Prodco’s Black Friday Weekend review!

US Region

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday reported a decrease of -0.60% year-over-year for all regions of the USA. The Midwest reported the largest year-over-year increase of 0.65% while the south reported the largest decrease of -2.10%.

According to a joint National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, within the 5 days surrounding Thanksgiving’s weekend:

  • 64 million Americans have chosen to shop online as well as in physical stores
  • 58 million people chose to do their shopping online only
  • 51 million people chose to do their shopping only at physical stores

These numbers tend to show that even though technology has many advantages, many consumers still enjoy shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Is it part of the holiday shopping experience? It is a strong opportunity for retailers to create on-point shopping experiences for their consumers. This opportunity shouldn’t be neglected if retailers want the consumers to keep coming back.

Consumers who shopped both online and at physical stores spent $82 more than online-only shoppers, and $49 more on average than physical-stores-only shoppers. The key of success in this high-volume sale season seems to be linked to the power of creating different and enjoyable shopping environments in-store and online. Shoppers needs have to be identified and addressed properly no matter where they are shopping.

Canada Region

Black Friday launched the holiday shopping season in Canada.

Prodco’s Retail Traffic Index for Black Friday for Nov. 24thshows a decrease of -0.38% for all regions of Canada. The British Columbia region reported the largest year-over-year increase of 6.47% while the Prairies reported the largest decrease of -2.67%.

A few days before the Black Friday, surveys led by colossal institutions such as RetailMeNot, projected a record spending year for Canadian shoppers. As spending continues to increase year-over-year during the thanksgiving weekend in America, Canadians are benefiting from the same sales offering on this side of the border. 

Moneris, Canada’s largest processor of electronic payments, recently reported that Black Friday 2017 saw a 4.5 per cent increase in spending over Black Friday 2016. Year-over-year, Canadians seem to buy more during Black Friday weekend mainly because shoppers often consider the long weekend offers as the last ones before Christmas. In the last few years, Black Friday weekend sales have even exceeded Boxing Day’s sales volume.

As the spread of Black Friday sales offerings spills over north of the border, and coupled with the weak Canadian dollar, purchases at Canadian retailers by American shoppers soared 14.82 per cent for the first time in Canada. 

Overall, brick and mortar stores continue to be the main shopping destination as only 10 per cent of total retail sales in Canada was from online shopping. Even with the ease and convenience of making purchases online, physical stores will continue to be the main driver for retail sales.

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Prepare your team for success every day!

Continuous improvement tools are driven by data.

As a store manager, you are on the frontlines of your retail operation. Make sure you are equipped with the right information at the right time.

To truly optimize your store’s potential, start by capturing accurate traffic data to uncover operational opportunities:

  • Better manage staffing with insights on peak traffic trends
  • Understand your conversion rates by tracking your store targets and goals, fitting room conversion, and storefront initiatives
  • Improve loyalty by analyzing customer visit loyalty

With Prostore, Prodco’s real-time analytics platform, store managers can achieve better performance in all these areas through continuous improvement throughout the day.

Make the most of marketing!

Zero in on the marketing efforts that have a measurable impact on conversion.

Retailers use numerous strategies to promote their business and drive to store: from e-couponing to themed promotions, seasonal events and beyond. These efforts all represent a cost, and as such, you need to know if they’re working to truly drive sales.

POS data is only one part of the story. Traffic counting helps provide a fuller picture so you can accurately evaluate the success of a campaign: 

  • Powerfully correlate the day’s sales with foot traffic. Did your promo drive to store but customers failed to convert? Perhaps traffic was low, but promoted items did well—what are the factors in place to maintain and amplify?
  • Understand your store’s hotspots and how they function during a promotion. Measure how long people stay at displays, windows and promo areas.

Get granular. Know whether promotional initiatives like changes to store hours, window displays, and in-store events really help drive traffic and conversion.

Is your people-counting system giving you the full picture?

Understand what goes on in—and around—your stores so you can fine-tune your business!

Your numbers are only as good as the insights they reveal. Go from counting traffic to understanding how every element in the physical space is working to drive—or repel—conversion.

Circulation: understand the drivers that affect your walk by traffic.

Window displays: make sure they’re working as hard as they should be.

Store sections: which ones are the busiest? Which days of the week?

With in-store analytic solutions, you get the big picture and the details, so you can make informed decisions to drive your business forward.

You can get them to the store, but can you get them undressed?

In retail apparel, data helps drive to the dressing room!

In the increasingly competitive bid for consumer dollars, retailers have to create meaningful engagement with the consumers who walk through their doors. The associate who fails to move the conversation beyond the initial greeting lessens their odds of making a sale. On the other hand, the associate who can genuinely move the consumer along the purchase funnel greatly increases their chances of closing.

In apparel, it’s about getting the consumer into the dressing room. Industry insights support: a sale is 55% more likely if a shopper visits the fitting room. Data-driven insights can help your team drive them there.

In-store analytics technology helps you identify opportunities for improvement, whether it’s adjusting associate behavior, rewarding strong performance, or coaching under-performing team members. A combined in-store system of traffic counters at entrance and thermal counters at the dressing room measures the correlation between foot traffic entering the store and visits to the dressing room. Prodco offers easy to read dashboards that help you make sense of the data, so you can optimize your team’s performance and increase visits to your fitting rooms.

Who needs another dashboard?

Too much data and not enough insight is a key challenge for retailers!

Are you struggling to bridge the gap between the data you’re collecting and the insights it provides? If so, it may be cold comfort to know you’re not alone. Many retailers have adopted people counting systems and other technologies to provide them with data about their customers they hope to leverage. But their POS systems are also churning out numbers, and so is head office. So it’s no wonder that data can feel like a burden to retailers. Who has the time and energy to make sense of it all?

Retailers who are able to successfully leverage their data will benefit greatly from the insights it can provide. They’ll be better able to make operational decisions, like realigning staffing and identifying leaders. They’ll be able to improve loyalty and benchmark performance. When the data is converted to insights, it can be a powerful tool to drive success.

Cutting through the clutter with intelligent analytics is key. Prodco’s managed services and proprietary dashboards deliver operational visibility and deep shopper intelligence. In other words, we make meaning out of the numbers, so you can spend your energy making sound decisions.

Is your data telling you what you need to know?

Brick and mortar retailers are increasingly inclined to invest in customer knowledge in order to leverage opportunities and engage their customers. But is the data they’re collecting really serving their needs? Historical reports may help with long term planning, but it won’t empower the store manager who is behind on today’s target. The fact is, yesterday’s data won’t help anyone meet today’ goals.

Make sure you have the data you need when you can act on it. Online retailers have long been capitalizing on the value of meaningful real time analytics. The same is now possible for brick and mortar.  Using a daily operational dashboard that provides a clear picture of today’s activity and progress, a store manager is able to make strategic adjustments throughout the day to better drive results.

Prodco’s proprietary analytics platform, Prostore, highlights opportunities for improvement throughout the day, so your managers don’t get left behind.

Back-to-school falls short as summer slump continues

Back-to-school sales results at brick-and-mortar stores show a disappointing 6% drop over 2014 as consumers continue to shift to online purchases. Prodco’s retail traffic index showed a 3.56% drop in shopping visits for the back-to-school season. Shoppers are also spacing out their purchases throughout the year as they seek greater value, and in many cases, waiting until the start of the school year.

The National Retail Federation projected last month that the average family with children in elementary or high school would spend $548.72 on school merchandise, a decline of 7.7% from last year.

Out in traffic with Marc Bienstock; Prodco’s director of accounts

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to go out in the field and visit a leader in the fashion retail industry with 300 stores in North America. This retailer is a power user of Prodco’s traffic based analytics. I met with several Regional Directors and Store Managers with the goal of understanding how they use Prodco’s web-based reporting tool and to gather feedback on our new reporting portal; Prostore™.

I was both pleased and impressed with how imperative the numbers supplied by our reporting tool are to their team. They use the reports to evaluate their performance throughout the day, and make adjustments on the fly to ensure maximum results and efficiency.

To begin the day, the team leaders check their goals through Prostore’s new Notification Center and organize a team huddle to share the objectives. Throughout the day, with these objectives in mind, the sales staff takes 30 seconds to get updates on their six most important metrics: traffic, conversion rates, sales, ROV, APT, and UPT, and get back to the floor to greet customers and sell.

Be Prepared

In order to reach success, you must set goals. However, merely setting goals is not enough, you need to be able to track your progress and make necessary changes to stay on the road to success.

Would it be beneficial to know which hours of the day you will have the most clients? Could you improve performance if you knew, on average, how much staff you will need every hour, every day?

Prostore’s new Notification Center enables you to do just that! It will help you organize your day around power hours, providing you with continuous updates on traffic, conversion, sales, and other performance indicators. Now you can know which staff are performing, where the missed opportunities are, and when a Manager should be on the floor to ensure you reach your goals.