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People Counting & Advertising: More Bang for Your Buck

CountWise is very passionate about people counting and maximizing the value of this critical business tool for all.

Following is an article published at the end of September in Retail Solutions Online, we hope you find it of interest.

Retailers nationwide go through a number of transformations as new technologies are introduced that enable them to enhance logistics and operational efficiencies with the goal of adding a few extra points to the bottom line. Although many retailers are satisfied that they are doing all they can to keep expenses down and profitability high, following is a suggestion for operational enhancement that doesn’t require adding more technology, but rather simply making more use of what you already have.

Over the past decade many businesses successfully incorporated People Counting as a critical tool for improving in-store conversion rates. This technology has provided retailers with the ability to truly measure and improve a store’s performance across the chain, taking the analysis away from pure financial data and into the relationship between customer volume and conversion rates. This People Counting technology (for those retailers that have incorporated it) has emerged as a critical analysis tool for boosting conversion rates.

The advantages delivered to retailers deploying People Counting can now be further magnified by applying the existing technology to dramatically improve their return on investment in advertising. The broadening of the purpose and benefit of the technology is quite simple.

Improving the Results from Your Advertising Budget

The People Factor can deliver data that when reviewed from the perspective of each advertising campaign, can lead to dramatically improved traffic in your stores. Consider the following:

The Wall Street Journal promotes the sales of subscriptions via many advertising vehicles including direct mail letters.

There is one format letter they have been using for close to thirty years with great results. It is clearly a winner. During this time many of their marketing writers have tried to rework the letter in order to improve the response rate, but none have succeeded - the measured response from all new versions translated into fewer subscriptions. Recently, a copywriter named Mal Decker came up with a format that increased the response by around twenty percent. Finally, after close to thirty years, they had a direct mail piece that was delivering better results. Had the Wall Street Journal not bee n consistent in measuring the response rate from their direct mail, they would have never known which pieces were effective, and more importantly, how to enhance their return on investment.

The bottom line is that the WSJ increased sales by close to twenty percent with no added advertising costs solely by measuring the rate (success) of the target audience’s response to their message/advertising.

The WSJ experience demonstrates the value of measuring response rates so as to gain insight into the success of your advertising investments. By being able to collect, analyze, and react to the data, you will be able to improve your success in drawing the public into your stores.

People Counting offers retailers the ability to accurately measure real-time response to any advertising campaign whether it is a low budget insert in the weekly circular targeting a small geographical segment or a multi-million dollar national TV campaign.

Retailers now have the option to associate an empiric number (how many patrons visited each store) to each campaign and the marketing team can finally ensure they are getting the biggest bang for their buck and constantly improve campaign results.

Obviously, management will have to apply the lessons learned by adapting scheduling to actual patron traffic to maximize the conversion rates of this added store traffic – but that should be simple as this is the core value of traffic counting.

Making Each Patron Visiting Your Store Count

This advertising strategy enables retailers to build onto their existing technology (for those who have already incorporated traffic counting) without additional investment and maximize the ROI on a significant and ongoing portion of their overhead. The beauty of the plan is that these retailers already have the procedures in place to convert the additional shoppers (drawn into the store through the advertising) into buyers.

Every retail chain has as a core component of its philosophy “The Customer Counts”. By actually counting them and their response to your messages, you will find that you can significantly improve individual store, and by extension chain-wide, performance.