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Retail Analytics

What is footfall analytics and how to track it?

Written by Tony Loxton
Aug 30

When consumers today decide to purchase a product, they’re (almost always) faced with a choice: visit a retail outlet in order to buy the product in-store, or shop online. Thanks to the ubiquity of web-connected smartphones, tablets, and PCs, online shopping has the advantage of being incredibly convenient. With more and more consumers opting to shop online, brick and mortar retail outlets really need to work to retain market share and maximise profits. That means improving the retail customer experience and optimising in-store operations. Here’s how using footfall analytics can help you do just that.

First things first: What exactly is footfall analytics?

Footfall analytics uses people counting technology to give you access to meaningful in-store customer experience insights. Installing a retail people counter at your store allows you to measure key metrics relating to foot traffic, including how many people visited your store in a specified time period, how much time each person spent in-store, how many people walked by your storefront without entering, and more.

Advanced retail people counters base footfall analytics on anonymous smartphone data

Given that the vast majority of modern shoppers own smartphones, a particularly useful way to measure retail traffic metrics is by collecting anonymous customer data from WiFi enabled smartphones. A WiFi enabled smartphone constantly emits ‘pings’ when searching for available WiFi connections. Retail people counters capture and record these pings to measure a store’s foot traffic. Because no personal information is transmitted in a WiFi ping, doing this doesn’t risk violating customers’ privacy in any way.

The best footfall analytics systems go beyond simple people counting

For example, a tool like Blix Traffic measures a range of metrics, including:

  • How many people visit your store
  • How many people walk by your store without entering
  • Unique versus repeat visitors
  • How frequently repeat visitors visit your store
  • The average time visitors spend in your store
  • The percentage of visitors who left the store within five minutes (known as your bounce rate)
  • How many staff members (identified as ‘unique persistent devices’) manned your store within a set time frame

Using these metrics, footfall analytics is able to provide a range of useful customer experience insights

While it’s useful to know how many people enter your store each day, advanced footfall analytics can deliver much more meaningful and useful insights relating to customer experience. For starters, identifying when your store tends to be busiest allows you to adjust your staff roster to suit. Putting more staff on the floor during peak periods increases sales by ensuring that each customer is given ample individualised attention. Having enough staff on the floor also discourages theft and shoplifting.

Similarly, if your store is adequately staffed but still experiencing a high bounce rate, it could indicate that staff aren’t engaging with customers and that additional staff training is needed to improve the customer experience. If your footfall analytics shows a high number of people walking by your store, but a low number of store visits, it might be a good idea to rethink your window displays and signage or station a staff member at the door to encourage shoppers to come in. These are just some of the ways in which insights gained through footfall analytics can help you improve customer experience, optimise in-store operations, and ultimately increase profits.

Blix Traffic delivers advanced people counting, customer experience, and footfall analytics

Keep customers coming through your doors and spending money by using a retail people counter like Blix Traffic to help you better understand the customer experience and thereby improve store performance. Download our white paper to  find out more about Blix Traffic and in store performance.

Download our retail white paper - Go Beyond the Door

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