people counters to ensure that you’re achieving the most accurate count possible.

Thermal people counters also separate individuals entering from those who are exiting so you better understand the comings and goings of your traffic patterns.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging People Counter vs. Video Counters

Business owners and facility managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. Each system has its own advantages, a thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts and video gives you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for.

Why debate? A solution that integrates both technologies will provide you with the best of both worlds. For example, in a retail application where you want to consider only adult consumers who enter a store, you can opt for our Gazelle DualView that includes thermal detection technology along with video that enables verification.

Choose Traf-Sys Thermal Imaging People Counters

Thermal imaging people counters are clearly the best choice for retail stores or other facilities that have high customer traffic, larger coverage areas, and challenges with lighting. Our Gazelle series incorporates this technology into solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data.

Click to learn more about our Gazelle series or request a quote for additional information.

Why Make Your Employees Brand Ambassadors?

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employee brand ambassadorsThese days when you hear the phrase “brand ambassador,” it’s usually referring to an influencer talking up your brand to the world on social media. But many businesses are realizing that some of their greatest brand ambassadors are actually within their own companies: engaged, enthusiastic employees.

According to a Gallup poll, companies with high employee engagement report 3.9 times the earnings per share than competitors. Engaged employees create a more stable workforce — staff are less likely to jump ship — freeing the enterprise to focus on strengthening its brand.

So how can you go about transforming your employees into brand ambassadors?

Encourage Communication and Participation

Workers may feel like just a cog in the wheel if they’re kept in the dark about important business decisions and other enterprise goings-on. What’s more, employees need to feel like their voices and concerns are being heard.

Consider launching an internal communications tool such as a blog on your intranet or a wiki (which also will show you’re staying abreast of tech trends!). These are helpful avenues to disseminate information quickly and simply and empower workers to share ideas, identify areas for improvement, and air feedback about new initiatives and imperatives. From the administrative assistant to C-suite executives, encourage all staff to participate in the company-wide conversation.

Share Knowledge

Thinking about making big changes to your products or services? Before making any moves, find out what your employees think. Soliciting their input will help employees feel valued and engaged.

For example, if you are considering renovating retail space, ask employees for their feedback on your ideas. Their insight from the “front lines” could help you avoid costly missteps and refine your vision in a way that truly strengthens your brand. Getting employee input will also help toward buy-in for projects, which will make launches and transitions go more smoothly.

Foster a Sense of Community

Sometimes companies run through team-building exercises almost as a formality, but events that bring your employees together for a central purpose really can unite workers under a common cause. Regularly organize activities such as volunteering or fundraising for charities that can encourage employees to feel more strongly connected to your corporate brand.

Pick Passionate People

It might be easy to hire just any warm body to run a checkout or sling boxes in the stock room, but only employing passionate people will reap dividends many times over. Whatever the job function, hire great talent — rising stars who are invested in taking your brand to the next level. It’s what makes Apple’s Genius Bar so successful and Nordstrom sales associates so effective. Brand ambassadors don’t just do their jobs; they bring your company to life.

Use Tech to Make Employees (and the Experience) Better

Don’t make the mistake of making technology the star. Tech is simply the tool to help your employees and your business achieve success. Side-by-side customer interactions remain the gold standard; tools such as mobile point of sale (POS), digital signage, and real-time inventory management solutions, facilitate and elevate the associate-to-customer conversation.

Technology also helps you manage your business in a way that empowers employees. People counting solutions, for example, provide data that helps you predict when more staff will be needed to adequately cover a shift and enable sales associates to provide the best customer service. Engineering schedules to help your team create exceptional customer experiences will also help create brand ambassadors who feel like they’re really contributing to the good of the enterprise.

Engaged employees, not just workers who go through the motions, become frontline warriors for your corporate brand. If you’re looking for ways to build your company from within, invest in these five strategies to turn rank-and-file workers into invested and passionate brand ambassadors.

How to Boost Sales with Suggestive Selling

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boost sales with suggestive sellingSuggestive selling is one of retail’s greatest strategies. Shoppers are already through the doors, they found something they like or need, and suggestive selling gives you the opportunity to boost sales, increase ticket size, and encourage the shopper to walk away smiling with even more of your great products and services.

Are You Managing Labor Effectively?

Before you can implement a successful suggestive selling strategy, it’s important to have your store properly staffed. Nothing frustrates customers quite as much as wasting their valuable time waiting for assistance.

One way to ensure you have your store properly staffed, is to schedule employees according to the amount of foot traffic you’ve projected your store will receive. Installing people counters, sometimes called customer counters, is the best way to gather the data you need to make your customer foot traffic forecasts. Arming yourself with a solid understanding of when your business is its busiest and its slowest will help you adequately schedule staff and ensure customers are given the best service possible. When your customers feel appreciated and valued, they’ll be in a positive mood, setting the stage for suggestive selling.

Be Genuine When Offering to Help Customers

Let’s be honest — shoppers can spot a phony upsell a mile away. They know when your sales staff is just trying to earn a commission versus really trying to understand and serve customers. Instead of spouting off the same canned upselling and cross-selling lines, train your staff to listen to customers and determine exactly what they’re looking for and to customize suggestive selling approaches to individual shoppers. Your customers will appreciate your staff taking the time to truly serve them instead of just “phoning it in.”

Make Relevant Suggestions

One mistake retailers can make with suggestive selling is to push products or services that are of no interest to the intended consumer. Imagine the awkwardness of a sales associate recommending a buy-one-get-one deal on bath towels when the customer is only interested in new fashion arrivals. Relevant suggestive selling recommendations are more likely to be well received and to result in upsell. Store staff should pay attention to the kinds of items the shopper is already purchasing. For example, if she has a trendy new blouse in hand, she might want to know about a scarf or necklace that complements the top and completes the look. Or the customer buying the latest tablet PC likely will be receptive to hearing about useful peripherals and accessories, such as a printer, wireless keyboard or stand, which will help him get the most out of his cool new device. When suggestions are relevant, you open your customers’ minds to new possibilities while keeping the focus on helping them to have everything they need to be satisfied with their purchase. Customers get better, more comprehensive products and experiences — while you get bigger sales.

Are you getting the most out of your suggestive selling techniques? When your staff cross-sells and upsells efficiently, expect your sales to rise — and your customers to return for more great shopping experiences.