Running and managing a retail storefront is hard work, especially with a small budget and not many employees making sure the floor is covered at all times. Having a physical presence in your store helps so you can see how many customers are coming in and who is helping them find products that fit their needs, but your eyes can’t be in all places at all times. And what happens when you’re not in the store and someone else is managing it?
No matter how good you think your eyes and the eyes of your employees are, humans just don’t have the capacity to make sure everything is covered at all times. Patrick Thuot, President of SMS Store Traffic, says the first step to being a small business owner is realizing that you’re not selling to everyone and your conversion rate is typically lower than you think. “Simply put, retailers tend to underestimate traffic and overestimate their conversion, which means they are missing out on opportunities already in their stores,” Thuot said.
For 47 years, SMS Store Traffic provided cameras to install inside mass retailers’ physical storefronts to capture customers entering and leaving to help control traffic count. Similar to an ecommerce site, retailers can see how many customers visit on an hourly and daily basis, and just how many of those consumers are making a purchase. Now, the company has a much cheaper solution for small and medium sized businesses that can help them keep track of conversion rates in store.
“One of the misconceptions I hear all the time is that people say they don’t need this because they keep track of their transaction counts,” Thuot said. “Transaction counts should not be confused with traffic; they are completely different. Many retailers believe they sell to most of their traffic just based off of perception, but this just isn’t the case.”
The problem with physically counting the customers in your store is you would need someone looking at just the entrance for nine hours and writing everything down on a piece of paper, and humans aren’t built to do this. Thuot says he realizes installing cameras is expensive for smaller retailers who don’t have the budget, which is why they came up with a simple device that sticks to the door and requires no installation while also being less than half the cost of installing cameras.
“We’ve been doing conversion rates for the big guys for a long time and now we want to offer the same thing to small businesses,” Thuot said. “So we created a small device that uses the store’s WiFi to communicate with our server. Simply stick it to your door, so there’s no installation necessary.”
With this new device, called PEARL, business owners can also see their store’s traffic data on the free app. The package is only $459, comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee and is available in gray and black. Conversion rates in stores are normally 10 to 30 percent at best, and when you can see the actual traffic that’s coming into your store, you can better prepare and improve the conversion rate with more employees on the sales floor. This can lead to a significant increase in sales. “If you are selling just 1% of your traffic, getting to 11% means 10% more sales,” Thuot said.
“Mass retailers had the same reaction back in the day and thought they didn’t need something like this. It took them a long time to realize it,” Thuot said. “Now, if you walk around big brand stores, they all have these systems installed and someone is checking them daily. The most successful ones have created a conversion culture. Now, smaller retailers can have the same freedom and tools that the big guys have.”
“Think you sell 100% of your traffic? Try the PEARL for 30 days. If it doesn’t add to the understanding of your store, there is a satisfaction guaranteed or money back,” Thuot said.
To see an informative video on how PEARL works, visit storetraffic.com.
SMS Store Traffic