Monthly Archives: March 2017

Retail Traffic Counter Can Improve Customer Service

Customer service is one of the top factors people consider when they decide whether or not to visit your store. The RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report notes that “89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.” A second statistic, from Parature, says that “it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.”

  • Tough competition

There’s more competition than ever before and the stakes have never been higher—it’s predicted that by 2016, Americans will spend over $325 billion online.  Online-only retailers are growing their market share leaps and bounds because they  don’t have the overhead of operating a B&M location and can offer rock-bottom prices on products delivered right to your door. This can be hard to resist, so stores are fighting back with improved loyalty plans, digital signage and omni-channel marketing.

  • The customer is still always right

Despite all of these technological advances, the customer is still king and it’s the face-to-face interaction in-store that will largely determine whether or a not a shopper returns. And as shoppers look to buy more and more products online, retailers are investing more resources to ensure that every customer service interaction is a good one.

Much of customer service begins with staffing and understanding the busiest times. You don’t want to be the retailer where the checkout lines are always long and people are frustrated because there’s no one on the floor to help them.

At its most basic level, retail traffic counters can tell retailers how many people are visiting the store and how long they are staying. Retailers may also employ these counters around the store to determine what the busiest departments are, and if more staff is needed at changing rooms.

Using a retail traffic counter helps to optimize a retailer’s staffing so there are enough employees on-hand during the busiest shifts and ensures you are not wasting money by having too many people on the floor during slower times.

  • Lost in Aisle 5

Another common complaint you may hear is that “I can never find anything!” If you have a retail traffic counter and you use it in conjunction with your point of sale system, you can identify what the hot selling items are and place those displays front and center so people aren’t wandering around aimlessly searching for a certain product.

Retail traffic counters can also determine what areas people are visiting  around the store and assist with the planning and resetting of displays. By evaluating the way people traverse your store, you can see which pathways are the most frequented, which areas are underutilized and where there may be issues like crowding.

Retail traffic counters help keep eyes on nearly every aspect of your retail store. Gathering these analytics can help you make the changes for a better, faster and more pleasant customer experience at your business.

The Secret to Raising Retail Conversion Rates

Simply tracking your store’s sales isn’t enough. Retail managers and store owners also need to know how many customers are leaving the store without making purchases.

Counting customers can help determine the relationship between the number of visitors and the number of purchases in a store or the conversion rates and, ultimately, how to strengthen that relationship.

Low conversion rates could suggest that visitors aren’t happy with the product or the pricing, among other problems. That’s where counting comes in. People counting hardware allows retail managers and store owners to get to know their customers what they like and dislike.

The data obtained answers questions like:
– Which days of the week have the most trafficking?
– Which days have the least?
– Was there an increase in trafficking during a sale or promotion period?

And with these answers, managers can see what is and isn’t working in their stores and adapt accordingly. The equipment can work wonders in three ways:

  1. You won’t find yourself over or understaffed. Knowing your store’s busy and slow days will help you optimize labor while scheduling. For example, on the days that the store usually sees the least amount of visitors, employees can maintain productivity by cleaning, performing maintenance tasks, or unloading a new shipment of products. You won’t have to put maintenance tasks on a back burner during your busy days.
  2. You can discover the best ways reach your customers. Measuring your customers’ response to advertisements with retail counting hardware will tell you which medium of communication is most effective. For example, customers without a newspaper subscription aren’t likely to respond to an ad in the local paper. Knowing how to reach them will make your promotions translate to traffic.
  3. You will never make the same mistakes twice. Having an understanding of what your customers prefer will keep you from taking risks in your business ventures. Say goodbye to poor returns on investments. You can integrate traffic data obtained from people counting hardware into your overall marketing and advertising plans and measure traffic to support project funding.

Trafficking sensors comes in several forms overhead, horizontal, wireless, bi and unidirectional, and thermal. They can detect customers from all angles, no matter the size or scope of a store. Many models are web-compatible, making it easy to view and store the data.

People counting hardware is an invaluable tool that not only saves money by minimizing store costs, but makes money by maximizing profits.

Five tips for online shopping

Online shopping can change your life with its convenience and ease. Find out how to make the most of shopping online with our five useful tips.

With everything from shoes and handbags to furniture, technology and car insurance, you can buy whatever you want, whenever you want online. To make the most of shopping online, here’s what you need to look out for and consider before buying online.

1. Read the returns and cancellation policies carefully

It’s a good idea to look at the small print before you agree to purchase anything online.

Know what your rights are in terms of cancellations, in case you change your mind or find the item cheaper elsewhere.

And make sure you read the returns policy thoroughly, to avoid being stuck with something that doesn’t fit.

2. Know your sizes and measurements

When online shopping for clothes, use a tape measure and jot down your measurements, then keep them handy to avoid sizing errors and disappointment. Bear in mind that clothing sizes can vary from brand to brand – and even item to item – so check it with every purchase.

Remember to check measurement conversions too, if you’re buying from another country.

If you’re buying items, such as household goods or furniture, make sure you know whether measurements are in metric or imperial. And how much it will cost to ship heavy goods.

3. Look at the reviews

If it’s your first time buying from a particular online store, spend a few minutes looking at online reviews, or ask a friend what their experience has been with that vendor.

You’ll want to know about things like the quality of their goods and services, what their customer service record is like, and whether there have been any issues with credit card security. Before you click ‘purchase,’ be sure you want to do business with them.

4. Fill your cart or start a wish list

Throw everything you like the look of in your online shopping cart, or add everything to a wish list, and cull once you’ve finished browsing. Then leave it for a day or two, if the purchases aren’t urgent.

Retailers are constantly monitoring your shopping experience. They want you to buy from them, so they’ll do everything they can to seal the deal, even sometimes sending you discount coupons or reducing the prices of your chosen items.

5. Look for the best deals

Time spent on reconnaissance is seldom wasted! And with online shopping, the more time you put into your search, the more fruitful and economically savvy your purchases will be.

You don’t have to buy from the first or most beautiful-looking website. Keep on trawling and chances are you’ll find bargains, coupons, sales, loyalty points, free deliveries, new customer deals and many more ways to keep prices down and find what you really want.

 

Are department stores dead?

Last week Hudson’s Bay announced 2,000 job cuts. This week Sears Canada raised doubts about its future.  Are the days of the department store dead?

Sadly, I think they are; maybe not in the next few years but definitely in the next decade. You only have to look back at what has been happening in the past 10 years to know the department store model has been in trouble.

I shopped at the Bay on the weekend and saw how customer service has declined. There were long lineups at tills and few staff on the floor to answer customers’ questions.

We all bear some responsibility in this decline. Online shopping has been the biggest competitor for larger stores.

Addressing the bottom line usually means a cut in staff. Less staff means more waiting and in a society where we have become accustomed to having everything on-demand, we turn our backs on a way of shopping whose time has passed.