Today’s post concerns retail metrics, and specifically whether retailers need to expand the way they think about the metrics that drive staff scheduling. Brick and mortar retailers have long relied on traffic metrics to manage their business, provide better forecasting, and schedule their staff according to labor demand. But as the retail business and customer expectations are changing, our Workforce Institute board member Mark Wales proposed this podcast to discuss new metrics that he and his colleagues across retail management are considering, specifically around store occupancy. In essence, it’s not only important that customers enter your store, but that they stay to browse and buy – and that’s where the workforce can make a real difference.
On December 22, I moderated a panel discussion on this topic with Mark Wales, Brian Field, and Greg Tanaka. Brian is senior director of advisory services for ShopperTrak, a global leader in providing consumer behavior insights and location-based analytics to help retailers, malls, and entertainment venues learn who is coming in their doors, where they are going, and how to make the most of the information. Greg is CEO & Founder of Percolata, a Silicon Valley-based organization that helps retailers measure customer occupancy in their stores using plug-and-play sensors. This data is then used to help shape the customer experience by ensuring that the best employees in the right number are staffed to server customers at the best times. You can listen in on our discussion here:
- How are changes in the retail business driving the need for new metrics?
- Historically, retailers have relied heavily on traffic metrics to inform their schedule planning. How do traffic metrics help retailers build accurate labor schedules?
- What’s the value of traffic information in the retail environment?
- Are there shortcomings to relying on traffic data to plan store staffing? Or are there particular risks or situations that aren’t addressed by traffic data??
- How do you define the occupancy metric and how can it be leveraged in a store environment?