We are proud to announce that our product, RetailFlux has been awarded by FinanceOnline in two nominations: Great User Experience 2018 and Rising Star 2018.
As a part of their fall semester, students from the Business Master Program of the prestigious University of St. Gallen have worked closely with retailer giants Aldi, Migrolino, Tally Weilj & IKEA. Groups of 4-6 students have competed alongside the management of the respective retailers in order to increase sales in the physical stores, as a part of their "Retail Analytics" course. To be able to develop the insight to improve the stores, the students have used relevant retail theory, but also gotten access to the many years of insight of BigBlue&Company while using two of Link Analytix tools; RetailFlux Flow and BlueBox League.
"In the first part of the course, an interactive, two-day "Retail Marathon" will teach students the fundamentals of applied retail marketing to increase profitability in stationary retail. They can then apply this knowledge directly in their partner store and test its practical relevance. We offer students the opportunity to work on site with the sales managers of four partner companies and boost profitability at the point-of-sale. The students are granted a lot of freedom: They can move shelves, relocate products and adjust the communication in the store."
BigBlue&Company and Link Analytix are both immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to facilitate the University of St. Gallen with some of the tools in order to provide the students with a real life case and give them hands on experience on improving in-store sales in a challenging retail environment.”
You can read the University of St. Gallens full coverage of the course and how the students used different tools in order to increase in-store sales by following this link.
Link Analytix AS, a subsidiary of the consulting agency BigBlue&Company, have reached an agreement for a long term collaboration with the Norwegian bookstore chain ARK Bokhandel AS.
The contract includes Link's proprietary software for optimal store operations in order to ensure traffic data to all of ARK's 142 stores in Norway and the measurement of conversion from traffic to actual sales for the chain's visitors. Espen Thømming, CEO of Link Analytix Norway had the following to say about the upcoming collaboration:
"We are grateful for the trust "ARK Bokhandel" has shown us with this contract and proud that they have chosen our solution".
Our norwegian readers can learn more about ARK Bokhandel here.
Espen Thømming, CEO Link Analytix Norway
Tel: +47 951 49 885
Evaluating marketing campaign effectiveness can not rely solely on sales figures. Increased foot traffic must be taken into account. Not all shoppers will buy on the first visit. They also may spend on other than the target merchandise or vendor. Using targeted sales data alone, therefore, is an incomplete indicator of shoppers pulled in
CPM (cost per mille) or CPT (cost per thousand), depending on the preferred nomenclature used, is a direct measure of money spent on marketing to entice shoppers. Having the data on the actual number of people walking through the doors creates a more accurate metric. Without this tool the evaluation falls back on the best estimate method which, without doubt, can skew the results leading to serious, costly errors.
High traffic flow area must be supported by high sales
Taking a look at the SSF (sales per square feet) measurement, there need to be an adequate traffic flow into those square feet to support sales. Using only daily sale data does not give an accurate indication of shoppers. Again, the shoppers may not purchase that day, however, that does not mean that marketing and merchandising plans are not making an impact. Factoring in the those feet on the floor gives a much clearer image of marketing draw.
So why should shopping malls use people counters? To provide those enhanced metrics. In the current economic atmosphere every advantage needs to be applied. Knowing with a certainty that there is adequate traffic to support the businesses in the mall and thereby the mall itself. Relying on older, less exacting techniques, is no longer a best practices option. The technology is available to capture the data so it can be put to use in an effective manner
When it comes to retail locations, the playing field has changed drastically over the years. Today, with online shopping and Internet-based stores popping up daily, both new and established traditional stores need to focus their efforts if they want to be successful. The best way of doing this is by understanding the key success factors of retail locations.
Driving Customer Traffic
It's no secret that customer traffic is a key component of retail success. The most important formula for driving traffic relies on making sure that you know what customers are looking for, and that you have it available at the right price. In addition, you also have to ensure that customers know what you have. This means you need to take advantage of advertising opportunities available in your area in order to get consumers inside your location.
Be a Fast Follower
While many believe that the key to success is to be the first to develop a new product or service, research has shown this is not the case. In fact, there is a failure rate of around 47% for those who are the first to introduce or sell a product. This is compared with only an 8% failure rate for those who enter the market early on. If there are new products that you believe have potential, taking advantage early and offering them in your locations is important.
Technology is also a major factor in driving customer traffic. Utilizing Facebook and other online platforms is a necessity, and one that will keep your store in the forefront of current and potential customers' minds. Announcing sales and new products on these platforms will keep interest high, and drive traffic to your store. Even though you are a brick and mortar location, technology is still an important success factor that you should not ignore.
Once consumers are inside your location, your customer service is the most important factor in generating sales and repeat customers. If your customers are well-served, they are considerably more likely to make a purchase during their visit, and to return later. Ensuring that all employees understand the importance of exceptional customer service will go a long way in helping your retail location see success.
Determining whether you are following and meeting these key factors can be difficult. However, with the proper tools and analytics, you can easily determine how many customers are entering your store, and their buying habits.
Conversion rate for retailers is simply a means to calculate the percentage of how many people bought something from your store versus how many people came in. For example, if you had a promotional sale on all any products that contained the letter 'B' (we're not judging) and you had 200 people enter your store, but only 30 bought something - you would have a 15% conversion rate.
How did you get that?
The formula for calculating your conversion rate is the total amount of people who entered your store divided by the amount of people who bought something. Does that seem overly simple? It really is, but you run in to some dilemmas when it comes to practicality. Do families count individually or as a group - especially when only one person bought wiper blades. What if one of your associates took a sale, but you were distracted and didn't note it and your numbers are skewed? This is generally where a people counting system comes in to play, but more on that in a moment.
Okay, so my conversion rate is 15%. Now what?
Conversion rates will vary on a number of factors. It's important to consider that when plotting your conversion rates. Knowing your conversion rates should be for a general, overall understanding of your store's interaction with customers.
High conversion rates - 90% - would be amazing, but generally speaking, that only happen at gas stations or convenience stores, where almost everyone buys something and it's usually individuals paying for their items. A specialty department store will generally expect around 30% - 40%.
You will want to plot your conversion rates out over an extended period of time. The benefit for recording this information is that you can start to recognize patterns of what people are interested in and when sales seem to be the highest. Some markets have days where they are busier - for example, movie theaters tend to have many more patrons on Friday or Saturday night, and especially on a Friday where most people have received paychecks. You can use this information to decide what promotions you may want to offer at these particular times and when the business wanes and you should focus on other tasks.
When you're tracking the number of customers who are entering your store, there are a few questions that you're asking yourself. First, at what times is the store most crowded? When do you need to schedule more employees? How are your promotions working?
...one thing you may forget to consider, however, is how shoppers are affected by high store traffic.
People are influenced by crowd mentality
High store traffic can encourage people to check out your business. The busier your store is, the more people are influenced by the crowd mentality. If lots of people are checking it out, then others will want to follow.
High store traffic may decrease customer service. You'll need to make sure that you have an adequate number of employees on hand to help your customers get everything they need. Track your busiest hours, and have extra employees on hand during those hours to handle rush traffic.
High store traffic may increase the amount of time customers spend in the store. Their response to this may vary by the individual and based on what they're planning to purchase. Does your business offer services that encourage people to browse, rather than grabbing an item and hurrying to the checkout line? People might browse longer while they wait for lines to go down. On the other hand, convenience-style stores that people want to get in and out of as quickly as possible will lose business if potential customers see that it's too crowded.
High store traffic may increase customer frustration. There will be more people in the aisles, so you'll need to arrange your displays to allow for plenty of room to get around.
You want to bring people into your business consistently--both one-time customers and those who come back again and again. By knowing what happens when there's high customer traffic in your store, you can provide the best possible customer service and ensure that those people keep coming back.
As a business owner, your primary goal is to increase profit. This requires a careful balance of resources, expenditures, pricing, and numerous other factors intended to ensure that you earn more than you spend. And when you own and operate a retail store, your staff plays a major role in your bottom line. Payroll can take a big chunk out of your budget if you don't manage it wisely. But your retail staff is also a crucial component of the customer experience.
If you skimp on staffing, customers may not receive the help they need with product questions, they may have to wait in prohibitively long lines to make purchases, and their experience may cause them to walk away without making a purchase. On top of all that, they may refuse to return to your store, or even complain to other consumers, quashing potential future sales in the process.
The point is that you need to plan efficient if you want to staff your retail store appropriately. You don't want so many staff members that your payroll puts the kibosh on any profit you earn. But you also want enough staff members on hand to deal with customer traffic. And the place to begin the planning process is with retail analytics. You need to know how many people are entering your store, at what times, how long they're staying, and if they're making purchases thanks to the assistance of your staff, or alternately, if they're leaving empty-handed due to high volume and insufficient staffing.
Perhaps the best way to accomplish your goal of people counting is to install a people counting camera in your store. This piece of equipment is designed to monitor and record anyone and everyone who comes in and out of your store, giving you the analytical data needed to determine how best to staff your retail location. Business owners use automatic people counting for other reasons, such as store security or to be in compliance with maximum capacity restrictions. But if you want to determine how to most efficiently staff your store, shopper counting is a good way to spot patterns in shopper activity, noting the times and dates that seem to enjoy more or less traffic, as well as the effect of marketing efforts like sales, advertising, and so on.
The end result could not only lead to better staffing choices, allowing you to cut costs whenever possible, but using a video analysis people counter could also help you find ways to increase store traffic and sales. Ultimately, retailers need to efficiently plan to have the staff they need when they need it. It's not an exact science, but using the right hardware and software can give you the data you need to make wise choices where staffing is concerned, saving you money on staffing when possible and potentially earning you more as a result.