Improving Footfall Numbers in Physical Retail Environments


In the retail sector it has become increasingly difficult to remain successful in the face of stiff competition from online shopping sources. The only way to ensure that you are successful as a physical store and not to lose out completely to online competitors is to increase the amount of potential customers that actually see (and visit) your store on a regular basis. This is obviously easier said than done, but one way to approach it is to conduct a complete survey and analysis of your current processes and the way in which your store operates, as well as how staff members interact with customers and potential customers at various stages of the purchasing journey. Mystery shopping and client satisfaction surveys are both ways in which this can be achieved successfully.

By conducting mystery shopping at regular intervals throughout the year you can quickly build up an accurate picture of how your retail store is realistically performing and look at ways in which you can be effective in change within the organisation. Change can come in various means, from the way your staff are trained to interact with customers, to the placement of certain promotional items in a store, or a change to the complaints procedures you have in place to placate disappointed customers.

Footfall is a problem that the entire retail sector has had to face up to over the past 15-20 years as the increase in opportunities for customers to purchase items and services online has steadily grown. There are certain types of people that will never return to physical stores now they have found the ease and fast nature of purchasing goods online. It’s ok to be accepting of this fact, but it isn’t all bad news as there is still a large number of people that like to combine physical stores with online shopping, or those who prefer the human touch for all purchases.

If you can perfect a balance between the two you can create the perfect spot in the retail landscape. What this means is that you can account for those who browse in-store but wish to purchase online (through an effective, simple, and secure e-commerce website for your store), or those who browse online and come in to the physical store to purchase or collect after paying online.

It is important therefore that you improve upon the processes for all of these opportunities, so as not to miss out on the potential increase in footfall for your store – even if someone is not purchasing there and then from you. First impressions, brand consistency, and high levels of customer service at all times will lead to an increase in customer satisfaction levels and in turn an increase efficiencies in the organisation and profits as a result. With the right type of support from a mystery shopping service you can base all improvement to your company on solid data and analysis. This allows for vast improvement in all aspects of a retail environment, with a view to reaching short and long-term targets.

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