How Observing Shoppers in Your Store can Increase Your Retail Revenues

Shoppers decide where to shop based on any number of reasons ranging from location, convenience, value (not just low prices), service (helpful, knowledgeable assistance in store) occasion, or special offers. Apart from location, all the other factors can be influenced in order to improve retail outcomes.

It is a fair to estimate that not all the people visiting your store will necessarily buy something.  It is also reasonable to consider the potential possibility of increasing the value of what shoppers spend in your store. To be able to accurately predict and exploit these possibilities you need to determine what drives the intent of shoppers within your store and also what makes them abandon purchases while shopping in your store.

One method of doing this is by physically observing shoppers as they navigate aisles within your store. This can be achieved through video (installing cameras in strategic locations within aisles) or deploying field researchers disguised as mystery shoppers in store aisles to measure traffic.

Observing shoppers as they shop can give you important insights on what products customers look at, touch, pick up, purchase and in what order they do these actions.  It will also reveal a pattern of what items shoppers seem to prefer to put into their shopping baskets and which they abandon.

This is one important benefit of physical observation over transactional data at the Point of Sale. POS data will not tell you who came into the shop but did not accomplish their task, what the shopper intent is, and what products they abandon in-store. Shopper observation will give you additional valuable supporting data such as the gender, age, shoppers’ dwell time on a particular category and the peak traffic times.

Data collected from Mystery Shopper observation can help you understand your In-store Traffic-Browse–Buy ratios. Examples of how you can practically use insights from this ratio include:

Low-Traffic-High-Browse-Buy Ratios among shoppers: This insight tells you that this is an intentional destination for shoppers. Shoppers come specifically for a specific category at this store. The downside is that this is only true for a few shoppers.

High-Traffic-Low-Browse–Buy Ratios among shoppers: This clearly tells you that you are doing a poor job of converting shoppers who come into your store. Based on the observed shopper habits you may need to rethink your space, display, layout, pricing, and product ranges to improve shopper conversions

To learn more on how to improve your retail performance please read the following GFK Report by Norelle Goldring Head of Shopper Insights and Retail Strategy 

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