A Beginner’s Guide to Foot Traffic

by | Oct 8, 2020


Many businesses rely on customers patronizing their establishments. Without pedestrian traffic in place, hitting the right numbers required to improve revenue may be a lot more challenging (something many businesses have experienced during COVID-19 lockdowns). Whether you are a retailer or a facility owner, measuring foot traffic or people counting is imperative to gain more insight into your business’s different aspects. Precisely, anyone who is exposed to the commercial establishment is essential when it comes to defining foot traffic.

The higher foot traffic may lead your business to higher revenues and sales. Note that high customer traffic alone can’t generate new leads or sales. Your company must offer a desirable service or products to provide a positive shopping experience to the customers.  

Put simply, a spruced up store, on-point service and impeccable product quality can do wonders to increase foot traffic. Plus, online presence, and trained staff or well-designed customer services play a crucial role in improving foot traffic.

Let’s delve into the details to understand why measuring foot traffic is crucial for your business.

What is Foot Traffic and How Does it Work

Typically, foot traffic refers to the number of people who walk in or walk around a given location. The pedestrian activity is a metric that landlords, business owners and retail store owners use to measure or determine the commercial location’s performance and value.

Many businesses and companies conduct a study to find foot traffic in a specific area before setting up a shop or opening a store. The research team of the companies monitors foot traffic for the chosen location during the day.

Companies with franchises or chain stores study foot traffic patterns at the location they intend to set up a store. In addition to foot traffic, they include crime rates and median income in their study. If it is a large business interested in a specific area, it often contracts out the work. Consultants conduct research and surveys to analyze traffic patterns during different hours of the day.

What Insights Can You Get through Foot Traffic

Retailers use different methods to track or interpret their foot traffic. The information gained from analyzing traffic patterns include:

  • Peak hours for purchaser activity
  • The number and the type of products purchased
  • Lost sales (it helps stores plan inventory)
  • Time spent by the purchaser/visitor in the store (the data provides critical insights into purchasers buying patterns)
  • Traffic patterns of the location, including rush hour, the distance between the customer’s home and store

Why Measuring Foot Traffic is Important 

As mentioned above, foot traffic helps businesses determine the value of a physical location. If done correctly, tracking visitors can lead to smart business decisions, strong customer relationships and streamlined operations.

Let’s delve into the details to understand its benefits.

Measure and Enhance Marketing Efforts

Do your social media ads and Google ads drive more store visits? Do your window displays resonate with customers?

Tracking foot traffic performance during marketing campaigns is the best way to find answers to these questions.

If you run multiple advertising campaigns to promote your store, you must measure the guest count to assess physical visits to your store. Although marketing attribution is easier said than done, measuring foot traffic will give you some indications of your campaign’s success. Once you get this idea, you can easily find out if your marketing campaign is worth spending money or not. 

Improve understanding of Customer Behavior

A better understanding of customer behavior is another benefit you get by measuring customer traffic. It helps you gain insights about people’s visiting patterns. Plus, you can determine the time customers dwell in your store’s location and surrounding area.

In many cases, retailers integrate their customer counter with the POS (point of sales) system to calculate conversions. 

The data from foot traffic analysis enables you to understand shoppers, their interests and their demands. You can design attractive initiatives, promotions and campaigns to provide better products and services to buyers. It will also help attract more customers.

Gain Insights into External Factors

Although you cannot control everything, identifying the factors that can impact your customers is always beneficial. A robust foot traffic analysis allows you to determine the external factors such as weather and new trends and their impact on your business.

Bottom Line

The information collected from interpreting foot traffic plays a vital role in boosting profits and sales. It is an essential metric for retailers and businesses to monitor their progress, determine customer behavior, and streamline operations. Thus, foot traffic can reflect rising trends, seasonality and other marketing efforts to improve services.

Interested in learning more about how Premise can help you become more data-driven? Email us at [email protected].