How Jewelry Stores Can Utilize Foot Traffic Data

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Most jewelry stores tend to have peak seasons. It’s no surprise that the time between November and January accounts for plenty of jewelry sales, as people purchase gifts for family and friends — in fact, 40% of all engagements happen around the holiday season, too. These peak seasons present a valuable opportunity for retail stores to track customer data, helping inform them of behaviors and practices that can drive sales.

Take a look at how you can measure your jewelry store traffic using a foot traffic counter.

The Benefits of Customer Counting

With foot traffic trackers, you can measure several key indicators to help improve store performance.

First, you can more easily identify the customers’ behaviors. Insight on when and how often a customer comes into the store can help prioritization regarding the store’s organization. Additionally, traffic flow can signal the right amount of staff members you need to schedule, which helps the store provide customers with a high-quality level of service.

Counting traffic can estimate your store’s daily sales. This information can tell you how significant your sales are on a daily basis and whether your employees are going above and beyond to maximize the experience for the customer.

Additionally, you can measure overall conversion rates. Having a count of how many customers come into your store is beneficial, as you can measure that figure against how many of them are making purchases. As a result, you can look at which factors are deterring people from buying your jewelry, such as customer service or pricing. Configuring your store’s layout in certain ways also plays a role in customer behavior.

Here’s a closer look at how you can use customer counting to improve your business in two areas — marketing and staff scheduling:

Measure the Effectiveness of New Ad Campaigns

A retail store traffic counter provides an opportunity to measure and grow marketing efforts. No matter the marketing campaign focus you pursue, you can see how it influences customers. For larger jewelry stores, you can see how effective your marketing is at bringing customers into your store. Alternatively, smaller businesses can measure the impact of digital marketing ad campaigns like those on Facebook.

If you just released new ad campaigns, you can tell whether they were able to reach new customers and gauge their level of success. This information can help you identify whether your store needs to change its marketing efforts to be more successful. A business that sees an influx of customers after releasing a certain ad campaign can better understand what types of advertising their audiences prefers.

Optimize Staff Scheduling

Depending on the location of the store, the current season, and demand for the product, the number of customers entering your store can vary. Using store traffic counters to record the footfall of entrances and exits can ensure you have enough staff members in the store. As a result, overstaffing and understaffing are less of a problem.

Thanks to optimized staff scheduling, you can ensure your customers get the best customer service possible — and that your employees aren’t overwhelmed when the store is filled with customers. It also helps avoid downtime, where workers can feel bored or unproductive during working hours. Therefore, your staff will be just busy enough without feeling overworked.

When customers know that a store has a dedicated staff ready to answer their questions, they’re more likely to return. Prioritizing staff scheduling ultimately creates customer loyalty. That’s a significant benefit, as customer retention is incredibly important for your store’s profit and growth. It makes more financial sense to retain the customers you already have than spend money trying to attract new ones, and foot traffic data helps with that.

How This Data Can Increase Jewelry Store Sales and Conversions

To boost sales and conversions, your customer experience, customer service and marketing efforts all need to be effective. Through tracking the customers who come into your store, you can grow in these areas.

Customer Experience

By being able to track the customer’s gender, age, past purchases and interests, you gain more insight into how to make their shopping experience meet all of their expectations. If your customers are satisfied with their experience, they’re likely to return and make more purchases in the future. Additionally, they’ll often engage in word-of-mouth marketing to spread the word about your business.

Employee Schedules

Counting store traffic in a jewelry store helps correct employee scheduling, which becomes beneficial for building relationships with customers during their customer journey. If there aren’t enough employees during peak times, you can’t create more personalized shopping experiences, build customer relationships or make enough sales. When you schedule the right amount of employees, customers have a one-on-one shopping experience, allowing sales employees to maximize conversions.

Store Layout

Using foot traffic counters also helps optimize store layout. For example, you can measure the effectiveness of highlighting pieces of jewelry that are on sale or are new in the store. Certain signs or display cases can focus on urging customers to check out the pieces and encourage them to make a purchase. Using heatmap data of the store can show which areas of the store customers visit most and which ones you could improve.

If customers are coming into your store and not making any purchases, further testing on the store layout can happen to see if there are areas to improve the shopping experience. As a result, you have a chance to design the perfect store layout that encourages customers to browse all of your products and make a purchase. A confusing, staggered store layout can prevent customers from even entering the store. Therefore, prioritizing an accessible, streamlined layout is crucial for sales.

Work With Traf-Sys to Measure Your Jewelry Store Traffic

For your jewelry business to maximize sales and conversions and get the right insight on areas of improvement, using a people counting system is essential. Traf-Sys provides accurate and reliable people counters for more than 17,000 locations. No matter the size of your jewelry business, we offer foot traffic solutions to benefit your store.

To start measuring the performance of your business, request a quote today!

How to Improve College Campuses With People Counters

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College is for more than academics — students and faculty bustle around cafeterias, dorms and sports facilities all over campus. Knowing the number of people that occupy a certain space at any given time of the day or week can help determine staffing and cleaning schedules. 

If you’re preparing to welcome students and faculty back to your college campus this year, improve your campus space with people counters. People counters provide valuable data about daily traffic to areas of your campus, which you can use to enhance campus life for both students and faculty, especially in the wake of COVID-19.

Hotspot Monitoring in Various Locations

People counters allow you to monitor hotspots where foot traffic is regularly high. Areas like libraries, on-campus cafes or restaurants and gyms are commonly crowded during specific times of the day. With people counters in these hotspots, faculty and staff can use the data to effectively attend to and clean these areas and even set maximum capacities to keep the campus community healthy. 

Libraries

Libraries have become more than just shelves of books. These days, you can find endless physical and digital resources in these buildings, especially on college campuses. As a result, both students and faculty frequently access libraries for materials for classes. However, college libraries can also be a haven, offering quiet spaces to get work done, collaborate on group projects or apply to internships and jobs.

People counters in a library can track the number of people entering and moving about the library space, offering you accurate daily visitor counts and a better sense of the most occupied areas of the library. This knowledge allows you to serve your campus community better. Essentially, you can determine areas where traffic could flow more effectively so you can make changes to the layout to improve your visitors’ experience.

On-Campus Cafes and Restaurants

On-campus cafes and restaurants are consistently high-traffic areas, particularly on big campuses. Using people counters in these areas of campuses is essential for determining the busiest times of the day. Knowing the specific times when students and faculty commonly eat in these spaces and the length of time they spend there will be valuable information to you. 

Having this information can allow you to adequately staff the high-traffic cafes to help serve patrons more efficiently. You’ll also be able to determine the most convenient times for cleaning and resetting tables. When you understand how the campus community uses the cafe and restaurant spaces, you can create dining layouts that make the most of the space to improve visitors’ overall experiences.

Gyms and Sports Facilities

Gyms and sports facilities on campus are often the hosts of sports events and special programs because they provide large amounts of space for crowds to gather. People counters can help you identify peak hours of operation, which staff can use when scheduling gym classes, programs and other events. If you have a particularly popular course or program that draws large crowds, you can use this data to determine if it’d be beneficial to offer more than one session. 

People counter data helps you prevent overcrowding, which will improve your gym members’ experience. Gym facilities also require frequent cleaning as occupants leave or move to other areas of the facility. Monitoring high-traffic areas of the gym, especially in light of COVID-19, can help you determine how often cleaning should occur — and with more sensors in place, you can learn when gym-goers leave an area, helping ensure staff clean the equipment before the next use.

Benefits of People Counters for Campuses

Implementing people counters into your college campus facilities will benefit you and the campus community. People counters can be even more beneficial in determining how to bring students back to a college campus with the risk of COVID-19 still being prevalent. These sensors can help administrators monitor occupancy limits and schedule usage-based cleaning to keep students and staff safe upon returning to campus. 

Colleges can benefit from people counters for the following reasons:

1. Identify Peak Hours

People counters are beneficial in determining when people use your facilities the most. This data will benefit you and your college community because it allows you to better prepare the area for high volumes of people. Amid COVID-19 restrictions, you may need to adjust your hours of operation to accommodate more people and their availability. People counters can be key in helping to determine these needs.

2. Determine Staffing Needs Using Popular Times

Once you use people counters to identify peak hours, you can then determine what times may require more or fewer staff members. Your facilities will operate more efficiently when enough employees can staff them. Using this data to schedule your staff can also be more cost-efficient, as you can save hourly wages at times when you don’t need as much staffing.

3. Schedule Cleaning

With increased sanitation needs across campuses, maintenance workers may find it more challenging to determine which areas need more attention than others. People counters can be beneficial in helping you assess high-traffic areas within each facility, allowing cleaning staff to better focus their efforts on the areas they need to clean most often. Using this data to schedule usage-based cleaning will save you and your staff time and resources. Regularly and consistently cleaning hotspots also ensures the health and safety of the campus community.

4. Set Occupancy Limits

People counters offer an accurate way to track the number of visitors at any given moment. This knowledge can be especially helpful in setting and maintaining occupancy limits in your facilities. Keeping a manual tally can be unreliable, time-consuming and takes a staff member away from other tasks. People counters offer you an efficient way to collect this data.

5. Use Data in Funding Requests

College campuses often struggle to receive funding for their facilities. For example, academic libraries receive less than two cents of every dollar that goes to higher education. You can use the data from the people counters around your campus facilities to help justify your need for more funding. 

Contact Traf-Sys for a Free Quote

People counters are a valuable way to collect data about foot traffic through your campus facilities. Their benefits help you efficiently operate these facilities, improving the campus and the experience for students and staff. If you’re looking to implement people counters to benefit your college campus, Traf-Sys people counting systems are the solution you’re looking for.

Contact us today for a free quote or request more information to find out which of our people counting sensors could work for you.

Top Ways to Improve Retail Space Optimization

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If you own or manage a retail store, you probably already know that your store’s interior design and layout directly impact your customers’ purchases. For example, strategically placing products in some regions of the store can keep shoppers in the store longer, increasing their chance of finding more products to buy. Ultimately, optimizing your retail space is important because you can influence buyer behavior. 

This article highlights how you can improve retail space optimization with people counters in your store. Whether you’re looking for solutions for boutique or shopping mall space optimization, read the following suggestions for the best ways to improve the interior of your retail space.

Common Store Layout Strategies

Optimizing store layout involves aspects like designing your floor space and strategically placing your products in your store to positively influence a customer’s behavior. It turns out that design is the biggest environmental factor that impacts a customer’s approach to your store. Alternatively, an important aspect that can influence store layout is customer flow — the pattern in which customers move around your store. Combining an understanding of these aspects allows you to create a strategy for your store that helps you become more profitable. 

Most stores generally use one of four layouts:

  1. Grid: Most commonly used in grocery stores, a grid layout arranges shelves in long rows, guiding customers up and down each aisle. This layout is successful because store owners can place commonly-shopped-for items in the back of the store. This technique makes shoppers looking for necessities walk down one or more aisles, creating a higher chance they’ll see — and buy — something else they might have wanted or forgot they needed.
  2. Loop: The loop layout is exactly what it sounds like — one central aisle that loops around the entire store like a racetrack, leading the customer back to the entrance.
  3. Spine: With a spine floor plan, your store has one central aisle that flows from the front of the store to the back of the store, with branches breaking out into various departments.
  4. Free-flowing: The free-flowing layout features merchandise, displays and fixtures grouped together to make up a seemingly random layout. Popular among small businesses, this floor plan emphasizes open space and allows customers to wander around the store and find items that pique their interest.

Understanding how the layout of your products and the way your customers flow through your store is key to turning a profit. Choose a layout that will make sense for your store and will show your customers you had them in mind when designing it.

What’s the Decompression Zone?

The decompression zone of your store is the first few feet inside the door, where customers adjust to their surroundings and prepare for what your store may have to offer. Creating an effective decompression zone is essential because customers may leave if they feel overwhelmed as soon as they enter your store. 

Here are a few tips to make the entrance of your store feel welcoming:

  • Open, clutter-free space: Keeping your decompression zone clutter-free provides a vast space for customers to enter your store. Also, note that keeping this space open will help the traffic flow coming in and out of the store if you only have one entrance and exit.
  • Featured products: Displaying products you want customers to buy around the decompression zone can impact sales. Of course, you should keep the displays tasteful and straightforward, so your customers feel enticed to explore your products.
  • Create an aesthetic: Since the decompression zone of the store is the first space potential customers will see, it’s your chance to impress them with your store’s unique style and aesthetic. Decorating using eye-catching displays can draw your customers into the space.

The Importance of Facilities Maintenance

Maintaining your retail facility to stay in optimal condition will positively influence your customers’ experience. Facility maintenance is another factor that can directly benefit from understanding the customer flow through your store and where the high-traffic areas are located. When you understand which places your customers frequent the most, you can ensure you keep these areas especially clean. 

For example, you should maintain spaces like bathrooms or main aisles to keep up a good appearance. When you’re completing maintenance tasks, try to do so after hours so your customer can shop uninterrupted. Preventative maintenance on building systems, like heating and lighting, is also crucial so you can avoid surprise issues. When you implement maintenance checks, you can deliver a clean, comfortable and consistent shopping experience for your customers while creating more time for yourself to devote to retail space optimization.

How to Use Data From People Counters

In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept of people counters in retail stores, they’re sensors that collect and monitor data, like how many people enter your store, how long they stay and how many of your visitors turn into buyers. They can be especially helpful in determining high-traffic areas of your store. 

You can use the data from people counters to do the following:

  • Analyze traffic flow: As we stated earlier, understanding the way customers flow through your store is vital in deciding how you should display your products. Knowing which way your customers tend to walk out of the decompression zone can help you determine where to place certain products to increase profits. You can use the data from people counters around your store to determine if the layout of your store is successful.
  • Assess high-traffic areas: People counters can also help you assess your high-traffic areas. Understanding the location of these areas can be beneficial to you because you can place products you want to highlight in the heavily visited areas of your store.
  • Determine busy and slow times: Using people counting data to determine the slowest and busiest times of the day and week can help you schedule maintenance or additional staff members in a way that’s most beneficial for your space.

Contact Traf-Sys for a Free Quote for Your Retail Business

If you’re looking for the best ways to optimize your retail space, consider implementing people counting systems around your store. Analyze the data to help you make effective decisions about store layout and when the best times are for maintenance or more staff members to be present. At Traf-Sys, we pride ourselves in offering accurate people counting systems to a variety of businesses, and yours could be one of them.

Contact us for more information about how people counters can benefit your retail business, or fill out our form to request a free quote for your retail space.

Tips for Using Foot Traffic Counters in Grocery Stores

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As COVID-19 continues to spread within the United States, grocery stores have been forced to make rapid operational changes to meet local and federal guidelines. While these guidelines are in place to protect the health of employees and customers, their restrictive nature brings up new challenges for grocery store owners. 

Social distancing is one of the more difficult guidelines for grocery stores to follow. In the case of the novel coronavirus, grocery stores need to maintain 6 feet of distance between customers and limit the number of people allowed in the store at one time. 

Foot traffic counting systems have been offering grocery store owners a way to optimize staffing, scheduling and queuing. They also offer a simple solution to help stores operate within coronavirus-related social distancing measures. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to use a grocery store customer counter to keep your store compliant with social distancing policies and procedures

Essential New Guidelines for Grocery Store Owners

Retail and food stores must first determine what guidelines they should be following. Two federal agencies are spearheading the regulatory response to COVID-19: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The FDA is primarily concerned with the safety of products and employees involved with food preparation, while the CDC is providing guidelines for employers as a whole.  

Grocery store owners and managers should become familiar with all major CDC guidelines and apply FDA guidelines where appropriate, such as at a deli counter. The National Grocers Association has compiled a list of practices to help grocery stores meet CDC guidelines, including:

  • Use markers: Apply tape, stickers or other signage on the floor around checkout lines to indicate where customers should stand to maintain 6 feet of distance. 
  • Put up signs: Let customers know that social distancing is in place by putting signs at eye level in multiple places. Entrances and checkout lines are the two most important places to put up social distancing signage.
  • Educate customers and employees: Signage may also address proper, CDC-recommended hygiene procedures, such as washing hands for 20 seconds with soap.
  • Stay up-to-date: Guidelines may change often, so it’s critical to keep a line of communication open with state and local health officials to maintain compliance.
  • Alter hours: Consider changing store hours to promote shopping during lower traffic times, and implement regular store hours to serve specific at-risk groups, such as seniors.
  • Provide options: If and where possible, expand any remote shopping options. Offering delivery or curbside pickup, for example, are excellent ways to keep up sales while reducing the traffic through a store.
  • Reconsider food and samples: Ready-to-eat samples and self-serve food areas like soup and salad bars or buffets should be temporarily closed.
  • Increase sanitization: Add hand sanitizing stations to both customer and employee areas around the store, and add more mandatory cleaning and sanitization procedures to schedules. Determine high-touch areas and clean them more frequently.
  • Improve scheduling: Determine positions that are hardest to cover, and cross-train employees to minimize coverage issues. 
  • Revamp leave policies: Alter and communicate policies related to sick leave and paid time off as a response to COVID-19.

These guidelines are not completely comprehensive, and there are many more details available on the CDC website. However, the list above covers the essential practices grocery stores must implement. 

Some states and local governments are putting forth their own grocery store social distancing guidelines, which are more specific and stringent than federal ones. Massachusetts, for example, issued an order in April 2020 that limits grocery store customers and staff to 40% of the building’s maximum permitted occupancy level. 

Additionally, the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union is petitioning the CDC to restrict store occupancy to between 20% and 30% of the building’s full capacity. 

The Benefits of People Counting Technology for Social Distancing

Complying with coronavirus-related regulations is a challenge. The larger a grocery store is, the more difficult it is to keep track of comings and goings in the building. A grocery store people counting system is an easy, intuitive way to make sure your business does not exceed grocery store capacity limits while social distancing guidelines are in place. Let’s take a look at five key ways foot traffic counters can benefit your store:

1. Determine Occupancy at a Glance

Counting heads in a grocery store can quickly become an overwhelming prospect if you try to do it manually. If you have multiple entrances, you will need to shut all but one down because it’s impossible for two employees doing two different counts at two different doors to sync their counts up without a real-time system in place.

People counting systems update automatically each time a person enters and leaves the store, so the numbers are always current, and there is no element of mystery or uncertainty in the counting process.

2. Find Out Where People Cluster

Promoting social distancing may mean rearranging some parts of the store to prevent people from clustering together. People counters, especially those with directional capabilities that indicate whether customers are coming in or going out, can help managers make decisions about temporary layout changes. 

For example, if the customer counter shows high traffic and employees notice that a good deal of that traffic ends up clustering around one particular area, you can investigate possible reasons why. Is the display overly large and causing a bottleneck due to people trying to navigate in opposite directions around it? Is it located near a checkout line, causing people who want the item to get too close to customers waiting in line? Traffic monitors can provide excellent opportunities for innovation in this area.

3. Discover Peak Traffic Times

Knowing when traffic peaks occur is important because it allows management to adjust procedures to increase safety. Cleaning routines are a good example. A store should have robust cleaning measures in place at all times, but a spike in traffic provides a compelling reason to add extra cleaning duties into employee schedules. However, you don’t want to have employees spending too much time cleaning when it’s not necessary. 

With a foot traffic counter, management can set thresholds for the number of customers after which an extra cleaning needs to take place. For example, a store may have implemented a policy of wiping down freezer door handles every hour, assuming a customer turnover of 100 per hour. To better protect everyone’s safety, management may decide that if customers exceed 150 per hour, cleaning needs to happen every 30 minutes. A customer counting system makes this type of adjustment possible.

4. Coordinate Effective Scheduling

Scheduling employees is always one of the challenges of operating a successful grocery store. Management has to ensure there is enough coverage to meet customer needs and greater demands for cleaning and sanitization. On the other hand, paying more employees than necessary is never a good business practice from a financial perspective. 

Under normal circumstances, most grocers quickly pin down when traffic is highest and lowest, and the approximate buying habits of their customer base. The emergence of COVID-19 has upended customer habits significantly, from when they come into the store to the amount they spend. For example, even though foot traffic in stores is down, shoppers are spending 15% to 20% more on groceries

Foot traffic counters provide information that allows management to make the most efficient staffing decisions under new and changing circumstances, with much greater accuracy than relying on general observations. 

5. Improve Customer Experience

From the customer’s point of view, the coronavirus outbreak has made grocery shopping a far less pleasant experience. Having to follow the 6-foot rule means many grocery stores are having to stop customers at the door and have them form a line to wait until the store is under its modified capacity. Even then, customers at stores that aren’t well-prepared are facing long lines due to understaffing. 

Grocery store people counting systems offer a customer-facing dashboard that shows the current capacity in terms of the upper occupancy limit and the percentage of capacity the store is at currently. When they can see traffic changes in real-time, customers tend to feel less stressed and uncertain while waiting to enter a store. Additionally, stores with people counters have the tools to staff appropriately. That means customers can feel safe knowing the store has enough staff to clean properly as well as keep checkout line lengths from becoming frustratingly long.

Leveraging a foot traffic counter to provide a better customer experience is key to retaining customers in a time where many are willing to change retailers as a response to a poor experience.

Steps Grocery Owners Can Take to Follow New Guidelines

Staying within COVID-19 guidelines is a multi-step process. It takes planning to stay prepared, so consider these tips for staying compliant:

1. Become Familiar With Local Regulations

Although the CDC and FDA are providing guidelines on a national level, the restrictions on grocery stores may be more stringent at a local level. Grocery store owners and managers need to stay up-to-date with guidelines that change frequently and be aware of what practices are simply guidelines as opposed to formal orders with potential legal consequences. 

Sign up for alerts from your state and local health departments to ensure your store can pivot to new policies or procedures as quickly as possible when necessary.

2. Educate Employees

As employees are the ones who will be carrying out social distancing and prevention measures, it’s essential to provide thorough training on the store’s new policies. Education efforts should be done in person, where possible, and duplicated in written form to ensure better retention. Employees need to know about:

  • General hygiene
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Cloth face coverings
  • Use of personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Stress management
  • COVID-19 symptoms and what to do if sick

Consider compiling a list of resources for employees, such as information on hand-washing and new cleaning policies, and place it in a high-visibility area. Ultimately, management is responsible for ensuring employees understand and follow the new guidelines.

3. Increase Sanitization Stations

One aspect of social distancing is making an effort to reduce the transfer of the virus from person to person through increased sanitation. Both employees and customers should have increased access to sanitization stations, such as hand washing areas or hand sanitizer dispensers. 

It’s a good idea to place these stations at entrances, as well as near high-traffic and high-touch areas. A people counting system with dwell technology can help you find out where people spend more idle time, allowing you to pinpoint the best locations for additional stations.

4. Increase Cleaning Frequency

One of the critical steps in following CDC cleaning guidelines is to increase the frequency of cleaning and ensure employees are using products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Stores should undergo a thorough cleaning at least once every 24 hours, and disinfecting procedures should see these surfaces sanitized more frequently:

  • Cashier stations
  • Self-checkout stations
  • Credit card terminals
  • Conveyor belts
  • Shelves
  • Restrooms
  • Shopping carts and baskets

The CDC’s framework for cleaning and sanitizing is based on three practices:

  1. Routine cleaning using soap and water.
  2. Disinfection with EPA-approved products, including ready-to-use sprays, wipes and concentrates.
  3. Use of other types of disinfectants, such as bleach and water mixtures or 70% alcohol solutions when EPA-approved products are not available. 

5. Request PPE

Personal protective equipment is still hard to come by, even for essential businesses. The National Grocers Association suggests requesting face masks from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through their online form as one way to increase the PPE available to employees.

6. Start Counting Customers

Knowing the number of people in a grocery store is no longer an option in many places. To limit grocery store capacity levels, you first need to know how many people are inside the building. Installing a people counter is quick, easy and provides a simple way to keep tabs on store occupancy without assigning employees to do potentially inaccurate headcounts.

7. Change Store Layout

One of the challenges with social distancing in grocery stores is the two-way nature of aisles. When two people are headed down the same aisle in opposite directions, there’s little opportunity to avoid a direct exchange of droplets. Many large grocery chains are implementing one-way aisles as well as designating in-only and out-only doors to help prevent customers from coming into close contact with each other.

8. Hire More People

The possibility that employees may contract COVID-19 increases the chances of having multiple call-outs and extended absences due to illness. Additionally, the extra burden of increased cleaning practices takes employees away from time on the floor and at the cash register. Hiring more people and training them in multiple areas is the best way to maximize shift coverage. This helps ensure swift movement of checkout lines as well as the proper execution of new cleaning policies.

9. Invest in Signage

Grocery stores have a responsibility to help customers implement social distancing. In addition to using a foot traffic counter to maintain safe occupancy levels, stores can provide visual reminders via various types of signage. Examples include:

  • Signs outside the store indicating entrances and exits.
  • Signs highlighting available sanitization tools like hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes for carts or baskets.
  • Floor decals marking 6-foot intervals at checkout lines.
  • Floor decals indicating one-way aisles.
  • Reminders to wash hands outside of restrooms.

A little bit of prompting can go a long way in promoting social distancing in your store.

How Can I Improve the Checkout Process With COVID-19 Guidelines?

The best way to ensure customers remain happy during the checkout process is to provide adequate staffing and multiple options. For example, customers who only have a basket of items don’t want to wait behind people stocking up with a full cart, so having at least one express lane and a self-checkout option can get these people out the door faster. 

How Can I Encourage Employees to Maintain Safe Practices?

Be sure to give your employees the tools needed to succeed within new guidelines. Workers who have enough time and adequate supplies to adhere to cleaning schedules are more likely to do so effectively. Likewise, employees who are given the right PPE are more likely to wear it. Ensure you’re getting the right scheduling coverage and supplies. It shows you care and facilitates better adherence.

How Can My Store Ensure Customers Follow Social Distancing Guidelines?

Customers are often unpredictable and sometimes resistant to new guidelines. While you can’t force them to do the right thing, showing that your store is committed to following regulations is a good way to lead by example. When customers see employees wearing PPE and cleaning regularly, combined with high-visibility signage and even auditory reminders of policies in place, they are more likely to comply with new grocery store social distancing guidelines.

How Do People Counters Work?

There are four important distinctions to make when discussing how people counters work:

  1. Overhead vs. horizontal: Foot traffic sensors can either be mounted in the ceiling or on both sides of a doorway. 
  2. Wired vs. wireless: Overhead counters need to be wired into a network, whereas horizontal counters can be powered by batteries. Some systems can use either form of power.
  3. Bi-directional vs. uni-directional: A bi-directional system indicates whether a person is walking in or out, while a uni-directional system does not distinguish between in or out counts.
  4. Beam vs. video vs. thermal: People counting systems can use infrared beams, advanced 3D video or highly accurate thermal imaging to provide data.

How Do I Determine Which Store Traffic Counters Work Best for My Store?

There are several variables that can affect what type of people counting system is ideal for your grocery store. They include:

  • The size of the store
  • The number of entrances
  • The type and size of the entrance
  • Power availability at the entrance
  • Traffic density
  • The number of features you want

What Stores Are Using People Counters?

The majority of major grocery chains are changing the industry with the use of foot traffic counters. The Aldi customer counter and Giant grocery store foot traffic counter, for example, are allowing these stores to maintain accurate customer counts for their new limits. Aldi uses their system to limit customers to around five per 1,000 square feet, while Giant Food stores use theirs to reduce capacity to 20%

Find the Right People Counter for Your Grocery Store With Traf-Sys

The novel coronavirus has already changed the way grocery stores do business and serve their customers, and there is no telling whether those changes will be permanent. As social distancing guidelines continue to evolve in response to new data, it’s a good idea to stay prepared for even further restricted occupancy with a people counting system. 

A grocery store foot traffic counter will enable your store to meet stringent guidelines, and it will act as a data collection tool that can streamline the way you staff and provide insight on customer behavior. Even after the coronavirus crisis has passed, a grocery store people counting system will continue to provide value to your business. 

Traf-Sys offers multiple people counting sensors and systems that fit the needs of your store and budget. Our basic systems offer everything you need to comply with occupancy requirements, while others offer an astonishing level of detail, such as being able to distinguish between children and adults for greater analytic insight. No matter what your needs are, Traf-Sys is ready to help. 

Fill out our online form to get a quote within one business day, and start on the road to implementing full social distancing requirements.

How to Open Your Store With Social Distancing Guidelines

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If your business has shut down since the start of the current health crisis, you’re probably hoping to get back to work as soon as it’s safe. Now, as restrictions are lifted, many businesses can finally reopen. However, due to current reopening guidelines, your store or restaurant will need to operate differently than it once did.

This guide on how to keep the workplace safe from coronavirus can help you open for business safely under the current regulations.

Understanding New Guidelines

All nonessential businesses have adjusted their operations since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now, as states begin to ease restrictions, many companies are starting to reopen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers recommendations for small businesses and the most up-to-date information about the disease.

While each state will develop a unique reopening strategy, the Federal Government’s Guidelines for Opening Up America Again breaks down reopening guidelines into three phases. Here’s how each stage applies to retail stores and restaurants:

Phase One

Before entering Phase One, a state should meet specific criteria. Your state should have a downward trajectory of influenza and COVID-like illnesses, as well as documented cases reported for 14 days. Hospitals must have the capacity to operate without crisis care and have a robust testing program for healthcare workers.

When all these criteria are met, businesses can begin operation under Phase One guidelines, unless otherwise determined by the state government:

  • Return to work in phases when possible. 
  • Enforce social distancing for staff.
  • Cut down on nonessential travel.
  • Consider special accommodations for high-risk employees.
  • Sit-down restaurants and other large venues can operate with strict social distancing measures.
  • Bars should remain closed.

Phase Two

If a state has no evidence of a rebound and meets all criteria for Phase One a second time, employers can operate under Phase Two:

  • Continue to enforce social distancing for staff.
  • Consider special accommodations for high-risk employees.
  • Sit-down restaurants and other large venues can operate under moderate social distancing rules.
  • Bars may reopen with reduced standing-room capacity.

Phase Three

If the state doesn’t have a rebound and can satisfy the gating criteria for another 14 days, it may enter Phase Three:

  • All staffing may resume as normal without restrictions.
  • Sit-down restaurants and other large venues can operate with limited social distancing measures.
  • Bars may increase their standing-room capacity.

Each state will have its own strategy for reopening, so your business may be subject to more regulations. In general, you should expect to keep staff and customers at least 6 feet apart, disinfect surfaces and ensure employees wash their hands often.

How to Reopen Your Business With the New Guidelines

New guidelines call for careful procedures for social distancing and disinfection. Follow these steps to ensure you follow all new regulations and create a safe working and shopping environment:

1. Follow the Latest Federal, State and Local Guidelines

As you assess your reopening plans, look to any federal, state and local guidelines. If you do not meet state requirements for reopening, you should not reopen. The CDC has specific recommendations for essential grocery and retail workers that can guide your operation efforts. You can also review the CDC’s restaurant and bar decision tree to decide if your business is ready to reopen.

2. Look at Guidelines for Your Industry

For recommendations, support and advice specific to your industry, consult your industry associations. The National Restaurant Association® issued COVID-19 reopening guidance for restaurant operators. Likewise, the National Retail Federation® released a reopening checklist and other resources for nonessential retailers.

3. Develop a Plan for Social Distancing

The CDC recommends social distancing measures be in place to reopen your business. Social distancing means customers and employees should:

  • Stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Not gather in groups.
  • Avoid crowds and mass gatherings.

These rules dictate measures to keep people apart. You’ll likely have to limit your capacity, which requires an accurate headcount. People-counting technology gives you a live count of those who have entered and exited the building without putting your employees in harm’s way. This information lets you know when to stop allowing new patrons to keep your capacity in check.

You may also want to use floor markers to guide people waiting to enter the building or to use the register.

4. Create a Schedule and Procedure for Disinfecting

Many essential retailers have limited hours to make time for frequent disinfecting. As they begin to reopen, other retailers and restaurants should expect to do the same.

The CDC offers extensive guidance on cleaning and disinfecting for reopened businesses. Any disinfection plan should follow these guidelines:

  • Clean all surfaces and objects with soap and water. Soap and water remove germs and dirt from surfaces, lowering the risk of spreading any viruses. Areas that are not frequently touched will only need soap and water.
  • Disinfect all frequently-touched surfaces with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectant.
  • If no disinfectants are available, you can mix your own. Two approved homemade disinfectants are a mixture of 1/3 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water or a solution of 70% alcohol.
  • While there are no specific rules on how often to disinfect, it’s crucial to do so regularly. Always clean visibly dirty areas and disinfect as often as makes sense for your business. A people counting sensor can let you know how many people have visited your store since the last cleaning to help you decide if it’s the right time to disinfect again.

5. Focus on Contactless Service

Many retailers and restaurants are using new methods to continue serving customers with limited contact. Some stores and restaurants use delivery and curbside pickup to limit contact. These methods allow you to keep capacities low within your store and continue to serve many customers. Also, touchless or online payment can reduce touchpoints between customers and staff.

6. Obtain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Employees 

Whenever possible, PPE can help your employees and customers stay safe. If it’s not feasible to provide masks to employees, encourage staff to wear cloth masks. Be sure to provide hand sanitizer and keep the bathrooms stocked with soap. The CDC recommends wearing gloves when using disinfectants, so it is vital to keep these in stock. 

7. Train Employees to Follow and Enforce Health and Safety Protocols

As you reopen your business, your employees will have to take on new duties, such as disinfecting surfaces and enforcing social distancing. As new tasks become necessary, make sure your staff understands new rules and expectations and is equipped to follow them. Also, consider automating your capacity counting with a people counter to alleviate staff from the added workloads.

8. Use Ongoing Monitoring to Protect Staff and Employees

The CDC recommends sending employees home if they exhibit any symptoms associated with COVID-19, and that employees should stay home when they feel ill. So, you should develop procedures to check for symptoms in employees as they report for work. Some stores check customer’s temperatures using no-touch thermometers before they enter the establishment. If you can’t check temperatures for your employees, have them check their temperatures themselves before coming in for work. Decide what is possible and what makes you and your employees most comfortable.

9. Decide How to Rehire Furloughed Staff

If your business had to furlough staff to cope with closures and loss of business, it might be challenging to decide when and who to rehire. The essential team members might look different from company to company. As you first reopen, you may not see your normal flow of customers return immediately, so you may not be able to rehire all your staff. Decide who is necessary and how many people you can afford to pay as you reopen your doors.

If you cannot hire back everyone, consider allowing those with higher risks to stay home and hire back the ones who feel ready to return.

10. Communicate With Staff and Customers About Their Concerns

Even after following all the necessary guidelines, you may have to do more to get your business up and running. Staff may be fearful about returning to work, and customers may be worried about venturing out for nonessential services. It’s crucial to communicate with your team and work with them to make sure they feel safe returning to work. For customers, highlight the precautions your business is taking and ask if there is anything you can do to make them feel safer.

How to Prepare Employees to Maintain Safe Guidelines

As an employer, you need to support and train your employees to protect themselves, each other and your customers. Here’s what you can do to prepare your employees for a return to work:

1. Provide Training

With all the new guidelines to keep workplaces and customers safe from coronavirus, it’s crucial to ensure everyone is following them. Employees should receive training as appropriate on:

  • How to launder work clothing at home.
  • How and when to wash hands.
  • How and when to use gloves.
  • How to wear a respirator.
  • How to enforce capacity and social distancing rules.
  • How to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as shopping carts, the kitchen, ATMs, cash registers, tables and restrooms.

2. Reinforce Proper Hygiene

When handling food items as you would in a restaurant or grocery store, you need to follow hand-washing guidelines. Employees should wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds often, especially before eating and after sneezing, coughing, blowing their noses or going to the bathroom. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has more personal hygiene guidelines for food service workers. They recommend employees use gloves to avoid direct contact with ready-to-eat foods. Your staff should also wash their hands before preparing food.

As an employer, you can reinforce these behaviors through frequent reminders, informational posters in the bathrooms and by providing access to gloves and soap. Place hand sanitizing stations throughout your store or restaurant to help employees stay sanitary between hand washings.

3. Provide Flexible Sick Leave

Another way to support employees is by offering flexible sick leave. The CDC recommends employees stay home when they feel sick to prevent the spread of germs to other employees and customers. To accommodate that, employers should be flexible with sick leave and understand an employee might need to take more sick time.

4. Limit Business Travel

If you have employees who split their time between several locations or who frequently travel to meet with suppliers, consider limiting this travel. Keep employees at a single site and, whenever possible, hold virtual meetings.

5. Develop a Plan for At-Risk Employees

People who are at higher risk of severe illness include:

  • Older adults aged 65 or older.
  • People with underlying medical conditions such as chronic lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and liver disease.
  • People who are immunocompromised.
  • People with severe obesity.

If you employ individuals who have a higher risk of severe illness, develop a plan to help them avoid contact with customers and fellow employees. If at all possible, allow these employees to take their work behind the scenes or to telecommute. 

Tools and Supplies to Help Businesses Reopen

What do you need before you can reopen? Supplies and technology can vary depending on your business, so you should review this list to see what tools might be helpful. 

People Counting Technology

With social distancing rules lowering building capacity for many businesses, a  reliable way to know how many people are in your store or restaurant is to use an occupancy counter. The technology, which can be either infrared, video or thermal-based, senses when people enter or exit your building to give you an accurate headcount. You can then safely enforce lowered capacity requirements. A people counter helps you meet coronavirus guidelines, with high-precision real-time reporting on combined IN and OUT data from unlimited entry points. A customer-facing display can also provide your customers with helpful information about the current occupancy levels before entering. We developed the SafeEntry system to meet the demands of the current COVID-19 crisis. It displays the number of patrons that are “safe to admit” at any time, lets you set your own capacity limits and uses no additional hardware.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment can take different forms for different businesses. They often include disposable masks and gloves for employees. If you can provide these accommodations to your employees, hold training on how to wear them. If your employees wear cloth face coverings, provide support and directions for how to wash them. They should be washed and dried at the highest temperature settings after every use.

In a retail setting, you can also consider using plexiglass partitions at registers.

Health Monitoring Tools

Non-contact infrared thermometers or thermal cameras can be used to check employee and customers’ temperatures upon arrival. If your business can afford to use temperature monitoring, it can go a long way in preventing sick people from visiting your store.

Cleaning Supplies

The EPA has a list of disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 and other viral pathogens. Look for disinfectants from this list first. You can mix your own disinfectant with either 1/3 cup of bleach and 1 gallon of water or 70% alcohol if you cannot find any. If you need to disinfect a soft, porous material such as carpet or upholstered seating, you’ll need a specific disinfectant for these materials.

Besides disinfectants, you should have gloves, soap and water for cleaning surfaces throughout your business.

Personal Hygiene Supplies

You should try to set up hand sanitizing stations for both customers and employees, especially at cash registers or where people come in contact with one another. They should also be set up near where employees handle food or merchandise. Also, be sure the restrooms are well-stocked with soap and paper towels, so employees and customers can wash their hands. Other personal hygiene supplies include tissues and no-touch trash cans.

Signage

You might consider posting signage around your business to remind customers and employees to keep an appropriate distance and wash their hands often. You can also mark the floor with tape to keep tables and people at least 6 feet apart.

The Benefits of People Counting Systems for Social Distancing

With social distancing becoming the new normal for the foreseeable future, your store needs live occupancy counting to keep up. As your employees learn new procedures and you take on new responsibilities to keep customers safe, automated people counting offers many advantages.

Monitor Your Occupancy With Real-Time Data

With new restrictions placing maximum occupancy limits at a fraction of what they usually are, it doesn’t take many people for your building to reach its maximum occupancy. To maximize the number of people you can serve without violating rules, up-to-the-minute data about how many visitors you have is crucial. SafeEntry from Traf-Sys offers a real-time count that any of your employees can access via phone, tablet or computer.

If your store has multiple entrances, IN and OUT foot traffic is instantly updated for all employees without any additional coordination. Employees can update the occupancy limit at any time, allowing you to adjust as restrictions do. If you’re reserving certain hours for high-risk visitors, you can lower your occupancy limit during this time for added protection.

Distribute Your Staff More Effectively

Counting people by hand puts your team is closer proximity with more of your customers, which can make your employees feel unsafe. It also requires at least two people per door if one person counts those who enter and another counts those who leave. With the coronavirus placing additional duties, such as disinfecting, on your staff’s docket, you might not have the capacity to divert many of your employees to counting customers. People counting sensors automate this task, allowing you to send your staff where they are needed most.

Let Your Customers Make Informed Decisions

Some of your customers may want to avoid shopping during peak times. However, with people working fewer or more flexible hours, daily rushes can be more unpredictable than they have been in the past. If you use a monitor to display a current occupancy count for customers, people can decide for themselves whether it is safe to enter. Your customers will appreciate knowing your business is doing one more thing to keep them safe. You may even see your crowds self-regulate, with more people choosing to come back another time.

Inform Your Sanitation Schedule

Knowing how many people visit your establishment on a given day can help you adjust your cleaning and disinfecting decisions. You might decide you want to clean your building after a certain number of people have entered or by looking at occupancy data over time.

For example, say your people counter registers a regular peak in visitors between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., and a lull at 3 p.m. You can use this information to close at 3 p.m. for routine cleaning then reopen before your evening rush. With data-backed decision making, you can maintain cleanliness without sacrificing business.

FAQs About Social Distancing, Health and Safety for Small Businesses

Keeping the workplace safe in the age of coronavirus can be a challenge. It’s new territory for every business owner, and that leaves many questions about how to stay safe.

How Can We Bring in New Customers With Social Distancing Guidelines?

With many companies following new rules and seeing fewer customers than usual, it can be challenging to bring in new business. Here are a few things your business can try to attract new customers:

  • Offer options for limited and no-contact service. Click and collect, takeout, delivery or drive-thru services give customers more options and let you keep occupancy low.
  • Give customers the option to buy gift certificates online to support your business.
  • Advertise your health and safety precautions, so customers know it is safe to visit.
  • Go above and beyond your legal requirements to create a safe working, shopping or eating environment. 
  • Talk to both employees and customers about the things they want to see your business doing to promote safety for all.

How Should We Disinfect Products?

Currently, the CDC does not recommend that shoppers or stores disinfect food products. There’s no evidence that food packaging plays a significant role in spreading COVID-19 in the U.S. When it comes to stores, the more crucial areas to disinfect include shopping carts, self-checkout lanes, cash registers and restrooms. 

Have employees wash their hands before stocking items and discourage shoppers from touching products they don’t intend to buy. For other types of merchandise, such as clothes, some stores are using a 72-hour “quarantine” for returned items

In a restaurant setting, the FDA recommends some new procedures to keep food safe for consumption:

  • Discontinue operations requiring customers to use common utensils or dispensers, such as salad bars, buffets and beverage dispensers.
  • Verify that ware-washing machines are using the required wash and rinse temperatures, detergents and sanitizers.
  • Ensure food reaches the proper internal temperature before serving.
  • When storing hot foods for later use, be sure to cool them rapidly.
  • Minimize storing or displaying food between 41 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Introduce new training for any new cooking or preparation procedures.

What Should We Do in the Event of a Confirmed or Suspected Case?

If an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms, immediately separate the staff member from other employees and send them home.

According to the CDC, if an employee has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, you probably do not need to shut down the entire facility. However, you should close off any areas used for a prolonged period by the sick person. Wait at least 24 hours or as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize the risk of exposure to respiratory droplets. During the waiting period, increase air circulation to the contaminated area by opening outside doors and windows.

Follow all CDC guidelines to disinfect the area. Determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and decide what precautions those individuals should take. If the employee has a confirmed case of COVID-19, employers should inform employees of possible exposure without violating workplace confidentiality.

Learn More About People Counting Systems From Traf-Sys

People counting technology can help if you need a way to limit capacity in your retail store or restaurant. We offer a wide range of people counting sensors that allow you to access real-time data on the number of people in your store without the need for an employee at the door. Our systems offer 95% accuracy and above, with detection zones up to 80 feet wide. 

We offer a variety of tools to help you regulate the capacity of your store. Customer-facing screens inform visitors whether they can enter and allow each customer to make an informed decision before entering your establishment. The technology reduces the workload for your essential workers and shows customers you care about their safety.

Learn more about how our people counters work or request a quote today.

Using People Counters to Measure Jewelry Store Traffic

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If you’re a jewelry store owner, you know how to take the guesswork out of pricing and appraising fine gemstones and pieces of jewelry. You certainly wouldn’t guess at the price of a new diamond engagement ring — with the blind hope that you might get it right. Instead, you select a price that’s in line with your product and your customers’ expectations based on the diamond’s quality and cut, as well as its setting and the going prices of your competition.

Similarly, you can’t afford to guess at what your customers are up to — especially when jewelry store people counters from Traf-Sys Inc. can give you a realistic picture of the foot traffic of your jewelry store. Currently in use in more than 17,000 locations worldwide, our people counting systems are reliable, accurate and ready to help you leverage the foot traffic metrics that can help you grow your business.

People Counters for Jewelry Stores

We have more than 12 years of experience helping retail establishments better understand the needs and habits of their foot traffic. That’s why our customer counters for jewelry stores offer a unique opportunity for jewelry retailers everywhere. After all, when profit margins are tight, wouldn’t you like to take advantage of a proven way to increase your conversion ratios?

At Traf-Sys, we offer several different people counter solutions to effectively match the needs of your store’s layout, as well as the traffic it experiences. With sensitive readers mounted in a variety of possible positions, we regularly supply the following types of systems:

  • Overhead or horizontal readers: Depending on your store’s size, layout and entrances, you can choose an overhead or horizontal type of reader mounting. Either way, the right people counter for your store can be both unobtrusive and effective, leaving your customers free to shop and giving you the foot traffic data you need.
  • Wired or wireless counters: For some jewelers, the idea of a permanent wired installation is perfect, while for others, a battery-powered people counter that requires less time and effort to install is the perfect solution. Whichever you choose, we have a model that will suit your purposes.
  • Uni-directional or bi-directional systems: Certain retail establishments are only concerned with the approximate numbers of customers they see. Other businesses want a more accurate count of how many people enter and leave their retail spaces. This is why we offer both uni-directional and bi-directional systems. Bi-directional systems are capable of differentiating between people coming into and leaving the same space.

Benefits of Jewelry Store People Counter

Along with reliable hardware and great support services from Traf-Sys, you can expect the following benefits when employing one of our people counters designed for your jewelry store:

  • Predict peak hours: With people counters, you can better predict when your peak hours will be — both during regular daily operations, as well as around holidays and busy wedding seasons.
  • Make better staffing decisions: The last thing you want is too many or not enough staff on hand. This is why, once you have a good handle on your foot traffic trends, you can make much more informed staffing decisions that ultimately support your customers — and your profitability.
  • Evaluate promotions: Now, after running a TV ad or other type of sales campaign, you can accurately measure the results and/or effects they have on your foot traffic.
  • Track and improve conversion rates: With knowledge of your foot traffic and sales made during a given time period, you can begin to calculate your conversion rate — with an eye on making changes to improve it.
  • Deter shoplifting: Your products are valuable, which is why having people counters equipped with video playback can be an added deterrent to shoplifters. Once they know they’re under surveillance, most criminals think twice before committing a crime on camera.

For more information on making the most of people counters for jewelry stores, download our new product catalog or contact us directly today.

How To Calculate Retail Conversion Rate

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If you own or manage a retail shop, then it’s essential to know your analytics. Numbers answer nearly all your questions. Should you change your store layout, or is a new layout working effectively? Do you need more or fewer staff? Do you need to order more stock? Was a recent promotion or campaign successful?

When your business doesn’t rely on metrics and analytics, you’re just taking shots in the dark, hoping for the best and relying on instinct when it comes to measuring success.

Well, it seemed busier this week, and our sales were up, so we must be doing something right. Right?

But without metrics, it’s difficult to know where you should attribute your growth or your decline.

One vital question you should be asking that can help you better understand and answer all these questions is, What is my retail conversion rate?

To answer any analytical questions you might have about your business, you must have numbers to compare to, so the sooner you start tracking your retail conversion rate, the sooner you can begin digging into your metrics and start making more informed – and numbers-backed – business decisions.

This step-by-step guide will get you started. But first, let’s discuss retail conversion rates and why they are important.

Read the full article or jump to a specific section: 

What is Retail Conversion Rate?

Your store conversion rate is the proportion of the number of visitors to your store to the number of visitors who made a purchase. This tells you how well you’re doing at turning browsers into buyers. Your retail conversion rate gives you critical insight into what’s happening in your store. Again, without measuring data such as this, your business decisions are basically based on guesswork.

Calculating your retail conversion rate is one of the best ways to measure the success of your business. Focusing on driving foot traffic into your store and increasing the number of transactions based purely on more bodies is one simple strategy you can employ to boost sales, but more bodies won’t necessarily equate to more money. We’ll explain why in the next couple sections.

Instead, measuring your conversion rate — as opposed to looking only at transactions — paints a much more accurate picture of how well your store is doing.

Calculating retail conversion will tell you how many leads are converting into actual sales — meaning more money for your business — as well as help you analyze other factors. And if you decide to revise any strategies, such as the goods you stock, your window displays or your store layout, or if you try out a new advertising approach, your retail conversion rate will tell you if these things are helping or hindering your bottom line.

retail conversion rate formula

How to Calculate Conversion Rate for Retail Stores

So how do you go about calculating your retail conversion rate? It’s pretty simple when you have accurate foot traffic and sales numbers.

First, determine the timeframe you want to examine. Then, take the number of sales made and divide it by the number of customers who visited your store during your designated period, which will give you a decimal. To convert this decimal to a whole number, multiply it by 100. This will give you your conversion rate. Below is the conversion rate formula written out:

retail conversion rate = (number of sales / number of customers) x 100

Pretty easy, right? And the data you receive will be invaluable to your business.

Why Is It Important to Count People and Customers?

It’s tempting to make all your business decisions based simply on transaction metrics. If you’re making sales, and you can track how many sales you make and your average transaction value, many business owners will call that a day and think of that data as “good enough.”

That’s because it’s easy to calculate your transaction data. However, when you begin to count the number of people entering your store, and whether they make a purchase, you’ll get a lot more details about how you’re genuinely doing.

Let’s look at an example.

Say that your store made $6,000 in week 1. You had 150 transactions, so your average transaction value was $40. In the following week, week 2, you made $7,200 and had 160 transactions, so your average transaction value went up to $45. Seems like things improved in week 2, right?

Maybe not. Let’s use the retail conversion formula instead.

First, we need to know your store traffic so we can calculate your conversion rate. In week 1, you had 1,200 people enter your store. Of those, 150 made a purchase, so your conversion rate was 12.5 percent.

In week 2, you had 2,000 people enter your store. That’s a lot more foot traffic. During week 2, you made 160 sales. This equates to a conversion rate of only 8 percent. So even though your average transaction value increased, and even though you made more money in week 2 over week 1, you converted fewer sales per visitor.

Your conversion rate dropped by more than one-third.

If you had maintained that 12.5 percent conversion rate, even at the lower $40 average transaction value you had in week 1, you would have pulled in $10,000. That’s a big difference!

To accurately calculate your conversion rate, you must know how many customers enter your store. Inaccurate store traffic numbers will skew conversion results, so it’s critical to have an accurate people counting system.

Consider the helpful experts at Traf-Sys for your people counting needs. Our thermal imaging people counting systems are up to 98 percent accurate, so you know you’re getting the right numbers to calculate your conversion rate — and all other foot traffic metrics — every time.

average retail conversion rate

What Is the Average Retail Conversion Rate for a Retail Store?

Now that you know how to calculate your store conversion rate accurately, you may be wondering, What is a typical conversion rate for a shop?

These numbers can be a bit difficult to nail down as businesses are often reluctant to share this data — and fewer than 25 percent of retailers even engage in people counting — but industry average conversion rates for brick-and-mortar stores is around 20 percent.

One thing is certain — every industry is different, which makes it even more important to start measuring your own conversion rate and begin tracking it for comparisons, week-over-week, month-over-month and year-over-year.

And once you start calculating your foot traffic — using an accurate people counting system — you’ll be ahead of your competition and well on your way to making better business decisions.

factors that impact conversion rate

What Factors Impact Your Store’s Retail Conversion Rate?

As a retail shop owner, the worst thing that you can imagine is this scenario — a customer walks into your store, takes one look around and immediately walks out. That’s a lead that didn’t convert — a sale that wasn’t made. But this scenario is avoidable.

Many factors will influence your ability to convert.

  1. Strategically position your displays. The way you position your displays is important in determining conversions. Make sure you have attractive window displays since this is something that every customer will see. Most customers will likely enter your store, scan the area and move in a clockwise rotation, so make sure that you put your newest, most attractive and highest margin items to the left of your entrance. Make aisles shorter and angle displays to remove the grocery store-like monotony that comes from long aisles. And position low-priced, impulse buys near the register and checkout area.
  2. Place retail sales associates on the floor. Are your team members greeting customers and guiding them through the purchasing process? If not, then you’re missing sales opportunities. With the high amount of e-commerce that has taken over the retail industry, many customers shop in-store because they want to ask your sales associates questions and learn more about your products. So make sure your employees are available, greeting and engaging with customers, and knowledgable about the items they’re selling. Also, be sure you’re staffing according to traffic, so you have more associates available when traffic is highest.
  3. Manage your inventory. Make sure you have what people want in stock by performing spot-checks and physical audits. And though you want to be certain you have enough inventory in the stockroom, placing fewer items on the floor will give shoppers the feeling of scarcity — which makes the items feel unique to the customer and will increase their perceived value, boosting conversions.
  4. Re-evaluate your checkout line. People hate waiting, and many customers are scared off and may abandon a sale if the line is too long. Consider putting your registers in the back of the store to hide the line. Or even better, think about getting rid of registers altogether by implementing mobile checkout that allows your employees to ring up customers wherever they are on the floor.

Increasing conversion can be a matter of simply making a few tweaks. Continue tracking your conversion rates as you make changes so you can know what’s working and what isn’t.

Questions This Data Will Answer

Once you begin tracking your retail conversion rate, you can start to answer some questions based on your store traffic and revenue, which will give you new insight into your business that will help you make staffing and inventory decisions.

  1. Is there a time of the day when the conversion rate is highest?
  2. Is there a time of the day when the conversion rate is lowest?
  3. Is there a day of the week where rates are highest?
  4. Is there a day of the week where rates are lowest?
  5. Does your conversion rate change when you are understaffed?
  6. Do conversion rates increase when sales associates are encouraged to promote a specific item or promotion?

When you have reliable data and numbers to back it up, you can begin digging into these questions, and many more.

retail kpis

Other Retail Key Performance Indicators You Should Be Measuring

Once you start analyzing your data and digging into the hard-and-fast metrics that prove your company’s mettle, you’ll be hooked! You’ll want to look at all your key performance indicators (KPIs) to know how you’re doing in every aspect of your business.

Let’s dive into other important retail KPIs your store should be tracking:

  • Revenue per visitor: Revenue per visitor tracks the amount of money generated each time someone walks into your store. This is important to measure because it shows you whether efforts to increase traffic are working. A positive trend in your revenue per visitor metric proves that more people are visiting and buying, while a negative trend can indicate that though you’re receiving more traffic, you’re still not converting.

    revenue per visitor = total revenue / total number of visitors

  • Average transaction value: This metric shows you the average value generated from each transaction. This number lets you know how much customers spend on average when they come into your shop. A higher amount means that either people are buying bigger ticket items or purchasing larger quantities. You can use this number to determine if you’re pricing items appropriately.

    average transaction value = total revenue / total number of sales

  • Sales per employee: Sales per employee can help you with scheduling and incentivizing your employees. It can also help you make decisions in regards to hiring and compensation. You can also drill down even more and measure this number based on each employee to determine how each of your staff members is performing individually.

    sales per employee = net sales / number of employees

  • Year-over-year growth: How is your business doing? Are you improving every year? For the answer, you need to determine your year-over-year growth. As a business owner, you should strive for continuous development. This number helps you know if you’re getting better or worse each year.

    year-over-year growth = (current period revenue – previous period revenue) / previous period revenue x 100

  • Net profit: Net profit tells you how much you’ve earned minus the cost of goods and all other business expenses, like administrative costs, employee payroll, rent and more. This determines if you’re putting money in your pocket or if your overhead is too high to make any money. The equation is simple.

    net profit = all revenues – all expenses

  • Sell-through rate: This is the percentage of items sold compared to the total number of items available. It lets you know how your inventory is performing so you can make better purchasing decisions.

    sell-through = number of items sold / beginning inventory x 100

  • Shop rate calculation: How much should you be charging on retail items? There isn’t necessarily a hard-and-fast calculation that you can use to determine this number. Consider the market rate and be sure to cover your labor and overhead costs. A simple rule of thumb is to double the wholesale price.

    retail price = wholesale price x 2

  • Foot traffic: Foot traffic refers to the number of people who come into your store. It’s pretty straightforward! This metric can help you evaluate whether your marketing efforts are working effectively. It’s calculated by simply counting the number of people coming through your door.

    calculated using accurate people counting systems

Go ahead and embrace your inner math geek. When it comes to business, KPIs are king. The more you’re calculating, the more you know about how your business is performing, and the more you can do to enhance your performance, improve your marketing and convert more leads into customers.

traf sys retail conversion rate quote

Choose Traf-Sys Inc. for Your People Counting Needs

When you’re ready to take more control of your business metrics, contact Traf-Sys today to find out how we can help you measure traffic coming into your retail establishment.

Our people counting systems are highly accurate and provide a range of benefits for your business. People counting and traffic analysis will allow you to calculate your conversion rates as well as allow you to:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising and promotional strategies in real time.
  • Optimize your staffing based on traffic and determine where your customers are going within your store, so you know where staff is needed most.
  • Implement effective marketing and operations strategies based on best practices for your niche.

Call us at 888-815-6568 to talk to our experts and learn more about our people counting system and request a free quote for services.

How to Increase Retail Traffic Conversion Rates

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Want to know how to drive conversion in retail? Gathering store retail analytics with a people counting system like Traf-Sys makes increasing your retail conversion rates simpler than ever. Customer data informs retail conversion strategies that have a higher chance of success. You can use your information to observe your customers and practice effective staff management that sells. Learn how to convert in retail with these data-driven and customer-centered approaches.

Read the full guide or skip to a specific section:

Optimize Staff Scheduling by Analyzing Store Traffic Data, Not Sales Data

Building your staff schedules around customer traffic numbers can improve your team’s preparedness during busy times of the day. A staffing strategy based solely on sales numbers fail to account for the total number of customers in your store who need assistance. Imagine that it’s lunchtime and a few of your daytime associates are off-the-clock on their lunch break. Employees from businesses across the street are leaving for their lunch breaks as well and decide to kill some time in your store. Suddenly, you have a flood of customers in your store and a shortage of employees to take care of them.

Research shows that during peak traffic times, conversion rates tend to drop. Why is this exactly? In the example above, conversion rates would drop due to long lines at the register or a lack of employees available to assist customers on the floor. Your associates do need to eat. However, to remedy this particular situation, you could consider scheduling breaks a bit before lunch and a bit after lunch so that you are not left swamped during the mid-day rush. If you are tracking the traffic in your store, you will be able to identify other high traffic times during the day, week, month, and year. Knowing your peak traffic times will allow you to ensure that you have enough associates available to assist customers and improve your retail traffic conversion rate.

Observe Store Operations to Identify Why Customers Are Not Buying

Simple observation is another way to identify the reasons why your customers may not be buying. Walk your aisles or stacks discreetly and observe your customers. Are they looking for something that they just can’t find? Or has the item been shelved incorrectly? Is there an associate nearby? If so, are they available to help the customer? What about your store’s merchandising? Is it causing the customer to look twice?

By simply taking the time to watch your customers and jot down some notes, you will be able to determine a few ways that you can begin increasing your retail traffic conversion rate. If you make any changes based on your observations, you will then be able to see if your changes helped by looking at the traffic data.

Develop Sales Associate Training and Set Goals to Help Conversion

Your employees are the ones on the front line dealing with customer after customer every day. It is likely that they may see and experience things that you do not. Talk to them. Why do they think that people don’t buy? How do they believe the store could improve?

Make sure that your staff understands what retail traffic conversion is and how each one of them has a hand in influencing it. Conduct a staff meeting where you determine targeted goals for your retail traffic conversion rates. Turn it into a collaborative or competitive staff effort that will be rewarded somehow. Either way, get the staff excited about increasing your conversion rates. If your staff isn’t passionate about improving conversion rates, then conversion rates will not go up, no matter what you try to do on your own. Once you get your staff excited about improving retail traffic conversion, you can train them in effective ways to help customers and encourage them to buy.

Control Your Register Lines to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Long or slow queues can discourage customers from finalizing a purchase or returning to your store. Make the register line more pleasing for your patrons with strategies such as:

  • Placing registers in the back of your store: If you run your registers close to your entrance, try moving them further into your store for a subtler feel.
  • Switching to a single-line model: Queuing customers in a single line for all stations can result in faster checkouts and shorter wait times.
  • Keeping customers occupied as they wait: Consider ways to make the area near the line more interesting, such as by placing merchandise there.

It may take some experimentation to find methods that improve the queuing experience for your customers. Pay close attention to your traffic, sales and customer satisfaction data to see which approaches deliver the right results.

Improve Store Your Layout 

Understanding your store’s flow of traffic will allow you to improve your store layout and ultimately your conversion rate. There are a few key things that are vital to take into consideration when thinking about your store’s layout.

  • 90% of people are right-handed, which also means they are right-footed. When people enter your store, they are more likely to turn right and work their way around your establishment in a counter-clockwise fashion.
  • Aisle width: Wide aisles encourage customers to power-walk through them to their intended destination. Narrow aisles encourage customer browsing and will increase impulse buys.
  • However, extremely narrow aisles may get clogged and will make customers exit your store. It is important to find a balance that fits your available space.  Narrow aisles could also difficult for people counters to properly count customers.
  • High traffic areas and low traffic areas: Promotions will be most successful in high traffic areas of your establishment. Consider placing high-profit items in busy areas and high demand items in low retail store traffic areas, such as at the back of your store. This will help draw customers all the way through your establishment. A greater number of sales associates available to assist customers may be required in these high traffic areas as well.

Offer Price Matching to Compete With Major Retailers and Online Stores

If you sell in a competitive market, price matching can set you apart from other businesses in your industry. This practice can promote retention and make conversions that could go to other retailers. Offering a price match reassures your customer that you prioritize having the lowest prices on the market. It also lets you keep customers who would otherwise go to other retailers with lower prices.

When you’re implementing a price matching policy, remember to balance regulations with ease of access. Find ways for your customer to offer reasonable proof of your competitor’s price that protects your profits. For example, you can provide a 30-day window that gives customers time to redeem their offers.

Present Employee Incentives to Enhance Morale and Increase Store Conversions

You need your entire team to work together to get the most conversions possible. Giving your staff performance incentives gets them involved in conversions and rewards them for their hard work. Ask your employees what they would want as an incentive for sales performance, and help them reach those goals. Make converting customers a team effort by:

  • Teaching your staff about conversions: Explain the concept of conversions to your staff, and give them advice on how to finalize sales.
  • Setting reasonable goals: Set your conversion targets relative to your current performance to keep employee achievements within reach.
  • Asking for employee input: Your staff has one-on-one interactions with customers, so see what they have to say about customer opinions.

These strategies can increase your team’s morale and help them feel involved in your store’s success.

Lead by Example to Demonstrate Top-Quality Customer Service to Your Staff

Small business leaders often involve themselves in day-to-day operations. If you work with customers, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show your team how you want them to behave on the sales floor. Your employees will model many of their sales strategies on the ones you use in front of them.

As you become a model for your employees, you can make it clear that you expect them to follow your example. Point out when one of your customer interactions succeeds in converting and explain why. If you happen to make a mistake, you can also overview it with your staff and brainstorm better ways to resolve that kind of situation. Opening up to your team in these ways shows that you also want to learn, building trust.

Provide Free Samples to Promote Trust and Brand Awareness

When you give your customers free samples, drinks or snacks, you tap into the human desire to give back. Samples give your customers the feeling that they want to do something for you in return since you gave them a free item. This strategy can also increase conversions by:

  • Giving customers a reason to stay: Free drinks and snacks encourage your patrons to browse the store as they enjoy them.
  • Offering the chance to try out new products: If you give out samples of a new product, you can get feedback about customer interest.
  • Raising awareness about your business: People who get free samples that they enjoy will often tell their friends about the experience.

Remember to choose samples that fit your audience. For example, you may want to provide a vegan option if you offer food samples at a holistic wellness store.

Manage Your Inventory Levels to Keep Your Business Well-Stocked

Maintaining a stock that matches your sales patterns will promote customer satisfaction and raise conversion rates. Pay attention to your patrons’ favorite goods, and check on their stock numbers. Keeping popular items in stock ensures that your customers will count on you as a source for their favorite products.

In instances where you run out of a well-loved item, a contingency plan can help you keep customers moving toward a conversion. Find ways to encourage them to wait for your item to come back or purchase an alternative. For example, if you have online sales, you can show them where to order the product and offer free shipping. You could also promise to text or call them when the product comes back in stock.

Implement and Promote a Hassle-Free Return Policy

Returns are an unavoidable part of retail. Some managers only see the negative side of the return equation and miss out on the positive impact it can have on sales. Train your team to promote and highlight your store’s return policy. This can be an effective way to minimize the fears and hesitations some customers may have before completing their purchase.

Here are some common concerns your customers may be asking themselves before walking to the checkout counter:

  • This cost more than I was planning to spend. Can I really afford to make this purchase?
  • The product seems great now, but will I actually use it?
  • What happens if the item is defective or breaks?
  • Looks great here in the store, but what if I don’t like the way this looks in my home?

Concerns like these can be eliminated with a simple reminder of the store’s return policy, increasing the rate of conversion. Granted, a small percentage of these sales may come back as a return, but the net-benefit from additional sales can have a substantial impact on the bottom line.

How People Counting Data From Traf-Sys Can Help You Increase Retail Conversion Rates

If you need a reliable and valuable retail store traffic counter system, let our state-of-the-art technology guide your business strategy. Our hardware and software can record accurate data on the number of people entering or leaving your store. Let precise foot traffic information inform your conversion strategies and increase your profits. Request a free quote today by contacting a customer representative.