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Counter Culture

Counter Culture

#Flabbergasted. That was me when a client recently inquired about a door counter. They were looking for some recommendations on brands and types to check out. Out of curiosity, I decided to ask a few clients what traffic counter systems they use, since we regularly recommend them to our clients. Some of the answers?

"We don’t use one – not sure why."

Another? "Oh, yeah. We have one but we haven’t been keeping track…I guess we should look into that again."

"It broke."

I was honestly shocked at how many retailers aren’t taking advantage of a great data tool.

The door counter is a retail store basic. They’re great to not only monitor daily traffic to your store but also to effectively track increases during promotions. Big sale coming up? Trunk show? Bridal event? All reasons to be examining your data. If you’re asking how people heard of you, that’s a great why-in question. Even better if they bring your postcard in with them or say it was from your radio spot you did to promote the event. But if you’re not looking at the basic store traffic information you can glean from a retail door counter, you’re not really examining true opportunities.

Today’s door counter models are much more sophisticated than days of yore, just like mobile phones of years past have become smartphones with advanced capabilities. Many have software that can be synched and integrated with your POS system. Trax is one, TrafSys is another and Apogee Kits is a third option. Basic models start at $99 and go up from there in price depending on the level of sophistication desired. As far as installation goes, your local security company can assist you if you need help.

Okay, you do have one and now want to use it to its best effect? Great!

-Assign the task of reading the counter each day to an employee who follows routine and responsibility well and can work their way around a spreadsheet.

-Account for traffic you want to take out of the equation by dividing the daily count by 2.1 to account for employees, vendor salespeople, the UPS driver and the like. If you get a lot of non-business related incremental traffic, you may need to change this factor.

-Divide the number of people who come in by the number of sales and the number of repairs to see the closing ratio.

-Put it all in a spreadsheet and make it part of your store process to review monthly. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn from your data — and as flabbergasted as me as to why you didn’t start using one sooner.

Looking for more practical and tactical advice? Email

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