April 24, 2018

The Importance of Footfall Data Analytics. Is Your Business Future-proof?

Why are businesses not tracking their footfall, and what can they do about it?

When you think of measuring the success of a business, immediately a few things spring to mind. Brand awareness and reputation are certainly positives. But usually it’s measures such as revenue or profit that are at the forefront of thinking.

However, these figures can be taken out of context. For example cost cutting or price rises can be used to manipulate profit. This may give the impression of increased profits in the short term but, while this may please shareholders, it is something which may not be completely sustainable in the long run.

For a way to get a true representation of how a (retail) business is performing, one can study levels of footfall – alongside profits, revenue and sales. Comparing these enables you to look at figures such as sales conversions – so you can see not only how many customers are entering your store, but how many of those customers actually buy something – and help accurately forecast appropriate staffing levels. Furthermore, it allows organisations to measure the success and impact of marketing strategies and advertising campaigns.

When you take a look at the footfall figures for Christmas 2017, it is worrying for high street and shopping centre retailers to see that overall footfall dropped by around 5% compared to the same period in 2016. This is the largest reduction since December 2013, when average footfall levels fell by 5.2% on the previous year. The 5% drop is also much lower than the 3-month rolling average of a 1.9% decrease, as well as the 12-month rolling average of a 0.7% decrease.

Comparing these figures, high street stores are witnessing a much greater drop in footfall compared to retail parks. This resilience of retail parks reflects the rise in online activity and services such as “Click and Collect”.

With general levels of footfall reducing, this means it has to be high up on an organisation’s list of priorities. It is a metric that can be measured and the data that is gathered used to great effect. But are organisations responding?

In a 2017 study, our partner company Irisys surveyed 947 high street stores on a variety of topics. What stood out though was that almost half of those spoken to were not using people counting technology of any kind to track customer traffic. This seems odd, given the power of accurate footfall data to shape and develop a stores in-store strategy and improve conversion ratios.

Axiomatic provide intelligent, automated footfall and people counting solutions. We have helped businesses across retail, public, education, leisure and entertainment sectors for over 20 years. Our solutions range from simple beam counters to sophisticated thermal and video counters. These, combined with intuitive reporting software, make it quick and easy for our customers to make strategic decisions.

Click here for more information on our retail people counting solutions.