Retail World

Pedestrian flow in retail: the real meaning of counting


Different performance indicators can be obtained on customer behaviour thanks to a real store’s analysis. In addition to being able to count the number of people entering the store, you can get valuable information on how many of them make a purchase, how many come out of the store empty-handed, or how many potential customers pass in front of the window shop.

But why is it so important to know the number of people who pass daily in front of our store? And how can this information help optimizing the results of the point of sale?

  • The shop windows as a sales tool: the attraction rate

How much attention does your shop window is capable to catch? How many, of the people who pass by, remain so fascinated to decide to enter for a ride? It’s very important information: in fact, analysing sales points without calculating the external traffic could lead us to incorrect conclusions. Let’s take an example:

Every day, in a shop in Via X every day a total of 1000 people walking in front of a store, and 100 enter inside. In another shop in Via Y instead, every day 100 people pass in front of the shop window, and 20 end up entering.

If we only take into consideration the people who are inside the store, without analysing the flow of external traffic, it would seem that the shop in Via X works much better. Instead, by calculating the average pedestrian traffic on the street, it is easy to realize that the attraction rate of the Via Y shop greatly exceeds expectations: it is able to attract twice the number of customers passing in front of its shop window.

Are their windows shops more interesting? The store staff is able to attract people’s attention? Are the promotions or offers visible enough?

These questions are essential for optimizing points of sale in accordance with real data, proven thanks to the count of external pedestrian traffic.

  • Staff distribution and peak hours

Pedestrian traffic on the street undergoes variations based on numerous factors: changes according to the time, the day of the week, the commercial or public businesses in the area and the opening hours.

The pedestrian flow varies constantly, and consequently, also the potential customers: it’s not the same, in fact, being in a shopping mall or in a busy street, in the city centre or in the suburbs. Likewise, there will be differences in turnout between a weekday or a public holiday, or even at 9:00 in the morning compared to 19:00 in the evening.

Having certain information, it is essential to adapt opening, closing times and staff shifts based on customer turnout: if there is not enough staff at the right time, both the sales and the customer’s shopping experience could be affected.

  • Underpricing on store rent

The rents of the commercial establishments change according to pedestrian traffic. The price per m² will not be lower on a side street than a main one. It is logical: the higher the number of people on the street, the higher the chances of increasing store sales.

Knowing the number of people passing in front of our store, our attraction and conversion rate and the average ticket value per customer, we can easily get the maximum price to pay per m².

This simple calculation gives us contractual power, and at the same time provides a realistic view of the results of our business.

  • The impact of climate on sales

Generally, in good weather people are more inclined to walk and shop more willingly. In the same way, rain and bad weather negatively affect pedestrian traffic. So, how to know the effect that climate change can have on sales?

At TC Group Solutions we have precise tools that measure pedestrian traffic (external and internal) and help retailers optimize sales and results.

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