Winter Sales entice shoppers out in cold, wet weather in the hope of finding bargains in their favourite stores and shopping centres.
As a result, there are some serious traffic peaks in January and February across Europe. ShopperTrak data shows that in France the first weekend of the hugely popular ‘Soldes D’Hiver’ is when footfall peaks, normally around the 9th to 12th January. For this year (2020) we predicted Saturday 11th January would be the busiest shopping day in France for the whole festive period.
Our data shows that, in Italy, the 6th January is a bumper day in the shops and the sales hype typically continues until around the second weekend of January, after which traffic begins to return to normal levels. In Germany, the first week of the New Year draws bargain-hunting hordes and Saturday traffic remains high until mid-February, driven by Winter Sales events.
Retailers aiming to drive high numbers into their shops for Winter Sales, and increase dwell time and conversions, are turning to traffic data analytics to make the very best of this annual opportunity.
Here are six ways that data insights can help maximise Winter Sales conversions:
- Schedule to preserve service during the peaks
It’s vital to be prepared in stores with the appropriate number of attentive sales assistants scheduled for the busiest days, so that Winter Sales deliver high returns. Get your Shopper-to-Associate-Ratio (STAR) right, and you will see more browsers convert to buyers, simply because there are enough fitting room assistants, product experts and cashiers on hand to facilitate purchases. Abandoned purchases are far less likely.
- Encourage traffic flow to full price product zones
Even if deep discounting and stock clearance is happening in one section of your store, it pays for staff to be on hand and prepared to sell and serve across the sales floor when Winter Sales are in full swing. This encourages longer dwell times and improved margin on full price sales conversions. Historic traffic data and analysing shopper journey can help retailers understand which zones of the store tend to perform best for full-price conversions during Sales events, and when these kinds of conversions are most likely. Staff scheduling and store layouts can be adjusted to drive the best results.
- Learn from traffic uplifts in previous years
Past traffic data paints a vivid picture of what has worked well in terms of driving visitors into stores, encouraging dwell time, and boosting sales conversions during previous seasons and events. If footfall was up for the past three Winter Sales periods immediately following TV advertising, a loyalty campaign or an instore launch event, such initiatives are worth repeating. Traffic data helps retailers with a national network of stores gain insights into what works city by city.
- Raise your ‘Power Hour’ game
It’s an easy win during Winter Sales to make a special effort to convert more browsers to buyers and upsell during pre-identified Power Hours. These are the busiest times in stores – pinpointed by traffic data – when opportunities should be maximised. Whether that means checking schedules so that staff are available during power hours, or training teams before the Winter Sales on how to sell key add-on products, there are plenty of ways to forward-plan, and make the best of the occasion.
- Boost traffic with social invites
Fashion retailers often message their followers on Twitter or Instagram to come in for a surprise, and frequently these customers respond. Social campaigns can literally draw customers into stores. With real time traffic data it’s possible to push these messages during the expected traffic lulls, or at times that fit well with staff schedules. Tying social media-driven footfall with a broader Winter Sales marketing campaign should deliver improvements to year-on-year conversions.
- Tailor stock presentation to local tastes
If a shop is thoughtfully laid out, retailers can use visual hooks and product displays to draw customers deeper into the store. In some product categories such as homewares and knitwear for instance, the search for a bargain is enhanced by informal, table-top product presentations – so shoppers literally rummage through the stock. The longer they spend searching through sale items in the shop the more they engage with products and the more likely they are to value them. Traffic data analytics, combined with sales data, will give certainty as to whether this drives higher or lower conversion rates than traditional product displays.
Winter Sales are exciting for shoppers. And for retailers, traffic data insights can transform Sales into far more than a stock clearing exercise. By taking advantage of shopper behaviour knowledge they can boost conversions and create experiences that give customers exactly what they want: some fun, great service and the thrill of bagging a bargain.
Discover how ShopperTrak can help you master retail traffic analytics, and boost sales conversions.