How footfall technology can help retailers

Online retailers will be familiar with analysing every aspect of their website traffic. From how many people are visiting their site, how long they’re spending there and how they got there in the first place to the pages they looked at, the keywords they used and how much they spent.

As any retail design agency will tell you, it’s also important that the same behaviours are monitored in actual bricks and mortar stores. Just like Google Analytics should go hand-in-hand with any website, footfall technology is something that retailers should class as a necessity for their stores.

What is footfall technology? 

Footfall counters are a simple piece of technology which can be installed into retail businesses, airports, train stations and tourist attractions. Sensors at the entrance measure the number of people coming and going. More interestingly however, it can also be used to count each time a person passes a set point, generate heat maps and calculate dwell times.

If you are new to this technology, an experienced retail design agency like Big Group Retail who were founded back in 1991 will be able to offer help and advice if you would like to find out more.

Here’s a brief overview of the benefits to get you started.

What are the benefits of footfall technology?

The greatest benefit of footfall technology is that it can provide the key metrics that online stores can access simply by looking at analytics. Below we discuss the important information you will be able to gather and how this can help your retail outlet.

People counting

In order to make effective business decisions, you need good intelligence, and this is exactly what footfall counters provide.

  • Knowing how many people are entering your store and then going on to make a purchase enables you to work out a conversion ratio
  • You can identify customer trends
  • You can compare store performance across a worldwide network
  • You can calculate footfall patterns and then optimise your building layout and staffing levels accordingly
  • Customer service can be improved

Last month, Ipsos Retail Performance announced that footfall technology is now even more sophisticated. One of the biggest challenges retailers faced was trying to decipher the difference between customers and employees when analysing their data. New staff exclusion technology completely eliminates this problem however through the simple use of wearable tags and lanyards.

Better business optimisation

Technology can help you to make better decisions about running your business. You can for example identify peak traffic times so you know when you need more staff. Having too many employees on the shop floor during quiet times is a waste of money but having too few on shift during peak times is going to hinder your ability to offer good customer service. Footfall technology takes out the guesswork and enables you to make accurate decisions.

Improved customer service

One of the most important aspects of footfall technology is its ability to provide an insight into what it might be like to be one of your customers. You can identify:

  • How appealing the shop is to use (for example, queue management will tell you if customers face long wait times to get into the changing rooms or pay for their items)
  • The impact, performance and success of marketing initiatives
  • How to improve store layout and ease customer navigation

All-in-all, footfall technology allows shop managers to build a detailed and accurate picture of store traffic on an hourly, daily, weekly and even yearly basis. With this information to hand, you can make strategic decisions that improve merchandising and store displays, optimise staff resources and crucially, turn casual visitors into loyal customers.