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What tech are retail stores using to increase foot traffic?

by wrich
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure

For any retailer, increasing foot traffic is an essential business goal. It goes beyond the simple fact that the more people that come through the doors the faster sales grow.

The more often people shop in a store the stronger the relationship becomes between them and the retailer. They get to enjoy the shopping experience  more and better understand what is on offer. A person shopping regularly in a store also strengthens brand awareness and provides retailers with the opportunity to learn more about them.

Retailers are acutely aware of all of these benefits. As a result, they are prepared to invest in technology that enables them to increase footfall. Here is an overview of what type of tech they are using and how they are deploying it.

Digital signage

Top of the list is digital display screens. They are a highly effective marketing tool that most stores and other types of retail outlets use to share promotions with their customers. It is also very easy to increase foot traffic with digital signage. They can be deployed  in window displays, or mounted on sandwich boards outside a store. Stores use them to display offers that tempt passerby in.

Tailoring advertising to fit in with passerby demographics

Retailers can change what they offer based on the demographic makeup of the kind of people that are likely to be in the vicinity of their store at various points in the day. For example, at weekends or after school the ads can be targeted at the younger demographic. During mid-morning they can be aimed more at the type of shoppers who are passing by at that time of the day.

Digital screens can also be pre-loaded up with a selection of ads that can be shown depending on the weather. On a rainy or cold day, promoting warm hearty foods and warm clothing is more likely to tempt people in than an advert for a chilled drink or summer clothes would.

Tailoring ads in this way makes it far more likely that passerby will be drawn into a store. But, as you can see here it is not without its potential pitfalls. Targeted advertising is a skill that many retailers are still learning, but those who are already getting it right are definitely grabbing market share from their competitors.

Monitoring which ads are most effective


Sensors are another form of technology that retailers are using to attract more customers. They are inexpensive and can easily be deployed to keep track of how many people pass by a store. Combined with data from a sensor that picks up on when someone comes into and leaves retailers can tell a retailer what % of passersby are shopping with them. If that percentage rises when they show certain ads on their sandwich board digital screens they know that those promotions work.

The best digital signage software automatically monitors when an advert is changed. Providing the retailer with data they can then use to compare to their entry door sensor data. Or, if they prefer, to the sales figures for the specific items that are being promoted by each screen.

Tapping into the power of sensor and beacon technology

Sensors are a very effective way to monitor footfall. It is also possible to set things up so that when a sensor is triggered a specific action is performed. Some retailers are setting them up so that when someone comes close to their doorway it is lit up or a very short audio advert plays. You can find out more about sensor or beacon technology and how retailers are using it by clicking here.

Using technology to enhance traditional methods

Currently, there is not a lot of other tech out there that retailers can use to attract more customers into their store. As a result, most of them are still using the old-fashioned methods that have worked for them in the past, such as leafleting. But, they are using technology to enhance those efforts.

Brochures are a highly effective way to attract passerby into a store. The more targeted your offer is the more likely it is to work. As a result, retailers are increasingly using their sales and loyalty card data to inform them about what style of leaflets to use, and what time of the day to deploy them. Handing out a flyer that is more likely to appeal to specific types of customers is highly effective.

It is early days for footfall technology. But given the fact that increasing the number of people coming into a store is so important there is no doubt that we can expect to see more of it being developed.

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