Improve Store Efficiency And Sales With A Customer Counting Device – Part 1
Here I am in the library where I work and I glanced at the people counting system we use to track headcount and we are really low in patron numbers. What a great time to get some tasks done that we have on our agenda. I have the same number of employees working as I do any other day but some are basically twiddling their thumbs waiting to provide assistance at our circulation and help desk. We are on the last day of classes before the college students take a break so many people have already left campus. There just is not the same level of activity as a normal day would have. In fact at this point of the day we are at only about half our normal counts. Had I looked at our counts from last year I could have planned out activities for the employees better in order to get things done that we needed to do. Have you ever found yourself in this type of quandary in your store? You walk to the cashier stand and the cashier is standing around waiting for someone to make a purchase while your salesfloor employees are loitering around talking about who knows what? Payroll for student workers is not based on sales or productivity so the impact of having our staff here is not detrimental to what we do. Actually, not using allotted payroll hurts our department (and student workers) more than having excess students. Our customer counting device is more helpful in showing why we need more space and furniture. For retail owners having unnecessary or unproductive staff on the time clock when they are not needed is costly.
If a store owner is interested in getting more bang for the buck from their payroll dollars a people counting system is exactly what the doctor ordered. Consider for a moment the advantages you would have if you could look at prior year customer headcounts and know for a specific week what days and times your store was busy. I’m not talking about sales data right now I am specifically talking about customer foot traffic. Maybe you want to plan a training day for your managers with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) on “Employee Theft Reduction Training”. How convenient would it be to review prior year people counting system information and be able to select a date that will offer few interruptions because it just won’t be all that busy? Maybe you want to plan an employee appreciation day for the hard work your employees have put in this past year. Use your customer counting device records to pick your day. Store bounce-backs or cleaning days can be rough to do if you get the wrong day. Even if your employees are happy to help customers it just feels awkward when they are dusty and dirty and dressed down and trying to render that assistance. Busy days are just not the right time for these task-oriented work days.
A customer counting device does not have to be relegated to finding the best days for activities either. I want you to think about your store’s conversion rate. If you don’t know how many people have walked through your doors you have no idea how many left without making a purchase. You start tracking how many people are entering and leaving and compare that number to your daily sales transactions and the result may make you cringe. What could you have done differently to get more merchandise into the hands of customers? That brings us back to the point about proper staffing.
In Part 2 we will continue to explore how a customer counting device can improve your staffing model. We will also look at how it can be used as a tool to help increase sales. I will tell you that if you are interested in learning more about the advantages a store has when keeping track of patron headcounts or just improving your sales through shortage reduction, LPSI is a great resource for retailers.
Need information on a customer counting device? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.