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Prodco’s 2018 Special Holiday Traffic Review

Posted on January 8, 2019

Holiday Traffic Review

USA Map

US Region

Executive Summary:

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Super Weekend (December 22nd to December 23rd) shows a year-over-year increase of 22.77%, affected mostly by a 61.49% increase on Super Sunday (December 23rd). This year, consumers had more time to shop, which was a major factor that contributed to this increase.

“In sales terms, this has definitely been a very strong holiday — one of the best since 1999,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of research firm Global Data Retail. “Momentum in the consumer economy, confident shoppers and more discipline from retailers have all helped to boost spending.”

Canada Map

Canada Region

Executive Summary:

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Boxing Day (Dec 26th, 2018) shows a year-over-year increase of 2.66%. The increase was mainly affected by an increase this year in lifestyle and accessories.

As Black Friday and pre-Boxing Day sales became more prevalent in Canada, Boxing Day might be losing its lustre. 27 per cent of people planned to shop on Boxing Day at brick-and-mortar stores.

Taken from RCC holiday 2018 survey, a large majority of Canadians (87 per cent) believe it’s important to support Canadian retailers during the holiday season.

More than a third of Canadians also said it’s more important to buy Canadian this year than it was last year.

Diane Brisebois, RCC president and CEO, said negotiations for the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) seem “to have stirred national pride.”

If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Report on a weekly basis, please click here.

People Counting for Brick-and-Mortar Retailers is not Enough

Posted on December 14, 2018

Online Style Analytics for Retail

You can do more than Traffic Counting

Tally Counter and Dual Lens Camera

People Counting Solutions have been for Brick-and-Mortar retailers a standard for a very long time now. From the simplest form such as mechanical or electronic tally counter devices to advanced Wi-Fi counting systems, most of the retail stores will have a counting solution implemented to some extent.

A Quick recap on the Web

The first online transaction was supposedly made in 1994. Shortly after arrived the 2 giants, Amazon and eBay, who set the standard of online shopping for years to come.

In the early days of Web Analytics, people were borrowing ideas from the retail world in regards to marketing, sales strategy and, you guessed it, people counting.

Web Hit Counters

Do you remember the beautiful and colorful hit counters proudly displayed on every website back in the late 1990s and early 2000s?

Web analytics has come a very long way. After its first inception in 2005, Google Analytics changed the way people look at their online traffic. It led to the creation of staggering new marketing strategies carried out to drive sales thanks to the incredible level of insights provided.

Average visit time, Behavior flow, Demographics, and Geolocation are just some of the fine points you can take advantage of to understand who your online customers are, what they are interested in, what needs to be improved upon and how to better offer what they actually want.

However, counting traffic is simply an action that provides a number, which is of very little value by itself if it’s not looked at in association with other available data.

Being able to witness a decrease or increase in your traffic by looking at your daily visitors is great, but you need more tools to expose these anomalies. What if you could actually deduce that your new window display is the potential culprit and might have attracted fewer customers?

Is it time for the retail industry to borrow from the Online Analytics world?

We didn’t wait for this to be asked nor answered, as we, at Prodco Analytics, have been providing the retail industry with analytics tools that go beyond just people counting.

Let’s apply these strategies to your physical stores

Online Style Analytics for Retailers

Online marketers will always dedicate some time to study the Click-through rate (CTR) of specific advertising campaigns or the ranking of their websites in search engines. If we compare your store to a website on Google’s search network, similarly you can manage to investigate passerby traffic and find out the true impact of your entrance, storefront or new window display.

Establishing zones in your stores.

If your store can be compared to a website, then think of a zone as a Web Page. How much time are your customers spending here, where are they coming from and where are they going next?

Online strategies can be applied the same way to your Brick-and-Mortar store. Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • track traffic in real time to meet your daily goals and targets
  • review visit duration and recency to improve customer loyalty
  • adjust your staff schedules to match traffic levels
  • foresee your busiest times throughout the day and estimate your traffic flow
  • evaluate the impact of your storefront by capturing passerby traffic
  • inspect Heatmaps revealing your busiest areas to better optimize your space
  • compare your store’s performance against your chain or your industry standards
  • understand which areas of your store are performing best

Technology advancements are growing exponentially and as such, our industry will see many changes over the years. Choosing a flexible solution from the get-go will allow your organization to adapt to new technologies and stay relevant.

Prodco Analytics is dedicated to always be at the forefront of innovation to keep offering retailers solutions that provide in-depth shopper insights to ultimately drive performance.

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Prodco’s 2018 Black Friday Weekend review!

Posted on December 4, 2018

Black Friday Insights

USA Map

US Region

Executive Summary:

Black Friday brick-and-mortar traffic flat.

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday for all regions of the USA reported a slight 0.02% increase compared to 2017. The Midwest reported the largest year-over-year increase of 1.08% while the West reported the largest decrease of 1.01%.

According to a joint National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, within the 5 days surrounding Thanksgiving’s weekend, 165 million Americans shopped either online or in stores this year.

– 89.7 million Americans chose to shop both online and in brick-and-mortar stores this year compared to 64 million Americans last year
– 41.4 million chose to shop online only compared to 58 million last year
– 34.7 million chose brick-and-mortar stores only compared to 51 million people last year

With a strong US economy, more Americans took to shopping during the Black Friday weekend compared to last year. Although more consumers decided to shop overall, brick-and-mortar store visits continued to lose ground to the comfort of shopping from a computer or device at home.

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

Canada Map

Canada Region

Executive Summary:

Black Friday continues to gain in popularity in Canada.

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday in Canada reported an increase of 3.50% for all regions. Quebec reported the largest year-over-year increase of 8.30% while British Columbia reported the largest year-over-year decrease of -0.67%.

As per Diane Brisebois, RCC president and CEO, “While our shopping habits appear to be shifting and becoming more in tune with our neighbours south of the border, Canadians are showing a greater interest in keeping our dollars at home this year”.

The retail Council of Canada (RCC) also reported in a holiday shopping study that 40 percent of Canadians were planning to shop Black Friday Sales compared to just 25 percent on Boxing Day. This indicates that Black Friday in Canada will continue to grow and has largely replaced the traditional Boxing Day.

If you would like to receive Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index Report on a weekly basis, please click here.

Valentine’s Day : The New Retail Sensation ?

Posted on February 22, 2018

Flowers Image

$19.6 billion. That’s the total spending expected for 2018 Valentine’s Day by U.S. consumers. Still very far from the sales results that are usually brought by other big Holidays such as Black Friday or Christmas (spendings being approximately 8 times higher at $900 per household), Valentine’s Day has been in very good shape since the last couple years, as we are expecting the average spending per household to increase from $136.57 in 2017 to $143.56 in 2018. Even if only 55% of Americans declare that they were celebrating Valentine’s Day according to NRF, it is still a very lucrative and good opportunity for retailers to grow their annual turnover.

And where were these consumers expected to shop exactly ? Much the same as in 2017, department stores (35 percent), discount stores (32 percent), online (29 percent), specialty stores (19 percent), florists (17 percent), and local small businesses (14 percent), are taking the lead as the most popular anticipated point of purchase.

A Holiday Perceived Differently Through Generations

As fun as it might sound, a quarter of those under the age of 35, mostly Millenials and Generation Z members, were planning to buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their non-human significant others. Specialty retail stores such as PetSmart and Amazon even dedicated somes sections of their stores to Valentine’s Day. And if you think about it for a minute, this totally make sense, as  Millennials now account for more than a third of all pet owners in the U.S.

We’ve learned in the past few years that a certain kind of transition was happening in the values shared by older and younger generations. Indeed, younger consumers are more attracted in spending their money on experiences rather than material goods and objects, like their predecessors. Roughly a quarter of celebrants under the age of 35 also planned to give a gift of experience, and 42.3% say they would love to receive one. And this trend is even higher for celebrants under the age of 24 !

We know that these younger generations are huge adopters of healthy living, healthy eating and well-being. And if there is one single day where they can cross the line of their good habits during the year, Valentine’s Day might be the one ! 69 percent of these Holiday celebrants were planning to give candies this last Valentine’s Day. As gifts are often considered as the stars of the day, among those 25 to 34 years old, 62 percent were planning to gift sweets. Although this adoration of sweets seems to be pretty much generalized and shared between all generations as 55 percent of overall celebrants were planning to offer candies or sweets to their loved ones.

In general, brands have been incredibly active on a large variety of digital platform, trying to have their followers to buy their products to celebrate the Holiday, and convincing their young customers that their products would pleased their loved ones the most. We know that Millenials and Gen Zers are highly influenced by social media content and influencers collaborations with brands, it might be one of the principal causes as to why they have been more engaged with their Holiday Purchases this year.

Takeaways

No matter in which industry you are evolving, or the consumers you are trying to reach, if you are a retailer operating brick-and-mortar stores, Valentine’s Day can offer you great opportunities. As an informed retailer, you have the power to transform these insights and trends into sales and profitability. Make sure you are adapting your products and service offerings for the new and upcoming generation, who will keep increasing their purchasing power in the next few years.

Contact us to get our latest Valentine’s Day Flash Report, analyse your 2018 performance and start planning your next strategy.

How Brick and Mortars Are Living Alongside E-commerce

Posted on February 19, 2018

Online Shopping

Critics have been forecasting the death of the traditional brick and mortar store in the face of the booming emergence of e-commerce sales. E-commerce has undeniably changed the retail landscape forever. Despite this, brick and mortar stores are learning how to live alongside e-commerce platforms and even incorporate online strategies of their own to protect their market in the retail industry landscape.

In Person vs Online: The Customer Experience

While offline sales are still 10x higher than online sales, the online sales market is growing 3x faster compared to traditional retail landscapes. Consumers have cited that the convenience of online shopping is a huge draw for them. Online stores are open 24/7, and no not require the consumer to physically travel to the store to purchase an item. Consumers also cite that they often find better prices online due to the ease of the ability to compare prices.

Despite the ease of online shopping, consumers still crave the tactile experience of physical stores. Consumers can see, touch, and even try on the item they are seeking to purchase. Purchasing items in-store also offers the instant gratification that consumers crave, there is no need to wait days or even sometimes weeks for a product to be shipped to the consumer’s door.

Verifying the product’s quality in person also avoids the hassle of online returns. For some consumers, offline shopping also offers a social experience with friends and family that cannot be replicated online. In addition, the customer service experience in-store is often cited by consumers as being far superior to that offered by online retailers.

How Brick and Mortars Are Adapting to Change

Brick and mortar retailers have been adapting to the growth of online sales by implementing online strategies of their own, referred to as omnichannel strategies. For consumers, the omnichannel experience means that they can interact with traditional retailers across a myriad of platforms. Retailers aim to engage the consumer both online and offline to provide an integrated and cohesive experience.

A simple example is offering the consumer the ability to purchase an item online, and in turn pick-up or return the item in-store. This provides the consumer the ease of online shopping combined with the tactile experience and customer service that consumers enjoy from physical stores.

Further, the omnichannel experience also encompasses intelligently engaging consumers through marketing via social media, newsletters and interactive websites to draw consumers in stores and away from strictly online retail competitors. This way, traditional brick and mortar retailers are carving their own market online.

Takeaways

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, brick and mortar stores must implement new strategies to keep their competitive edge over online retailers. By incorporating omnichannel strategies and cutting edge, personalized solutions such as Prodco’s platform, brick and mortars will gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and thus, be in a better position to provide the best shopping experience possible.