Understanding traffic, the foundation of the path to purchase
Here at RetailNext, we are seeking to close the gap between e-commerce and Brick and Mortar stores. This gap was created by e-commerce’s ability to gather unprecedented amounts of information about massive numbers of users. Traditional stores have been buying consumer information for years to model and try to understand their shoppers, but how can they hope to keep up with websites that gather information about every single one of their users and store it in a database? The short answer: they can’t. So we’re here to help them gather that information. What we have found is that the numbers retailers gather internally become much more useful when paired with path-to-purchase metrics. The foundation for any store’s understanding of their customers is in a simple and underrated metric, traffic.
Traffic is useful not just to the owners of an independent coffee bar, but also to the higher ups at 1000+ location chains. Once they measure traffic, they can contextualize their internal numbers and begin to make better decisions for their business. Let’s examine a few sets of information that become much more powerful when paired with traffic.
The lifeblood of any retail store is the stream of dollars flowing in, a key indicator of performance. This number becomes incredibly powerful when paired with traffic because it yields conversion rates. Conversion allows for stores to be differentiated based on their performance and for improvement goals to be set and evaluated.
Staffing represents an area of retail operations that can be optimized when schedules are set based on traffic . For example, customer service employee schedules can be set to the heaviest hours and store maintenance can be set to avoid these high activity times.
The effectiveness of marketing can also be measured through traffic counting. Multibillion dollar ad campaigns and ads in the Sunday circulars can be evaluated based on whether or not stores see corresponding increases in traffic.
At RetailNext, we emphasize the versatility of our platform, which can ingest and provide so much information, but it’s important to not forget what’s at the base of the pyramid, traffic.