Understanding footfall analytics?

Today, many companies don't know how they can collect data about their customer's behaviour in the physical world and thus they are missing out on important information that could help them improve their operations and increase sales. This is where footfall analytics comes into play. Find out what footfall analytics is and how companies from different sectors can benefit from the data it allows them to collect.

In the online world it is very common for companies to use web analytics tools as for example Google Analytics to measure the performance of their online presence. Web analytics services allow companies to track the activity of their website as for example number of visits, average session duration, pages visited per session, bounce rate or entrance point. Data gathered through web analytics allows companies to get valuable insights into their customers as well as into the performance of their online activities. Companies can use these insights to improve their customer service as well their overall sales strategies.

In the offline world, for example at live events or at physical retail stores, people’s behaviour provides a lot of information that could be used by companies to improve their operations as well as the overall customer experience. Contrary to the online world, this data is often not collected in the offline world as many companies are not aware of the digital solutions that exist to gather this data.  

Footfall analytics allows companies from different sectors to gather data about the performance of their physical activities by measuring customer engagement. 

What is footfall analytics?  

Footfall is defined as the measurement of people entering a particular facility/location, whether this is a live eventconference, or retail industry. As such, the term "footfall analytics" refers to the advanced method of counting people who are entering a location. The data from this will then be used to develop insights on how to improve customer relations, optimize operations and increase sales 

The most common method of gathering data on footfall in the past has been to assign employees with a clicker in their hands to track people who are entering a location.  

However, this manual method of people counting has some major drawbacks – it is time-consuming, it takes valuable labour away from other essential tasks and it has a high risk for human error. 

Today, there are various digital methods of collecting footfall dataPopular methods include the use of WiFi/Bluetooth trackers or camera sensors. These digital methods of gathering footfall data are on the one hand much more reliable than manual counting and on the other hand they can gather a lot of additional data that can be valuable for a company.   

What are the benefits of footfall analytics?  

The main reason why companies use footfall data is to assess how many people they attract with their business. Aside from that, these are the other benefits that a company can gain from it:  

Marketing Insights 

The data from the footfall analytics can be used as a cornerstone for marketers in measuring the performance of their marketing activitiesIt can for example help them to identify how many people were reached with a specific marketing activity or whether a marketing campaign they implemented had an impact on the average dwell time of a customer or on the conversion rate

Comparability 

Footfall analytics provide companies with data to compare the performance of their activities over time or across separate locationsBy that they can get insights into different (external factors) that might have an impact on the effectiveness of their activities. 

Further, footfall analytics also allows companies to properly analyse their A/B testing by comparing the change in customer behaviour.    

Increase Sales 

One of the major benefits that companies get from footfall analytics is its potential to increase sales. Gathering data on their customer’s movements in a store (e.g., with flow path analysis or heatmaps) allows the store managers to adapt the store layout to better target the customersWhether it's through improving human resource management or developing a more aggressive marketing strategy, you are bound to see sales improvements if you use the data, you gathered properly.  

Promotes Smarter Staffing 

Another benefit of footfall analytics is that it will provide companies insights into how they can improve their staff planning. With the gathered data, companies get to know their peak hours and can then efficiently plan the schedule of your staff. 

What data is important for different stakeholders? 

Companies from many different industries can benefit from footfall analytics – be it the live event/promotion, MICE or retail industry. Depending on the type of stakeholders, different kinds of data is relevant for them.  

Amongst the most important data usually the overall number of people that enter a location, the bounce and engagement ratethe average dwell time or the peak hours. In the context of retail analytics, it is also important to know how customers move within a store and how specific zones within a store perform.   

Overall, it is important to not only focus on absolute numbers because without context this does not give a company a lot of added value. On the contrary the data that is gathered should focus on the comparability and the conversion rates which provide answers to much more relevant questions like: what is the share of store visitors that entered a specific zone? What percentage of passers-by that actually entered my store?  (Find out how footfall analytics was used to measure customer behaviour in a SportXX store).

How can footfall be measured? 

There are different technologies which companies can use to gather footfall data as for example WiFi sensors, infrared sensors, thermal imaging sensors or camera sensors. Each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages and it depends on the specific use case, which type of technology should be implemented.    

Conclusion 

Analytics tools that have been used by a majority of companies to measure their online performance exist for the offline world as well. Footfall analytics goes way beyond a simple people counting and when using the right technologies, it can provide companies with relevant data about customer behaviour and allow them to improve live customer experiences, optimize operationand increase sales.

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If you would like to find out how your company can benefit from footfall analytics, have a look at the livealytics website or book a call with us