Written by Tony Loxton
Conversion KPIs can be quite daunting for your less-experienced retail staff, putting them under immense pressure to reach goals that they may not be able to achieve. It’s a good thing you don't actually need this metric.
To function efficiently in the retail space, retailers often have a mix of full-time, part-time and casual staff working the sales floor. Retailers who use foot traffic tools and data can use conversion KPIs to give these retail stores a goal to work towards.
However, sales conversion KPIs can be very intimidating, particularly to part-time and casual staff, even when the KPI is relatively low. To the more junior members of staff, it can be quite daunting to be faced with the idea that you have to sell something to every fourth or fifth person that visits the store.
Thankfully, it’s entirely possible to achieve large increases in sales without forcing a conversion KPI onto your staff and stressing out the less-experienced employees. But how does a retailer with foot traffic data achieve this?
To achieve this growth in sales, it's important to reduce the number of missed sales opportunities. An easy way to do this is to lower your bounce rate. Bounce rate, for those of you who may not be familiar with the term, is a commonly used metric for online stores, and is used to measure the number of people who visit a website but leave without navigating to other parts of the site. This concept is equally applicable to retail stores, which use the concept to describe people who visit your store, but leave shortly after they arrive. By reducing this number, you'll automatically increase your number of sales. We recommend our clients aim to reduce their bounce rate by 5 to 10 percent below their current rate.
But how do you know what your bounce rate is?
Retailers have many traffic measurement tools at their disposal, but not all of them provide the level of detail you need to develop meaningful insights.
Some stores choose to use a manual system of counting, by placing an employee at the entrance to count people as they come and go in real time, or by having an employee review footage from a security camera. The problem with any manual foot traffic system is that its accuracy is highly questionable. It’s far too easy for an employee to lose track of the number of visitors entering and leaving the store, particularly during busy business periods. Considering how this method fails to provide accurate data on the simple act of individuals coming and going, trying to gather additional data such as movement around the store or dwell time will be virtually impossible.
Some retailers have other automated solutions, but these are not without their own flaws.
Infrared beams at the entrances and exits to your store track every time a person crosses the beam. This will provide you with a total number of times people crossed the beam, which you can then divide by two in order to get the actual number of people that entered or left your store. Unfortunately, that’s all this type of foot traffic counter can do.
Thermal sensors, which use heat to track people's movement, and floor sensors, which measure the pressure people place on the floor, serve the same purpose as infrared beams. These devices can track people coming and going, as well as giving you insights in regards to the amount of time people spend in specific parts of your store, but none of this information can be used to measure bounce rate.
A common problem with all of these foot traffic solutions is that they fail to provide the level of detail necessary for you to gather bounce-rate data, because none of them are able to uniquely identify each individual that visits your store. Without a unique identifier, you cannot tell how quickly someone enters and leaves.
However, there is one solution that is able to tell the difference: Wi-Fi foot traffic counters, such as Blix. Blix is able to identify each unique smartphone signal within range of the store’s sensor to track metrics such as passing traffic, when an individual enters and leaves, dwell time, movement through the store, and of course, bounce rate.
So now that you know the bounce rate, what can your sales staff, be they full-time, part-time or casual employees, do to reduce people entering and leaving the store so quickly?
We came up with a simple solution that any member of your sales staff can take advantage of, regardless of their level of experience. In order to reduce bounce rate, we recommend sales staff engage with every new customer within 3 minutes of them entering the store.
Why? The primary goal is to let the customer know you’re there and ready to assist. By acknowledging and engaging with every new customer within a 3-minute timeframe, you'll find out what the customer wants and assist them, before they get frustrated and leave. This simple action will help you reduce the number of missed sales opportunities and increase the conversion rate of your store.
By now you're probably asking "But what if I'm busy helping a customer?" In these situations, it's easy enough to politely excuse yourself at the right moment, let the customer know you'll be right back, and greet the new arrival. This is vital, as many customers will have a simple query that you can solve quickly, or may not even need your assistance, in which case you can return to your original customer.
This method of customer engagement removes the pressure on your less experienced staff by letting them know they don't have to sell to a certain number of people that enter your store, but simply take the time to greet and provide assistance to new customers who enter your store within the specified amount of time.
If you’d like to find out more about our Blix Traffic solution and the different ways you can use it to develop a deeper understanding of your business and boost your sales, visit our website or contact us today.
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