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The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Retailers


galleria resized 600You don’t become a top tier retailer through sheer luck; rather, those retailers who occupy a top three position in their vertical have arrived at that spot by paying close attention to their business and understanding how to measure and manage in a way that moves them ever closer to position number one.

Over the past few decades, ShopperTrak has been a partner to many of these top tier retailers, as we have helped them to measure their own performance as well as understand the broader market context around key areas of their business. As a result of these close relationships we hold, we’ve put together what we believe to be The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Retailers. In our opinion, those retailers who follow these seven tenets will consistently win in the market versus their competition, resulting in healthy and steady growth well into the future.

Habit One: They know who their (best) customers are 

In 21st century retail, having good data isn’t just a need – it’s a necessity. And few data streams are more important than understanding who your customers are, particularly for optimizing marketing campaigns and merchandising.

At the core of customer knowledge is an understanding of the demographics of the shoppers that populate each store. In particular, highly effective retailers understand that different mixes of customer segments often demand a localized approach to merchandising and marketing to optimize customer experience and conversion.

ShopperTrak’s Interior Analytics suite includes demographic analysis, which gives retailers insights into the actual demographic makeup of shoppers in each individual store location.

Habit Two: They consistently drive more of their best customers in store

Modern marketing is made to measure. Whereas in the past it was difficult to tie attribution for a sale to a specific media or set of media, retailers are now able to easily analyze the impacts of promotions that were previously difficult to measure. Highly effective retailers who use a marketing mix that includes costly out-of-store media to drive in-store purchases constantly seek out available insights to fund those campaigns that work, while stopping those that don’t.

ShopperTrak’s flexible web-based reporting lets retailers track the effectiveness of their out-of-store campaigns in driving in-store traffic.

Habit Three: They understand how their customers shop their store

Every category is really just a store within a store. And, now, highly effective retailers can track traffic and conversion in each individual category just as they have been tracking these some metrics at the store level for decades.  

ShopperTrak’s Interior Analytics suite provides category-level insights into traffic and conversion, which can then be compared against store-level metrics to see which categories are high performers and which need attention.

Habit Four: They track KPIs related to their customers’ happiness

What’s the last thing a converted shopper experiences before they leave the store? Most likely, it’s the line that they waited in to make their purchase. The impression they receive of a store’s speed of service is only as good as the last time they needed to wait. Highly effective retailers understand that shoppers’ perceptions of speed of service are often built over time, and contribute to long-term loyalty to their brand – or their competitors' brands.

ShopperTrak’s Interior Analytics suite includes queue analysis to show the typical wait time of shoppers, as well as typical line lengths at key service points such as cash wraps and customer service desks.

Habit Five: They track how their employees engage with customers

What remains the biggest investment made by nearly every retailer? It’s not their POS or other store systems. It’s not even their marketing and promotional campaigns. In fact, it’s still their people. Yet very few retailers are able to quantify how effective their people are at helping customers find what they need, and encouraging conversion from a browser to a buyer. Highly effective retailers, however, track the performance of this huge investment, discovering best practices in employee/shopper engagement and sharing them throughout their chain to raise the performance of all employees.

ShopperTrak’s Interior Analytics suite offers sales intercept analysis, which shows what percentage of shoppers are assisted by an employee, and how long it typically takes for employees to engage shoppers.

Habit Six: They demand unparalleled accuracy in their in-store measurements

What’s worse than no data? Bad data. Bad data can give retailers confidence in decisions that may ultimately cause great harm to their reputation or their revenues. Highly effective retailers demand accountability on the part of their data partners. They require proof that the data streams upon which they rely are consistently tested and validated to ensure they are an accurate instrument upon which decisions that involve millions of dollars can be made.

ShopperTrak proactively and consistently tests the data delivered by its Managed Service for traffic counting to ensure the highest possible levels of quality and uptime.

Habit Seven: They compare their results against their peers

Is a 4% year-over-year increase in traffic something to celebrate, or something to be concerned about? Those retailers who benchmark their data to the market already know the answer. For those who don’t, data without benchmarks can be misleading. Highly effective retailers understand that inter-chain benchmarks are highly valuable, but that aggregate benchmarks of their entire vertical and geographical footprint are even more valuable to understanding their performance.

Only ShopperTrak offers the Traffic Report, a monthly index of aggregate performance from 33 top MSA markets, 245 shopping environments, 4 key retail verticals and total retail traffic.

Are you a highly effective retailer? Contact ShopperTrak today to ensure you have the accurate, powerful data you need to lead the competition in your market.


I would add an 8th. 
The top retailers will start needing to "educate" their consumers. It's an investment, it's not something that's been done before - formally, but it will need to be done by many retailers in the medium range to stay up with the bigger retailers and avoid the nit picking losses to boutique ones.  
A lot of this can be done via social media & web design as well as smart, educated ad campaign - mixed in with great training for associates. If I can find the same pair of jeans in 12 different stores - department, big box, off-price, discount, boutique, etc., why go one specific place? More and more I think retailers will need to depend not just on they're "core" consumers but converting people into core consumers by providing them knowledge, differentiating themselves
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 9:55 AM by John L
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