Ipsos Retail Performance provides footfall technology – designed to track how many people pass through a specified area throughout the day, this tool can measure performance and help retailers make more informed decisions which, when coupled with Ipsos’ behavioural insights tool, can lead to new opportunities to drive sales, writes MD Peter Luff …

We noticed an increase in demand from retailers throughout the pandemic, with many seeking to drive traffic online. However, as normality starts to resume, online activity and in-store traffic are actually starting to coincide. 

Looking specifically at furniture retailers, customers want to see and feel the products, so it’s important to have a plan to measure both online and in-store traffic. Historically, these customer interactions would have been measured in isolation, but  many retailers are now starting to realise that a strong online presence can, in turn, increase footfall in-store – and, vice versa, a strong in-store experience can support the online journey. 

Working with NCF Living, one of the UK’s premier furnishing stores, we were able to use their footfall data to optimise store performance, improve store layout and ease customer navigation through different areas. Armed with this data, NCF Living were able to understand the volume of customers visiting stores, and can now make more informed decisions around staffing, depending on anticipated footfall. 

The furniture sector has seen a significant amount of disruption from pureplay online retailers, but it remains important for consumers to look and feel items before making a purchase. Furniture purchases are mostly made with longevity in mind, and can be significant investments, so they often involve going into a store, to try out a piece of furniture and ask staff questions before making a purchase. This means that it is vital that brands ensure that their ecommerce channels complement their in-store experience, and visa-versa. 

Technology such as ours has really helped retailers measure store engagement, which analyses the various ways a retail brand interacts with current and prospective customers. Alongside this, having access to demographic data makes it easier for retailers to adjust strategies to reach a wider audience. 

In retail it’s important to assess all areas of the store and see which parts are more successful than others. From this, businesses can analyse the data and find ways to improve underperforming areas.

Many people want some normality back, and even though there has been a lot of growth online during the pandemic, we’ve noticed that it has started to stay at a constant level. For high streets and retail shopping centres, consumers are starting to feel more comfortable shopping in-store, and we have no doubt that will only continue into the year.