Beware Traffic Statistics

A couple browsing a retail fashion store carrying shopping bags

There has been a lot of press recently about declining traffic in stores. If that’s true in your business be careful to interpret your data correctly. It’s easy to leap to the wrong conclusions with the misleading results that some traffic management suppliers give out in press releases.

Have you been puzzled by declining traffic but rising store sales?

To interpret what’s happening correctly you need good data on both your stores and your web site.

Let’s start with Martec’s version of the oldest equation in retailing:

A chart showing a well know formula for calculating expected sales in stores

What we’ve observed in some of our clients is the following:

  • Web traffic is up significantly
  • Web conversion rate is down
  • Store traffic is down
  • Store conversion rate is up.

This is entirely logical. A significant segment of consumers do their browsing online and spend much less time walking stores to see if you have something they like. When they find it online, they come to the store when that makes the most sense, for example, if it’s something they want to try on, feel the fabric or examine the product more closely.

This doesn’t apply to everyone, some people experience reduced traffic and reduced sales. But if you’re concerned about your traffic dropping, examine the cross channel impact of your business to make sure you are reaching the right conclusion.

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Posted by Brian Hume
7th September 2018

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