How to think about your shop traffic

Here is a typical analysis about traffic.


This is the number of people that come to your shop. This is a number that I think you absolutely need to know. Its importance will be shown shortly.

There are several ways of getting it.

The first is to estimate manually. This is not the way I would recommend, but it does work.

Next you can get for very little a people counter; many electrical shops like jaycar do sell them. They start from about $50. What you do is set them up at each entrance and switch them on at the start of the day and at the end of the day record the reading and set them back to zero. In practice people often forget, but it does overall it does a decent job. Doing it in the middle of the day, tends to be tricky as its hard for people who are busy to go every hour, and it can cause issue with blocking the entrance.

Lastly, we can supply a unit that integrates into a computer, with these you can do hourly, which is really good as shops tend to get quite distinct patterns during the day of shoppers.

Do not be concerned that errors creep in such as staff and families, some of the better counters can take this into account but in practice in my experience as long as you are consistent, you can get meaningful figures even with these errors.

Number of sales

This is the number of sales that you make in the period. Your point of sale system with its end of day should be able to give you that figure.

Conversion ratio

This is = (Number of sales)/Footfall

Typical figures here are about 30%.

Every number tells a story and as you measure over time,you will certainly find the story interesting.

Improved footfall means more are coming, why are more coming? Conversely, a decrease in footfall means that you are losing and something needs to be done.

Similarly, an improved conversion ratio means that those that are coming are buying more. This does not mean that you are doing anything right necessarily, for example, bad weather may keep people away but those that really need your product are coming.

A common reason for a decrease in conversion ratio is your prices are wrong.

Here are four typical scenarios that you will see play out.

1) Improved footfall and improved conversion ratio.

Something is going right. Find out what is happening and keep doing it.

2) Improved footfall and a decrease in conversion ratio.

They are coming but for some reason, they are not buying. What wrong could it be your prices? Another common problem here maybe you do not have enough staff. The customers are coming but there is no-one to serve them. This problem is actually one that unless you did this type of analysis, you possibly will not realise is happening. When you are doing your staff roistering, this is one of the key factors you should be looking for.

3) Decrease in footfall and a improved in conversion ratio.

What is keeping them away? As I explained above weather is often a factor. Those that really need your products are coming.

4) Decrease in footfall and a decrease in conversion ratio.

Disaster, you really need to think about this. You are not getting them in the shop and those that are coming are not interested in what you are selling.

Our point of sale system can help you do all this.