If you operate a chain of retail stores, generating and analyzing data that identifies the highest and lowest performing stores among them can be challenging. Scrolling through lengthy spreadsheets to find this data is an inefficient and antiquated process. But digital systems such as people counters and heat maps help you gather and understand key metrics for store benchmarking more easily.

Each system has its own strengths for capturing customer and sales data. When you use the people counter and the heat map together, you benefit from a more complete analysis of your stores’ performances.

People Counters for Store Benchmarking

People counters use video analysis to report the number of people that pass through a store’s doors as well as group counting. Here are some of the most useful metrics that a people counter can provide when establishing a store benchmark.

  • Capture rate; The number of visitors who come into the store during a certain time period is helpful to have but doesn’t always tell the whole story.
  • Customer conversion rate; Even more important than foot traffic numbers, this rate is the number of retail transactions divided by the number of store visitors, times 100 for a percentage.
  • Shopper-to-staff ratio; Your best performing store may have the right balance of staff to shoppers.
  • Bounce rate; The number of visitors who leave the store without buying a product may provide a clue into your lowest-performing store.
  • Peak hours; The best window of time for most customers and transactions can be tracked. The data for this indicator could be strong for your highest-performing store.

Heat Maps for Store Benchmarking

Heat maps report in real-time where every shopper in the store is going, where he or she stops, and the time a given shopper spends in different areas of the store. Because heat maps gather data that indicate shopper preferences, they go beyond the sheer numbers of people counters to help you delve into what is really working in your most successful store.

  • Customer path; Knowing the hotspots and the most popular paths of your customers in your best store can help you review store layout and in-store product placement in the other stores.
  • Dwell time; How long your customers stay in a given area of the store also will provide insight into understanding your marketing approach and your customers’ shopping habits.
  • Queue management; Are the cashier lines in your lowest-performing store too long and result in lost business? The data from a heat map can show you this.

These metrics are just the start of a full benchmarking process. You will want to review the metrics for your specific retail segment as well. To learn more about how you can optimize store performance from the in-store data analysis that people counters and heat maps provide, contact us today!