Country Road

Country Road finds ShopperTrak the perfect fit

Country Road began as a niche women’s shirting business in 1974 but soon grew to become Australia’s first lifestyle brand, renowned for stylish, high quality apparel, accessories and homewares. In 2010 it launched the Trenery label to appeal to its more classic customers. Today, with 80 retail stores, 80 concession outlets and over 2,000 employees in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Country Road is one of Australia’s most iconic brands and a fashion retail market leader.

Country Road Business challenge

Having built its successful business on satisfying customer needs, Country Road wanted to ensure its stores were giving customers the best possible service and maximising conversion. In addition, having launched its Trenery label two years earlier, the retailer wanted to understand the impact, if any, of the new outlets on Country Road stores in their vicinity.

ShopperTrak’s Solution

  • ShopperTrak Clarity counting system
  • ShopperTrak Delivered Reporting
  • ShopperTrak Consultancy

Business Benefits of People Counting

  • Objective measurement of store performance by conversion rate, average customer purchase (ACP) and units per transaction (UPT)
  • Staff rostering reflects visitor peaks and troughs
  • Pinpoints stores not performing to their full potential
  • Shows impact of Trenery store openings on Country Road outlets
  • Ability to benchmark stores by size, type and location
  • Highlights the effect of market changes (such as competitor store openings) on performance
  • Performance management tool for staff development

Leading fashion retailer Country Road recognised the importance of analysing the business’s key metrics to identify the formula for success. It knew excellent customer service was a vital factor in capturing all potential sales opportunities but needed a more scientific approach to fully understand business performance.

ShopperTrak’s traffic counting and analytics system, initially installed in 50 stores, has provided valuable information.

Its benefits were immediately apparent. Matt Jones, commercial operations manager for Country Road, enthuses, “An early revelation was the phenomenal number of people coming through the door – some 17,000 at one store and that was in a quiet week!”

“An early revelation was the phenomenal number of people coming through the door – some 17,000 at one store and that was in a quiet week!”

Matt Jones, Commercial Operations Manager, Country Road

The ShopperTrak system quickly proved its worth, confirming hunches and overturning misconceptions. Country Road discovered that its high street stores’ conversion rates are typically between 40% – 50% higher than its shopping centre stores.

Matt Jones remarks, “Instinct told us our high street stores achieved a better conversion rate than shopping centre locations – where people often meet to socialise as much as shop – but until the ShopperTrak analysis, we didn’t realise how big the gap was.”

Armed with the number of shoppers in store and conversion rate at any given hour of the day, Country Road has finetuned staff rostering to ensure store have the optimum staffing ratio to maximise service and capitalise on sales opportunities at all times.

Matt Jones explains, “We soon realised that when we didn’t have enough staff available to serve customers, our conversion rates understandably dropped. But the figures also showed that on Thursday nights when we had a good visitor to staff ratio, conversion rates still fell. This implied that it wasn’t a question of quantity but quality of staff.

“Sure enough, it transpired that for late night opening we relied more heavily on casual staff who perhaps weren’t as familiar with the product offering as our full-time employees. It identified the need to redress the balance between permanent and casual staff.”

“Instinct told us our high street stores achieved a better conversion rate than shopping centre locations but until the ShopperTrak analysis, we didn’t realise how big the gap was.”

Matt Jones, Commercial Operations Manager, Country Road

 

The analysis also revealed that conversion rates dipped between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday nights.

Matt says, “This coincided with the arrival of our casual staff – typically university students – who tended to spend their first hour getting up to speed with new products and promotions. Consequently, store managers now invest five minutes briefing them on arrival so they can hit the ground running.”

The operational changes made in response to the ShopperTrak insights are already boosting Country Road’s bottom line. The intelligent rostering changes made at its flagship Pitt Street store led to double digit growth in its conversion rate. As Matt Jones notes, “We now have a much better handle on visitor/ staffing ratios and store potential. I would say that we have the opportunity to increase sales across the board over the next six months.”

All new Country Road stores are automatically fitted with the ShopperTrak system as standard and it is busy retro-fitting the 15 or so existing stores that don’t yet have an installation.

“Conversion performance has become part of our culture – everyone from stores to head office is passionate about it,” comments Matt Jones. “The relationship with ShopperTrak works really well and we value their experience and track record. Knowing they work with all the big players gave us a lot of confidence at the start and we’ve been delighted to find that they are as focused on customer service as we are.”

Download the Country Road case study here.

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