Part II: How People Counting Solutions Improve Retail Customer Experience

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  2. 2016
  3. April

happy retailersThe customer experience that you provide in your store is the bedrock of your success as a retailer. People counting solutions can provide valuable insights that reveal opportunities to improve customer service, optimize staffing, and boost your sales.

Here are a few examples of how traffic counters can benefit your store.

Does Footfall = Conversion?

At a bare minimum, people counting solutions track the number of shoppers flowing through your store so you know the times of day, week, month, and year that traffic is highest and lowest. Generally speaking, the higher the footfall, the higher the conversion rate, and vice versa.

However, if you’re noticing that conversion rates remain stubbornly low during periods of high traffic, there might be something amiss within your four walls. Using insights from your people counting solution, you can adjust your store strategies to increase your conversion. Perhaps you can rethink the placement of promotional displays in your store so that these products are seen by the greatest number of shoppers during times of peak demand. Use insights from your point of sale (POS) system to determine your best-selling items and position those products in the areas of the store that receive the most foot traffic, according to your people counting solution. Or consider running promotions to attract new shoppers into your store if want to see your conversion rate rise.

Whatever the case, a mismatch between foot traffic and conversion rate is a sure sign that you need to do something differently to get those figures more evenly aligned. The conversion rate is a telltale sign of your store’s health; use every strategy at your disposal to remedy a rate that seems to be “under the weather.”

All Hands on Deck

People counting solutions provide the data-driven insights you need to streamline your labor scheduling. Instead of staffing shifts according to how many workers you think you need, you can review historical data from your traffic counter to better gauge precisely how many employees should be scheduled at any given time. This way you can avoid paying too many workers to staff your slowest periods when there aren’t many shoppers around, while still being sufficiently prepared to handle a crush of customers during your rush hours.

Leveraging people counting solutions for scheduling:

  • Saves you money by optimizing your headcount
  • Determines the best times for workers to take their breaks
  • Ensures customers are receiving the best possible staff-assisted service at all times

Go Where the People Are

Instead of keeping your sales associates clustered around the checkout counter direct workers to where the shoppers are. Review data from your people counting solution to understand which parts of the store are attracting the greatest number of customers. If you’re seeing high volume through aisle 4, then make it part of your strategy to always have an associate positioned in that area to answer customer queries, look up inventory information, and assist with whatever else shoppers may need. Maybe your dressing room is always busy. Is an employee available there to retrieve additional sizes, suggest other styles and options, and generally keep the rooms tidy and available for customers to use?

Remember that the customer is always right, so if you’re hearing feedback from your shoppers about ways to improve your store, it’s in your best interest to take them seriously. Don’t ignore complaints that customers can’t find a sales associate to help them look up an out-of-stock item or that there’s never anyone to ring up a sale at 2:30 p.m.

Used with customer feedback, people counting solutions offer valuable insights about the best ways to improve your in-store experience and keep shoppers coming back to your business.

Read Part I to discover why providing an exceptional retail customer experience is critical to modern retail.

Part I: Why Providing an Exceptional Retail Customer Experience Is Critical to Modern Retail

  1. Home
  2. 2016
  3. April

retail-customer-experienceWhat are you doing to help your physical store rise to the top? There are a number of little things you can do to offer a great retail customer experience, from keeping your store neat, tidy and fresh, to hosting events that attract local personalities. But consider these three ways to provide a modern retail experience and draw foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.

BOPIS

One smart way to get shoppers through your doors is to offer customer-friendly services such as “Buy Online, Pickup In-Store” (BOPIS). This smart strategy is the best of both worlds in a sense; it gives shoppers the convenience of purchasing online and the speed of retrieving their purchases at no additional charge and more quickly than waiting for a package in the mail.

What’s more, BOPIS is a retail customer experience that drives additional sales beyond the products your customer purchased online. A Forrester report revealed that 46 percent of shoppers are enticed to spend above and beyond the original BOPIS purchase if they receive a personalized discount or deal when retrieving their purchases in store.

To take advantage of moments when your BOPIS customers are primed to purchase, think about how to set up your BOPIS store center to encourage additional impulse buying. Stock popular items in or around the area in which customers pick up their orders, and train employees to cross-sell products that often are purchased in tandem with the ones your customers have already bought.

Your Store: The “Show Me” Place

Customers who choose to spend their valuable time shopping in store often want (or even demand!) a high-touch retail customer experience. Deliver on their expectations by training your staff to be engaged and attentive in addressing customer needs. Let customers know they’re in good hands with your knowledgeable employees.

Customers sometimes don’t know what they want until they find it. Encourage your staff to enhance the retail customer experience by cross-selling whenever appropriate, showing the customer interesting items that coordinate with or complement the other products they already plan to buy. For example, a shopper who has already committed to a pair of Victorian end tables might also want to see that new set of ornate table lamps that just came in. Or the aunt-to-be who has gathered an armful of pastel onesies probably can be enticed to top off a baby shower gift with an adorable stuffed animal or the perfect little baby booties.

The retail customer experience should surprise and delight your shopper. Cross-selling can help your customer discover wonderful new products that will have them all smiles as they’re leaving the store and nearly guarantee a return visit.

Speaking of Smiling

Be as selective as you can with the people you hire in your stores. Your employees are on the front lines of your retail brand and often create the customer’s first impression of what your business is all about. While it may be tempting to do as little employee training as possible (i.e., as long as they can operate the POS…), you’re missing out on opportunities to leverage your valuable human assets to provide a top-notch retail customer experience for the shoppers who choose to visit your stores.

Attitude is everything. Be sure to instill in your workers the values that your retail brand wants to convey. Remind sales assistants to greet shoppers with a smile and a friendly welcome as they come through your doors. Like it or not, customers are highly attuned to how your staff treats them. They can tell if a worker is rushed or less attentive than they should be and that behavior can make or break a sale.

On the other hand, encourage your staff to try to evaluate what each shopper needs. Some just want to browse on their own, while others want close side-by-side assistance. Smothering the former certainly won’t help and neither will abandoning the latter. Understanding how to approach shoppers will improve the opportunity to provide a great retail customer experience for each and every guest in your store.

Are you doing your best to offer added value in your retail customer experience? Customers have more choices than ever, so it’s critically important to use every tool in your box to help your store stand out in a crowded retail environment.

Stay tuned for Part II to discover how people counting can help improve the retail customer experience.