Omnichannel Marketing: Increase Your Brick-and-Mortar Customer Count

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  2. 2015
  3. July

customer count

“Omni-channel” has become an omnipresent buzzword in retailing. Its meaning may seem obvious, but as with many big, broad concepts, its applications – how retailers create an omnichannel experience for their customers – can vary dramatically from case to case.

1. What is omnichannel marketing?

Omnichannel marketing refers to the complete range of messaging, marketing, and promotional activities that are coordinated across the multiple communication platforms available today. It encompasses Web activity, mobile sites and apps, call center/telephone contacts, as well as more traditional mass media and direct mail vehicles. And last but certainly not least, it includes the in-store customer experience. After all, stores are still where the vast majority (90%, according to A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Omnichannel Shopping Preferences Study) of sales transactions occur.

Given the brick-and-mortar store’s continuing importance to retailers’ bottom line, it makes sense to understand as much as possible about the omnichannel customer’s experience there. The advanced analytics used in conjunction with today’s sophisticated traffic counting technologies can be invaluable tools for improving the effectiveness of a retailer’s omnichannel marketing efforts.

2. Utilize actionable analytics to determine customers’ in-store habits.

For retailers taking their initial steps into omnichannel activities, they should first use their traffic counting solutions to establish baseline data on store activity, so they will have solid information for future comparisons. Continuous customer counts can reveal when stores are busiest, allowing retailers to align their staffing levels with peak times. Deeper analysis of traffic patterns within a store can reveal whether different departments are over- or under-staffed, by comparing traffic data with point-of-sale transactions for various items.

3. Measure the customer experience based on data gathered.

Retailers can also measure the impact of various promotional activities by charting shopper traffic in the vicinity of promoted items. For example, if an item is strongly promoted on a retailer’s website, or it receives a large amount of digital traffic from users in a specific geographic area, brick-and-mortar stores in the region should reasonably expect an influx of foot traffic from shoppers interested in seeing, touching, or trying on the item in person.

Customer counting solutions that reveal traffic numbers heavier or lighter in specific areas can determine whether a retailer has successfully used online activity to motivate customer visits to a store. Retailers should do all they can to encourage both online and store traffic: survey after survey reveals that shoppers using two (or more) of a retailer’s channels spend more than those using only a single shopping channel.

One danger of today’s omnichannel environment is the “showrooming” phenomenon: customers who examine an item in the physical store but then choose to purchase it on their own mobile device, or via their PC or laptop when they return home. Again, customer counting data that reveals high traffic, particularly in areas featuring heavily promoted items, but without a corresponding rise in store sales of the item, can indicate customers are completing their transactions via another channel – or with a competitor.

4. Create omnichannel marketing goals based on gathered data.

Using customer counting solutions to quantify omnichannel marketing efforts requires gathering data from both existing and new sources, and carefully analyzing this information in new ways. Retailers should first set clear, easily measurable goals, and then build from there. For example, using a website to promote 20% off all sales during a limited time period at a specific store will provide a baseline measure of the motivating impact of online messaging.

Armed with such data, retailers can continuously refine their omnichannel marketing efforts to determine what combination is most effective at boosting store traffic and, even more important, increasing sales conversion rates – whether at the store itself or via their digital channels.

Gather Actionable Analytics with Customer Counters

  1. Home
  2. 2015
  3. July

customer counters

When it comes to the success of any business, the more informed decision maker is the winner. With customer counters, you’ll have access to analytics that will equip you with the foundational information you need to set your business apart. Your toughest questions are answered with the simple implementation of customer counters.

Are you drawing them in?

It’s easy to look up your sales for the past month in your POS system. But how do you know how many people passed up your store for another? And are more people coming in to your store this month than last? Your point of sale can’t tell you anything beyond the number of people who made purchases. Understanding why people didn’t make a purchase is just as important.

That knowledge can be hard to grasp without customer counters. These simple devices can be placed in the entrance of your store. If you know the approximate foot traffic of your location, you can compare how many people walked past your storefront and how many entered. If you’re being passed up, maybe it’s time to update your window display to include more inviting signage and products. You’ll be able to see how effective the change really is when you compare it to your baseline window conversion rate.

How long are they staying?

Now that you’ve gotten them in the door, you’ll need to know how long they’re staying. This metric will let you know if your store has an inviting atmosphere. If customers are entering and quickly leaving, there are several considerations to make. Are your employees welcoming customers? Is your store confusing and hard to navigate? Customer counters can be the clue you need to solve low sales. As you implement changes, you’ll be able to see how the time visitors spend in the store changes.

Where do they linger?

Placing customer counters throughout your store will let you know where customers tend to gather. This area is your sales sweet spot. Promotions and displays that are placed in key locations around the store can encourage visitors to make a purchase.

You’ll also be able to improve your store’s overall layout with the information from in-store customer counters. If customers never make it the full length of your store, you may want to consider putting the bestselling items towards the back, drawing them through the entire store. This provides them with the opportunity to see all of your products—which they might not have seen before.

How many of them are buying?

Again, the information your POS system provides will only get you so far. In order to harness the information in your sales conversion rate, you’ll need to know how many people entered your store total—whether they made a purchase or not.

If sales are low, but traffic is high, you can start to pinpoint the issue. For example, you might not have enough employees on staff to provide adequate customer service for all of your patrons. Customer counters can help you predict staffing needs, letting you better meet the demands of your customers.

What does it all mean?

The biggest benefit of a customer counter is that it provides you with a baseline. This information is critical to ensuring that your promotions, marketing, customer service and even store layout are facilitating an increase in sales. Take the guess work out of business decisions with customer counters.