Retail Traffic is a serious problem, but it’s nothing new. Getting customers into your retail store has always been difficult, but throw in a global pandemic and there are even more complications to think about. Covid-19 restrictions have created rules that put the safety of your customers first, but there’s also the safety of your team members to consider. However, the main goal of your retail business is your retail sales.

Having an online presence was always seen as a priority in modern times, but now, with more smartphone users keen to ensure they’re getting a great shopper experience… this no longer applies to just the digital landscape. It also applies to physical stores too.

Historically, measuring retail traffic or footfall (the number of people walking into your stores), and knowing their purpose has always been troublesome. In fact, understanding shopper behavior is never easy. For example, for Paid Advertising Media teams using Out of Home, there’s always the uncertainty that a bus shelter poster or a roadside billboard would provide the return on investment. Was it really worth the money spent on the media space? We know media does more than send traffic into stores, there are other channels to consider, such as brand recognition, but what if you could prove your advertising was sending people into your brick-and-mortar store.

Thanks to our SmartQueue system, driving retail store traffic and gathering meaningful insights on customer behavior are so much easier. KNOWTHM could really help you to understand more about shopper visits… but more on that later.

Is Retail Traffic dead ?

%

customers want to buy their phone in-store

Absolutely not!

Believe it or not, most customers looking to buy a new smartphone would prefer to visit a physical store to purchase their new device. 87% in fact.

The increase in online shopping during COVID won’t affect the need for shopper experiences. The retail industry still provides additional insights to customers researching their next purchase and is still a very important part of the purchase journey.

 

Why do customers want to visit a Retail Store?

Customers are keen to research their new smartphones from end to end. They’ll watch reviews on YouTube, ask friends, read articles before even considering who to purchase from. In most cases, you have to remember, they’re committing to this device for a 24-month contract so they want to make sure they’ve made the right choice.

In our research, we looked into the shopper journey and asked real customers why they visited your store. Here’s why you get customer traffic in your store:

Research.

Customers now know that the latest smartphones are expensive, so it’s even more important for them to see and hold them before completing their transaction. A trip to a physical store will allow them to experience the device, solidifying their decision before committing to the contract term.

Recommendations.

There may be some further advice they need before they buy, and for most retail businesses, this is your advantage. Your dedicated team supports you in more ways than completing transactions. They provide shoppers with recommendations to help them decide between device options, or simply trying to understand package needs and availability. Detailed and personalized advice like this isn’t available on online platforms or is a little unclear, especially for those new to your brand.

Support.

Some customers are still uncomfortable purchasing a device without immediate support. They will want to ensure the item is working and set up for use right away and having a team member to help them will really help. A customer experience like this is the most valuable for brands that are looking to measure brand strength and consumer base. Sales teams in the store can also demonstrate any new features or set up accessibility settings.

Instant Gratification.

How nice is it to walk away with the item you’ve been researching and thinking about for quite some time? Most customers purchase from a store to get instant gratification. We’ve already written an article on instant gratification where you can further understand customer behavior when it comes to their purchases.

 

What’s the benefit of a customer purchasing in retail versus online?

Thanks to the environment, great customer experience, amazing team, and the sales support received within your stores, conversion rates are much higher within brick-and-mortar stores when you benchmark performance against your other channels. Yes, that’s right! A retail store is likely to have higher chances of conversion than your online store.

This is why it’s important to understand your business performance metrics to see a boost in sales. By simply increasing foot traffic into a retail location, retailers will see an increase in customers on their network. 

Why not just use Click-and-Collect Services?

As we mentioned in our previous article on Click-and-Collect services, 42% of people who complete their sale with Click-and-Collect services are more likely to return it. To add to this, sales associates are likely not to add any additional support or products to this sale. This is because, in most telco retail stores, it doesn’t count towards brick-and-mortar sales. The amazing team in the retail store receives no recognition or incentive for any additional help or products they provide on this sale. It is all accredited to the online e-commerce channels. It, therefore, does not incentivize your teams to do any more than the bare minimum, more so in busy locations or during peak hours.
While Click-and-collect services do increase foot traffic to your retail store, there is no advantage to either business or customer for this interaction. These shoppers have, in their mind, already completed their journey and no longer require assistance.
 

 

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ONLINE AVERAGE RETURN RATE FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES

MINUTES OF WAIT TIME TO SCORE 0 AT NPS

What about Walk-In footfall traffic?

Well, walk-in foot traffic will still happen. However, we at KNOWTHM know that most shoppers are unlikely to wait more than 22 minutes to see an associate. Remembering that right now, most retail stores need to adhere to social distancing requirements and are therefore asking customers to queue outside the store before being allowed onto the premises. This makes your queues are very visible, which can be a negative experience during busy periods. In addition, this waiting time is on top of the time it takes to complete their transaction or support in-store.

This means a great customer experience is dwindling by the minute. There’s also the impact on traditional metrics as shoppers are less likely to ‘pop in’ to research or purchase their smartphone during the busiest periods.

 

Around 54% of people walking into your store are looking for support rather than enquiring about or buying a device, meaning that sales associates are more likely to be dealing with helping customers than selling products. The time taken for support queries varies between 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on the complexity of their issue.

Only 46% of people walking into your store were within a stage of the purchase journey. Even without COVID-19 restrictions, customers will have to wait for a team member to become available. These customers will only wait 22 minutes before becoming completely unsatisfied, and in most cases will leave the store. 22 minutes isn’t a long time when compared to support queries.

In addition, there’s always the strong possibility that they will also see how your business handles support, which could be seen negatively depending on the issue. Poor customer service has a huge impact when businesses want to measure brand strength, and greatly disadvantages your Net Promoter Score (NPS).

 

%

OF CLIENTS are looking for support rather than purchase

How SMARTQUEUE can help?

KNOWTHM’s SmartQueue can help by integrating with your online shopper journey. It manages the flow of customers into your stores, ultimately driving the right traffic at the right times. It’s more than appointment scheduling software.

How does SmartQueue work?

With a simple embedding code, you can offer your customers to complete their transaction within 1 hour without having to wait for their devices to arrive by post.

Why is this better than Click-to-collect Services?

Choosing this option trumps Click-to-Collect services as it guarantees interaction with your amazing team as well as increased retail traffic levels. Unlike Click-to-Collect services, this option isn’t a completed sale, meaning additional products, and services which the customer may not have considered can be discussed in a physical location. 

In our tests and trials, we found Sales teams preferred this option as the customer wasn’t completed closed to alternatives and additional basket value. Businesses saw an increase in sales thanks to the conversion rates of their teams, but also an improved NPS. In the stores that used SmartQueue, they also saw a reduction in the number of returns.

Isn’t this just an Appointment System?

It’s more than the usual appointment scheduling software which would normally offer customers a specific time and place to visit. While SmartQueue does offer this, it also provides insights to the teams in store, as well as working in real-time alongside existing traffic counters to create a virtual queuing system that focuses on keeping your customers engaged and happy. 

It can also help support queries, which, unlike traditional metrics, ensures these customers aren’t visiting your retail landscape during your busiest periods. This has the biggest impact on reducing waiting times and improved traffic patterns.

Shopping Centers and Shopping Malls are going to love SmartQueue. Rather than having your customers waiting in your store, normally triggering your traffic counting systems, we keep them engaged in other ways. As your customer is in a queue virtually, we can direct them to the store just at the right time, meaning your customer can continue to shop in other stores or visit the local cafe while they wait. We can even send them a free coffee if your waiting time has increased.

Reporting and actionable outcomes.

With SmartQueue, you can easily see the impact of campaigns by more insightful traffic analytics. We don’t just look at people-counting insights like traditional traffic counting systems. We can show you how many people visited your store with actual purchase intention versus a walk-in metric. SmartQueue can also identify traffic patterns, helping managers to understand the busiest periods for their store and ensuring they have adequate staff members to support, reducing poor customer service.

SmartQueue and COVID-19 restrictions.

Social distancing requirements can be difficult to manage. SmartQueue can help with that. Rather than spacing customers to meet 6-foot restrictions both inside and outside your store, SmartQueue can bring your customer to the store at just the right time. Reducing queues, keeping both customers and your teams happy and safe.

How else can SmartQueue help?

SmartQueue can also be included in any Out of Home media, directing customers to their nearest store and in most cases, adding them to the virtual queue. Adding customers to a virtual queue means they can continue about their business and the software will automatically notify them of ‘their turn’. It also means they’re guaranteed interaction with a sales associate. For the Paid Advertising Media teams, we’re able to show you how many people signed up to the virtual queue based on your Out of Home media.

SmartQueue is the perfect tool to manage and increase the flow of traffic into your store. It ensures your customers and staff stay safe during COVID times, as well as prioritizing support queries to specific times of the day. Keeping the customer engaged throughout the purchase journey before they’re made it to the store, ensuring a happy inquiry is introduced to your amazing team. 

Contact us today to discuss how we can help you increase traffic, know more about your customers and stay safe.

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