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For e-commerce stores, traffic to your website means everything. Without site visitors, you can’t have any sales. Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics provide you with easy options for measuring your traffic and analyzing where improvements need to be made. For brick and mortar retail stores, traffic is just as important, but the focus is on foot traffic. As it doesn’t happen digitally, it is much more difficult for physical retailers to measure foot traffic, but it’s not impossible.

How to measure foot traffic

The manual approach

The most basic way to measure your store’s foot traffic is to physically count it. A member of staff could stand by the entrance and count each person that walks through the door, or you could position a surveillance camera at the entrance and review the footage to tally each day’s traffic. However, these are time-consuming methods, and also present the risk of human error.

Automated approaches

If you’re looking for a more automated way to keep track of foot traffic, there are plenty of tools online that provide people-counting services. The technology implemented by the service provider will count the number of people coming into your store and transmit this information to your account. It can then generate reports and analytics to review.

Depending on the company you choose for this service, there are a number of different methods that can be used, such as:

  • Infrared sensors tracking how many times the beam is broken at the entrance.
  • Heat sensors tracking people’s heat signatures at the entrance and around the store.
  • Pressure-sensitive pads on the floor at the entrance to track people walking through.
  • Tracking how many people log in to the in-store Wi-Fi, and collecting data through their connection.
  • Encouraging social check-ins so people report themselves when they are in your store.

How to increase foot traffic

Several insights can be gained from your store's foot traffic analytics. These insights can help to inform in-store optimization. By tracking how many people visit your store, you can identify busy periods of the day and the week. From this knowledge, you can determine whether any particular days or shifts need more members of staff so that customers can all be seen to. On the other hand, you may have excess members of staff at some periods where the store isn’t too busy. In which case, you can save money by cutting down on personnel during those times.

Foot traffic data can also help you to optimize your store layout. Heat sensors that track the routes people take around your store are particularly useful for this. If certain points of your store get a lot of traffic, place your most lucrative products there. You could also place a promotion in these spots to attract more attention. Keep refreshing your promotional displays and window displays to keep your store exciting to attract more traffic.

Employing people-counting technologies in your retail store can help you master your foot traffic. You benefit from more customers, more sales, and more profits. What method do you use to measure in-store traffic?