For Brick and Mortar Chains, Unpredictable Foot Traffic -Is- Was the Main Obstacle to Maintaining Profitable Locations
It’s no surprise that high variable costs have historically limited the profitability of brick and mortar stores.
According to Shopkeep, three of the top ten variables plaguing the restaurant industry, as an example, include: foot traffic unpredictability, managing (food and beverage) inventory, and staffing planning and turnover. It naturally follows then, that by understanding and affecting their largest controllable variable—foot traffic—they’ll insure high-and-consistent traffic (and thus sales), covering fixed and variable costs. This, in turn, spells profitability, right?
Not so fast.
Brick and mortar chains are becoming more adept at monitoring traffic and POS to understand the historical ebbs and flows of customer visits over time at each of their locations. But this only gives them a general sense of when to staff up and down and when to increase and decrease inventory and adjust other variable costs. It doesn’t tell them why these patterns occur, when to anticipate changes, what to do, and where to go to attract visitors during slow periods.
For that, you’d need a crystal ball. Fortunately, now you have one.
The local events and activities that occur around your locations every day have a huge impact on driving foot traffic and the number of customers attending these events is also huge. According to the Internet Trends 2015 report, almost 80% of smartphone owners use their devices to find local events and activities occurring in their communities.
So how can you know which events have historically generated local foot traffic, which types of customers they’ve drawn, and what events will be happening around your locations that can impact your foot traffic and sales? And most importantly, what can you do with this knowledge?
Let’s answer the second question first. Armed with historical and upcoming local event knowledge, brick and mortar chains will:
- Know what types of local events typically draw customers, along with the types of customers they draw based on their everyday behaviors in the real world
- Confidently plan for peak traffic periods by knowing upcoming “high-draw” events, in order to execute appropriate inventory purchases and staffing levels
- Know the local events occurring during slow periods and the most receptive mobile customers to personally target while they’re actually attending those events, to invite them into their stores
- Use the knowledge of “high-draw” local events to offer their own relevant promotions (i.e. “NCAA Basketball Happy Hour” after the local basketball game, “Check out our new collection of organic cosmetics” after a local beauty days event, etc.)
- See what events and activities your competitors are hosting in your local markets and how much foot traffic they are generating versus you
- Use “high-draw” local events as an input to planning for store and product expansion
As for the first question, Gravy maintains the largest set of verified past, present, and future local events and activities in the U.S., along with the most accurate local venue data. This data gives brick and mortar brands unprecedented power to improve operational efficiencies, create staff continuity, and drive foot traffic to maximize same-store profits.
Isn’t it time to manage store traffic, versus letting it manage you?