Retailers are seeking more effective tools and technologies to help them understand consumers’ in-store browsing and buying journeys. In doing so, organizations can pinpoint peak traffic days and times, and in turn improve employee scheduling processes as well as optimize customer engagement across locations.
Athletic specialty retailer Foot Locker is making strides to better understand its worldwide customers’ paths to purchase by implementing the Visual Customer Intelligence (VCI) offering from LightHaus, a video analytics solution provider.
Deploying VCI in stores throughout Australia, Canada, Europe and the U.S. allows Foot Locker to measure customer traffic and sales conversion rates more frequently and efficiently. As a result, store managers can anticipate precise customer traffic patterns and schedule employees based on these insights, Dick Johnson, Executive VP and COO of Foot Locker, told Retail TouchPoints.
“We want to ensure we deliver consistent customer engagement by matching staffing levels with traffic patterns, and the VCI platform gives us this ability,” Johnson said. “It also provides heat maps and dwell times, which helps us drive both incremental short- and long-term value.”
Foot Locker deployed the LightHaus VCI system to measure and evaluate customer traffic and shopping behavior in Foot Locker and Champs Sports locations worldwide. The retailer consistently integrates this traffic data with its workforce management application, which helps individual store managers make smarter employee scheduling decisions and boost sales productivity. The VCI platform complements “Shopper To Associate Ratio,” (STAR) a core metric Foot Locker uses for its store operations, further magnifying insights regarding customer traffic and in-store behaviors.
“VCI will help us optimize peak selling periods based on the key insights derived from customer traffic,” Johnson said. “This enables us to schedule the right associates at the right times, which supports our objective of providing optimal customer engagement.”
Transforming The Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Experience Since initially deploying VCI in April 2012, Foot Locker also has made video analytics an integral part of its in-store strategies. Store managers now track the performance of their specific stores, and also compare sales metrics and other data to peer locations similar in size and customer demographics. As a result, managers clearly can identify and address improvements and opportunities within their locations.
In-depth traffic reporting also will allow Foot Locker to determine the effectiveness of new store layouts, merchandising concepts, and marketing campaigns, Johnson noted. By understanding shoppers’ responses to brick-and-mortar store experiences and strategies, the retailer will be able to modify in-store promotions and design concepts, among other areas, more seamlessly.
“With the increased competitive pressures retailers such as Foot Locker are facing, merchants are investing more in IT, including workforce management systems, performance measurement and other retail analytics solutions,” said Virginia Balcom, VP of Marketing and Product Management for LightHaus. “As they do, retailers have more capacity to understand what’s happening in their stores and even can track the performance of specific location teams. If there’s a dip in sales, they’ll be able to determine the cause.”