Footfall Data & Analytics

Why true demand staff scheduling assists in closing customers – from CEO Tony Loxton

Written by Tony Loxton
Sep 29

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know that harnessing the power of technology to help business owners improve their offerings is at the heart of what we do. In short, we’re all about equipping people with sophisticated software that’s simple to use and that helps their businesses thrive.

One of the major roleplayers in successfully closing customers – the holy grail of any retail outfit – are your staff. As we’ve mentioned before, your staff can make the difference between closing customers, and losing out on a sale. If you have insufficient staff on the floor during a peak trading period, closing customers is that much more difficult. Thanks to Deputy, staff scheduling issues are easily rectified. Here’s why this technology can aid you in increasing sales, and how it works:

Deputy combines an intelligent algorithm, easy to use interface and predictive analytics to simplify – and improve – the staff scheduling process.

As staff enter the store, they simply log in by tapping their icon on an iPad or tablet, and then tap off when they leave for the day. Deputy’s power comes into play by combining staff schedules with data from your CRM and POS systems, enabling you to identify patterns in staff scheduling (for example, staff who tend to work overtime, or the days when many staff are unavailable to work), as well as in peak sales periods. Deputy will then predict how many staff members are needed at any given time – effectively doing away with the need to call around at the last minute when you realise you’re short-staffed.

While a crucial component of day-to-day operations, staff scheduling has historically been a task that’s anticipated with dread.

The good news is that Deputy not only takes the headache out of this task, but enables you to streamline and optimise your staff scheduling, resulting in improvements to all aspects of business. Retailers are also able to cost schedules before publishing, and staff are able to swop shifts, log in via an app on their smartphone, and indicate when they are available to work. The software also syncs with your payroll, and allows you to segment employees and allocate them to certain areas and shifts based on their experience or expertise.

POS data and manual door counters have traditionally been used to predict the number of staff required for a shift – but this is problematic for several reasons.

One of the major issues with planning staff scheduling in advance – often up to a month beforehand – is that you’re unable to accommodate surges in foot traffic or last-minute shift swaps. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, being short-staffed often occurs at the time when you need more people on the floor. For example, if you planned for a relatively quiet public holiday, only to find your store inundated with shoppers while staff members are few and far between, you can say goodbye to capitalising on this sudden boom. In addition, dwell times typically decrease the closer it comes to the shop closing. This correlates with the fact that staff are getting ready to leave, typically leaving a skeleton staff on the floor and at the registers while everyone else packs up, does a stock take or is already on their way home.

As a result, closing customers is hindered, as they’re being left to their own devices or are waiting in line to make a purchase. What’s more, store doors are usually closed in the last couple of minutes running up to closing times, which further deters people from approaching the store, even though there may be enough time left to make a purchase.  

The solution? Arming yourself with smart software that enables you to gain an in-depth understanding of your foot traffic.

By using Blix Traffic, you’ll be able to understand the foot traffic both inside and outside of your store. You’ll be able to tell how many people are typically in the store at different times, whether they spend different amounts of time in the store in relation to who was working that day, whether staff members are setting up effectively enticing window displays and whether the number of staff you have at hand correlates with closing customers.

When deciding on a staff schedule, combining sales data analysis, foot traffic patterns from Blix and Deputy’s easy-to-use and effective scheduling abilities, you may be able to increase store dwell time and improve customer engagement, aiding you in closing customers and generating increased ROI.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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