Foot Traffic and Cross-Everything Measurement
It’s only a matter of time. With the rise of Cross Device Measurement (the ability to track customer behavior across mobile, tablet, desktop, etc), there’s still a missing piece to the marketer’s puzzle: how to track the behaviors of people who actually put down their device for 5 seconds and walk into a brick and mortar (or steel and concrete) store. Sure, you can track in-store sales, and you can even gain some degree of nuance with loyalty programs, membership cards, etc, but the data gained at the offline level is very rudimentary compared to what even the most basic web analytics can produce. So what’s the answer? The first “step” will be using sensors to measure in-store foot traffic.
Of course, this could all be moot if Uncle Sam launches their rumored investigation into Cross Device Tracking as a breach of citizen privacy (no word yet on if they’re launching an investigation into the definition of the word “irony”). But considering the government will probably be shutting down every 3 months for the foreseeable future, let’s continue with this blog post. So what’s the benefit of measuring in-store foot traffic?
- More nuanced customer data. While foot traffic measurements would still lack any degree of customer identification or personalization, it could at least give a broad idea of overall traffic, conversion percentage, and which departments are being visited most and least heavily (along with loosely calculated conversion rates by department)
- Better marketing measurement. For example, if you run a sale on shoes (in-store), and the traffic in that department increases but sales remain flat, then what initially looked like a marketing failure could be something else entirely.
- Cross-Everything Measurement- Here’s the big one…the ability to tie better offline data to your already spectacular online data. How do traffic and conversions compare online vs. offline? By department? Did your online marketing campaign lead to increased traffic/conversions offline? In the hands of a smart marketing team, this data could be a powerful tool to paint a clearer picture of the entire customer experience, and to adjust accordingly.
As with everything, however, there is a downside to measuring in-store traffic: namely, that it might be the first step in turning our society into a cross between Logan’s Run and Minority Report. But really, that’s a small price to pay for more nuanced marketing data right?