An expected post-Easter decline in shopper activity was compounded by unseasonably cold weather last month. Retail foot traffic decreased 10.1 percent in April compared to March 2013, deviating from previous positive month-over-month retail traffic trends. Foot traffic for April 2013 decreased 0.4 percent compared to the same month in 2012.
For more than a decade, monitoring store traffic has been a best practice for data-driven retailers. Apparel retailers in particular have embraced these perimeter foot traffic counts as an indispensable tool in understanding conversion, staffing and marketing effectiveness. But now, in-store analytics are giving retailers even deeper insight into the store – literally and figuratively. Of course, no new technology is without its challenges. As retailers implement these new systems, they dive head-first into big data. To succeed, they must understand how to integrate these new data streams with data from traffic counters, POS terminals and other sources.
An unexpected decrease in shopper traffic around Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day led to an overall slower retail performance for the month of February.
Retailers pushed to extend the high level of holiday shopping and foot traffic by promoting post-holiday specials and markdowns on seasonal merchandise in January. However, as expected, shopper traffic continued to drop off significantly after the end of the holiday season.
Holiday shopping reached its seasonal peak in December, driving a 36.6 percent retail foot traffic increase over November. Further, December 2012 continued a trend of year-over-year improvements in the number of shoppers visiting stores with a 1.2 percent increase in foot traffic when compared to the same month last year.