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Labor Day Holiday Flash Report 2019

Posted on September 13, 2019

Labor Day 2019

USA Map

US Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Labor Day 2019 reported a year-over-year decrease of -4.80%.

Labor Day is amongst America’s favorite holidays and 25% of Americans planned to travel and get out of town for Labor Day weekend.

However, Hurricane Dorian substantially affected the decline in traffic that we can observe this year. The Southern coast was especially impacted by the damages caused by Hurricane Dorian. As such, year-over-year results reported a decrease of -16.93% in the Southeast regions.

As per Wikipedia, Hurricane Dorian was an extremely powerful, long-lived, and destructive tropical cyclone that devastated the northwestern Bahamas and caused significant damage to the Southeastern United States.

Even though Labor Day weekend is a popular time for bargain shopping, the impact of the hurricane made shoppers stay home and encouraged them to wait for better opportunities to shop.

Canada Map

Canada Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Labor Day 2019 reported a year-over-year decrease of -3.11%. All regions reported a decline year-over-year, but the least affected was Ontario with a decrease year-over-year of -1.08%.

As for the US, Hurricane Dorian had a significant impact on the results this year.

Despite the employment increase in many provinces like Ontario (+58,00) and Quebec (+20,000) that suggested a stronger outlook for growth, the hurricane warnings issued by Environment Canada largely contributed to the decrease in traffic. Shoppers were more cautious and encouraged to wait for a better time to go deal-hunting.

Sources:

US:

WalletHub
Wikipedia

CA:

Trading Economics


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Back to School Insight and Analytics Report 2019

Posted on September 13, 2019

Back to School Traffic Review

USA Map

US Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Back to School 2019 reported a year-over-year increase of 0.24%. The overall results were mainly affected by the Midwest and East Regions that saw an increase in traffic of 1.05% and 3.13% respectively.

The market for back-to-school is huge, making it the second biggest time for retailers outside of the holiday season.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), about 56.6 million students attended elementary, middle, and high schools across the US in 2019. That is about 70,000 more students than in 2018, according to the same source. Back-to-School in 2019 was supposed to be the highest enrollment ever reported for public schools in the US.

Families were expected to spend a record $691 on school supplies this year, according to the National Retail Federation estimates. That’s up from $685 last year and exceeds $689 in 2012, the previous record, according to the NRF.

“Consumers are in a strong position given the nation’s growing economy, and we see this reflected in what they say they will spend on back-to-class items this year,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

Canada Map

Canada Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Back to School 2019 reported a year-over-year increase of 0.84%. Despite this slight increase, it supports the slow but steady gradual economic growth in Canada. Prairies reported a year-over-year increase of 2.33%, Quebec region was the most affected negatively and reported a year-over-year decrease of -2.07%.

The Canadian economy advanced 0.9 percent on quarter in the three months to June 2019, easing from a 0.1 percent expansion in the previous period. According to Trading Economics, it was the strongest growth rate since the second quarter of 2017, as exports rose while domestic demand declined.

As per NBC, 2 drivers of growth have been contributing to revive the Canadian economy: stable income gains from a strong labour market driving consumption spending and housing. However, NBC expects to see signs of economic slow down (US-China trade war, job creation returning to more viable levels and large debt load of households).

Like in the US, where retailers adapted their marketing strategies due to the fact that back-to-school shopping is starting earlier every year, Canadian retailers need to make sure to understand when is the right time to start marketing campaigns.

Sources:

US:

NCES
NRF

CA:

Trading Economics
NBC


If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Reports on a weekly basis, please contact us.

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12 Essential KPIs All Brick-and-Mortar Retailers can leverage using Traffic Counters – Part 4

Posted on June 13, 2019

KPIs part 4

This is the 4th and final part of our series that covers the most relevant KPIs retailers can monitor through Prodco’s Traffic Counting Solutions.

Last time, we talked about:

  • New Visits
  • Repeated Visits
  • Cross Store Visits

Make sure to read part 1, part 2 and part 3 first.

Like many KPIs we are covering, it is important to be aware that this data requires your equipment to have integrated WiFi. Fortunately, Prodco’s modern Stereoscopic 3D cameras include WiFi technology as a basic feature.

10. Visit Frequency

Similarly to the KPIs covered in our previous article, this metric is primarily used to measure brand loyalty. But while the previous KPIs only distinguish Repeated Visits from New Visits, this provides more information by highlighting how often a customer returns to your store.

loyalty card

The common knowledge in the retail industry has always been to find ways to encourage customers to come back to a store, instead of investing massively in customer acquisition.

As such, make your loyalty program relevant, unique and easy to join by offering them the possibility to subscribe through mobile apps, kiosks or iPads available in the store. Take advantage of the Visit Frequency KPI to assess your marketing initiatives.

If your goal is to improve the Visit Frequency, make sure to talk to your customers directly, and give them compelling reasons to visit. It is always important to ensure good service levels, to increase customer engagement and to keep offerings new and exciting by providing variety.

11. Visit Recency

Visit Recency is used to measure the return visit cycle of your store. It is the average number of weeks between visits for your customer base. In other words, how often they visit.

visti frequency KPI

This KPI is another tool to better understand the journey of your customers, their needs as well as their behavior.

Understanding your customer’s return visit cycle can help you schedule your sales associate more efficiently and provide the correct merchandising mixture to maximize your opportunity to increase sales.

12. Shopper Retention

With Prodco’s analytics platform, you will have access to a metric called Shopper Retention. Although similar to Visit Frequency, it goes much more in depth as it provides insights on a longer period of time.

This is a powerful way to differentiate frequent visitors from occasional visitors, and to understand what customer profile is the most valuable to your business. Are more-engaged visitors converting better? This data can be used effectively to turn visitors into valuable and long-term customers and to evaluate the performance of your marketing campaigns.

credit card customer

Acquiring new customers is, of course, relevant and can greatly impact the growth of your business. But as mentioned previously, it’s not the only way to increase your profits.

For many retailers, it will make more sense to focus their efforts on customer retention, as it’s a much more cost-effective strategy. Not only is retention cheaper than acquisition, but it also has a very high ROI.

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Prodco Analytics delivers a comprehensive analysis platform that highlights where opportunities for improvement exist and helps your stores reach their real performance potential. Our retail performance solution delivers a deeper understanding of shopper behavior with real-time analytics at all levels of the operations and marketing team.

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Mother’s Day 2019 Special Review

Posted on May 28, 2019

Mother's Day 2019

USA Map

US Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Mother’s Day 2019 reported a year-over-year decrease of -10.29%.

Despite a general decrease shared by most retailers across the US, the East regions contributed the most to the decline, with a reported year-over-year decrease of -15.81%.
Multiple factors are contributing to this decline. First, even with a very good consumer sentiment for 2019 and a healthy economy, the US-China trade ware had a considerable impact, affecting the US GDP significantly. As a result, it decreases expectation from 3 percent in 2018 to 2.1 percent in 2019.

As per this article, the jobs market is very strong. The unemployment is at a half-century low, the wages are slowly increasing and there is available credit, reflecting a strong economy. However, due to rising costs on imported goods, the pace of consumer spending is slowing down. The growth is subdued and slow, with consumers being wary of borrowing to the limit and businesses being cautious about overextending their capabilities.

Low levels of spending have carried over from Q4 2018 into 2019 and it shows in consumer movement in retail traffic.

Canada Map

Canada Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Mother’s Day 2019 reported a year-over-year decrease of -1.80%. Prairies reported a year-over-year decrease of -4.5%, British Columbia was less affected and reported a year-over-year decrease of -0.93%.

Bloomberg Nanos Canadian Confidence Index showed that the Canadian consumer confidence is at its lowest level in almost two years. A decrease in the general household sentiment and rising insecurity regarding job safety are compelling consumers to be more careful and calculated with their spending.

One of the main driving factors for the current slowdown is the weakness in the oil sector. Other factors contributing to this depression are rising interest rates, last year’s sharp drop in global equities, low oil prices, US-China trade tensions, and slow wage gains. The Canadian economy seems to have hit a soft patch.

On May 20th, the Conference Board of Canada confirmed in an article a lower growth projection for 2019. Indeed, the Canadian economy is expected to grow by just 1.4 percent in 2019.

Sources:

US:

Deloitte.com
Nytimes.com
Conference-board.org
Cnbc.com
Seekingalpha.com

CA:

Bloomberg
Newswire.ca
Deloitte.com


If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Reports on a weekly basis, please contact us.

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12 Essential KPIs All Brick-and-Mortar Retailers can leverage using Traffic Counters – Part 3

Posted on May 9, 2019

KPIs Part 3

This is the 3rd part of a 4 part series that covers the most relevant KPIs retailers can monitor through Prodco’s Traffic Counting Solutions.

Last time, we talked about:

  • Average Visit Duration
  • Engagement Rate
  • Bounce Rate

If you haven’t read part 1 and part 2, make sure to do so.

Like many KPIs we are covering, it is important to be aware that this data requires your counting solution to have integrated WiFi technology. Fortunately, Prodco’s modern Stereoscopic 3D cameras include WiFi as a basic feature.

Average Visit Duration Icon

7. New Visits

Being able to differentiate new visitors from recurring customers is a compelling feature that can be offered through WiFi-enabled devices.

Let us start first by explaining the technology behind it. How can this be achieved?

Our Wi-Fi-enabled solutions sense the non-personal Wi-Fi pings emitted by smartphones. Using these pings, we measure how customers flow through your store, how long they stay and how often they return.

We then analyze the non-personal data and automatically turn the raw numbers into valuable insights.

To protect the shoppers’ privacy, all data is anonymized and encrypted. We never capture or store any biometric or personal data as per GDPR and international privacy laws.

How to leverage this KPI?

The number of first-time visitors entering the store is a good indication of the performance of your marketing initiatives and displays, and how it may attract potential new customers to your store.

Engagement Icon

8. Repeated Visits

This is the number of visitors who have already visited the store in the past.

For many retailers, regular customers are a fundamental component of their business prosperity and longevity. In some industries, it is often more expensive to acquire new customers than to invest in customer retention.

This survey even suggests that it could cost 5 times more to acquire a new customer, whether online or in the brick-and-mortar world.

A big part of a retailer’s customer retention strategy is to put in place attractive loyalty programs, to engage customers, to have a good mix of products always available, and to ensure a high level of customer service at all time, thus, encouraging customers to come back.

In fact, your loyal customers can play a key role in your acquisition strategy. Indeed, word-of-mouth and case studies are powerful sources of new customers, making customer retention an important aspect to focus on. As mentioned before, the benefit of recurring customers over new customers is that they require fewer resources.

Also, not all stores are created equal and some might be located in highly touristic areas, thus affecting the ratio of New vs Repeated Visits. For that reason, this KPI comes in handy to understand which stores need to be targeted with bespoke marketing campaigns.

Depending on your vision, customer incentives might not always be the appropriate approach to build strong customer loyalty and keep your customers happy. Apple, for instance, has built more than a fan base by creating a cult around the brand, without offering any special incentive.

All in all, this KPI can be used to gain insights into the loyalty of your customers. Are marketing initiatives, loyalty programs, and brand awareness efforts paying off? Do your customers come back to your store?

Bounce Rate Icon

9. Cross Store Visits

Cross Store Visits, or the number of stores a visitor has visited for a selected period.

Like Repeated Visits, Cross Store Visits are very beneficial to assess the loyalty of your customers towards your brand(s). Unlike Repeated Visits which focus on a specific location, CSVs bring to light the whole brand by providing insights on how your customers are interacting in different locations of the retail chain.

This tool can also be a great way to compare your brands within your chain and highlights the capacity of your different brands to retain customers.

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Prodco Analytics delivers a comprehensive analysis platform that highlights where opportunities for improvement exist and helps your stores reach their real performance potential. Our retail performance solution delivers a deeper understanding of shopper behavior with real-time analytics at all levels of the operations and marketing team.

Stay tuned for part 4.

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