If you are a shopkeeper or own a retail establishment, strip mall or restaurant, you might have heard the expression footfall traffic. While you know that it must have something to do with passersby, you might still be unclear as to what footfall means. You know that it has something to do with… well… feet. However, footfall is not the same as footsteps. When considering footfall vs. footsteps, you must keep in mind that footfall specifically pertains to people counting or shopper counting. Market research giant Ipsos defines footfall as “the measurement of people entering a shop or shopping mall”. Now that you know what footfall means, why is measuring footfall important?
Why footfall matters
There are two key elements to why footfall is so important: what footfall tells you, and what footfall means in terms of conversions. First, footfall tells you how successful your marketing strategy is, in terms of drawing prospective customers’ attention. A high number of people walking into your store is an indicator that your advertisements, marketing campaigns, and window displays/product placement are effectively drawing large numbers of potential customers into your store or shopping centre. Conversely, a low footfall number can indicate an unsuccessful marketing campaign. This knowledge is important, as not knowing these footfall figures can result in revenue loss of up to 15%. The other reason that footfall data is so important is that it allows businesses to know many of these customers walk away having purchased your product.
Footfall and conversion rates
As a store owner, you are aware that your profits hinge on conversion. Conversion, in a retail context, is the process of turning a prospective customer (e.g. someone that is walking by your store, or who is perusing your sale rack) into a sale. More specifically, retail conversion measures the proportion of visitors to a retail outlet who make a purchase. So, to know your conversion rate, you first have to know how many visitors your store has each day. For instance, if 500 people visit your store, and 50 make a purchase, your conversion rate is 10%. If you only know the total number of sales, but do not know your footfall figures, then you are missing a key piece of data that allows you and your team to know how effective your sales strategy is at turning a “maybe” into a “yes”. Footfall data helps retail teams approach their sales and conversion strategy armed with accurate and up-to-date information about the shoppers that enter their stores.
Now that you understand what footfall and conversion mean in a retail context, you will surely appreciate why it is so important to measure footfall. Footfall traffic is a key indicator of how effectively you draw in potential customers, while conversion rates help you to better understand how effective your team is in turning footfall into sales. Footfall counters are one way of helping your store capitalise on opportunities for sales throughout the day; some footfall counters can further your knowledge of your customer base in ways that improve conversion rates dramatically.