Trends in Store Foot Traffic

Every business has trends that occur in their customers’ shopping behaviors. Most stores have peak shopper hours when the store just seems to be busier than at other times of the day. Mall stores can vary in their peak shopper hour’s verses retail jewelry businesses in stand alone  buildings. With labor being such a huge total costsof operating a retail jewelry store it is imperative that managers track foot traffic to understand trends and respond with proper store staffing.

Some stores use electronic meters to count shoppers passing through the store’s door way. While the total numbers are never completely accurate, they do provide some valuable information that is readily available to managers. Manual systems can also be made effective with a bit of training and constant reinforcement of its importance to employees. 

Trends can be identified by recording actual shopper visits per store hour for the previous four weeks and graphing a line of projected activity for the upcoming week. Store managers can begin to see how customers might be changing the hours they frequent the store. Of course an automated system tied to a point of sale system can provide even more insight including the type of sales that are occurring during certain stores hours.

As stores juggle the store hours assigned to sales associates it is important for managers to track sales during peak hours to make sure that average sales per transaction and the type of merchandise being sold is consistent with store sales projections and past store sales history. Understanding when customers are coming into the store and what sort of merchandise they are requesting and what sort of merchandise they are buying actually buying are very good approaches to better understanding how your retail business is performing in this most unusual economy. Even more detailed information that provides performance on a per sales associate basis is most desirable.

What sort of foot traffic trends have you been able to recognize and how have you responded?