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How retail is adjusting to less foot traffic

Posted by Greg Chew on Oct 13, 2016 4:02:55 PM

how retail is adjusting to less foot traffic

There have been many articles written about the decline of consumer traffic in malls, it’s a trend that sees store traffic declining year-over-year. As consumer buying patterns continue to change and so to do purchasing options, traffic is not likely to return to numbers of the past. Despite declining traffic, strategic retailers are still finding ways to increase their annual sales.

An article released through, Retail Insider, suggests that retailers need to adjust the way they look at their business to find ways to improve sales with less foot traffic.


In-store conversion rates

With less in-store traffic comes less opportunity to make a sale, so how do you capitalize on the traffic you do have? You focus on improving your conversion rate. Retailers must monitor traffic and sales to get a clear picture of your conversion rates month over month.

Ways that stores drive customer conversion rates include:

  • Observing customer behavior and understanding why visitors are not buying, be it store lines or merchandise
  • Matching staffing with traffic volumes
  • Setting conversion targets and encouraging staff to work together to turn prospective customers into buyers


Sales-driven staffing

There are many thoughts on staffing and many staffing decisions weigh heavily on the costs of wages. One of the largest causes of a drop in conversion rates is when there isn’t enough staff to serve potential customers. Cost conscious retailers, need to be cognisant that they are staffing to meet traffic volumes, when they do not they miss sales opportunities and create a potentially lasting poor impression. Lean staffing can and will affect your bottom line.


Improving eCommerce operations and digital marketing

Canada’s “eCommerce ecosystem is booming” and it is essential that brick and mortar stores also have an eCommerce platform. Research shows that by 2019, 10% of all retail spending in Canada will be conducted online (source).

Digital marketing is helpsn retailers to align consumer buying patterns. With many  customers comparing online prices while in-store retail apps, email marketing and websites are an essential part of every retail business.


Despite declining traffic numbers, sales growth and expansion of physical retail stores in Canada is rising. Retailers who are adjusting to meet consumer trends are still winning, click here to read more about the key trends in retail.  To dive deeper into research on retail conversion rates click here.

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