Location-Sensing Helps Retailers Pinpoint 'Power Hours' for Shopper Activity

Retailers are using new advances in technology to help them better understand shopper behavior.

At Retail's BIG Show, ShopperTrak, a firm specializing in people counter technology and foot traffic analysis, says that retailers are now able to track exactly where shoppers navigate within their stores using in-store activity caught on video. This is an upgrade over former tracking data, which primarily focused on customers coming in and leaving the store.

"Now, we can see more specific data, such as where shoppers are going inside the store, where they go first, and where they go next," said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. "We're able to better understand things like abandonment rate, if shoppers are standing in long lines and how many associates the customer is interacting with when they come into the stores."

According to Martin, the retail clients he services have been using data from video and sensors, offered through ShopperTrak Interior Analytics, to evaluate if the store is living up to its best practices.

"Each store has its own service level promise and now we can begin to measure whether associates are actually maintaining and keeping those promises, or should we implement coaching, training, or replacement of personnel to get the desired result," said Martin.

Interior Analytics is also helping retailers identify what Martin calls "power hours." These are timeframes when 1.5 percent of the week's shopping activity occurs and are different and unique for each retailer. Understanding key traffic hours can help retailers make adjustments that will enhance the customer experience when it matters most.

"Power hours are a time when the store is rich with shoppers," said Martin. "We want our associates to behave in a very specific manner that's customer-centric. We need to be doing everything we can during rich sales opportunities to make sure we are providing a good experience to convert the sale."

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