Footfall – how are customers behaving?

Footfall – how are customers behaving?

According to Ipsos, 38% of consumers now look for vouchers before shopping. This is largely because consumers are savvier than ever, and expect to be rewarded for their loyalty. In addition, IBM released a report a while ago that stated while 86% of retailers believe they know their customers very well in terms of profiling and shopping behaviour, only 39% of consumers feel that brands understand them.

According to the most recent figures from, while UK retail sales continue to increase Month on Month, footfall is still erratic. When looking at the year on year figures, it’s continuing to drop between 2 and 3%, and if you further examine the month on month percentages, there have been three periods of growth in the last six months, including one of 4.1% in July 2016.

What this tells us is that turning attention to driving retail footfall is crucial, and that an effective way of doing that is to concentrate on making your campaigns more segmented and personalised to individual consumers.

Before I get accused of working for the ministry of the bleeding obvious, I’m aware this shouldn’t be a surprise, however from our work in this sector, we know this isn’t without its challenges.

It can feel like a huge mountain to climb, because personalisation relies heavily on data, but the benefits this approach delivers are huge. Personalisation used in cross channel campaigns can increase response rates by 23%, so we know it works.

And if you start in the right way, it doesn’t need to be too complicated or difficult. The best approach is to start with a small, discrete segment of data, and do lots of testing. Using historical purchase information and behaviour, you create a link between what’s gone before and what you’d like them to do next.

Amazon and Trip Advisor do this extremely well, tailoring information based on your activity on their site. For a “bricks and clicks” retailer this can be harder to do, as you have to also include in store data, but as long as your CRM and EPOS talk to each other, as well as the website, this is not too laborious.

This is the other reason it’s good to start small, learning what works with a smaller audience helps to avoid pitfalls later on. It can also work well to start with a data acquisition campaign (getting people to share their details with you) and to use that data as the testing ground. This is especially effective if you approach this in a very targeted way, such as using NCT or home movers data, as you’re already well on the way to segmentation.

At Varia we can work with you to help you establish the best strategic data approach based on your current set up, and to the run the data and customer acquisition campaigns. Why not get in touch to access some of our case studies? What do you have to lose?


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