Leveraging Employee Availability to Increase Conversion Rate in your retail store
Increase Conversion Rate in your retail store
As outlined in our previous article, Conversion Rate as the Optimal Lever to Increase Sales, focusing on conversion rate as opposed to traffic or basket value provides the most straightforward route to increase a location’s sales. Allowing minimal operational changes, quick realization, and sustainable change, conversion rate improvements are both simple and inexpensive to achieve.
Having established this prioritization, we can now move on to understand the method through which an increase can be achieved
Increasing the amount of time Sales Professional’s spend with customers, what we refer to as Employee Availability, is positively correlated to the conversion of incoming customers and thus an increase in total sales value.
Our data, based on the traffic, staffing, and transaction patterns of several hundred high-end retail locations and highlighted below, suggests a clear correlation between Employee Availability and conversion rate.
Our data, based on the traffic, staffing, and transaction patterns of several hundred high-end retail locations and highlighted below, suggests a clear correlation between Employee Availability and conversion rate. As more time is available and dedicated to each customer that enters a location, said customer’s willingness and likelihood to complete the transaction also increases.
Furthermore, as the Employee Availability increases beyond what is demanded by each visitor, the incremental benefit of increasing the availability decreases, eventually plateauing at the “sweet spot” of availability.
In other words, once a location has adequate sales force to serve the inbound traffic, the benefit of additional sales professionals does not improve the store’s performance. This means that redistributing resources away from periods that are “over-staffed” and placing them in periods that are significantly “under-staffed” has a clear, net positive increase on overall conversion rate and store performance.
Redistributing resources away from periods that are “over-staffed” and placing them in periods that are significantly “under-staffed” has a clear, net positive increase on overall conversion rate and store performance.
In helping to achieve the traffic and staffing alignment, we have seen clear and measurable impacts on conversion rate and overall store performance.
For instance, for a high-end luxury store in Hong Kong, yearly improvements revenues experience an increase in average conversion rate of up to 12%. Acknowledging this “sweet spot” in availability, the question becomes how to accurately schedule a store to ensure there is adequate sales professionals to serve the varying levels of traffic.
How to increase Employee Availability
In short, achieving an increased Employee Availability relies on matching the Sales Professionals’ presence to the traffic level for each period of the day; high levels of traffic require high levels of presence, low levels of traffic require lower levels of presence.
Steps to increase Employee Availability:
- Identify traffic patterns
- Identify staffing patterns
- Identify misaligned of traffic and staffing patterns
- Adjust staffing pattern to align with traffic patterns
Compared to other methods of increasing sales such as promotions or marketing campaigns, this methodology has the added benefit of not requiring any additional resources or significant capital outlays. There is no need to increase the number of Sale’s Professionals employed at a location, instead, there is the redistribution of existing resources to precisely when they are needed from where they are not.
This methodology has the added benefit of not requiring any additional resources or significant capital outlays
Too often, retail locations are scheduled in standardized, full day shifts that do not allow for varying levels of Sales Professional’s presence. Instead of matching employees to customers, employees are asked to arrive and leave at one or two periods throughout the day.
A significant increase in Employee Availability, and thus conversion, requires a more adaptable scheduling structure with varying start and end times for employees.
Credit photo: Caleb Lucas