For Pier 1, Lucky Brand, Conversion Takes Business to the Next Level

by Bill McCarthy on 04-19-17

It’s no secret that conversion is a powerful metric. Not only can conversion be used to link traffic to sales, but it can be harnessed to address business pain points and incentivize employees across functions – e.g., operations, marketing, and merchandising — just as brands like BMW, Pier 1 Imports, and Lucky Brand have showcased.

At its core, conversion is an indicator of a brand’s success at improving the overall customer experience. In the interview below, the President of Sally Beauty, Sharon Leite, discusses how examining the conversion metric, and its associated factors, helps business leaders zero in on areas for improvement.

For example, Leite recalls that when certain stores saw periods of lower traffic at Pier 1, she focused on leveraging conversion as a barometer for associate effectiveness because “that was the metric that they [the associates] could really control.”

KPIs, such as traffic and conversion, ultimately enabled Pier 1 to identify that the root cause of decreased sales numbers was not due to poor customer service. Instead, the lower numbers were attributable to recurring reduced traffic levels, which suggested that changes to marketing and merchandising strategies were necessar, if the brand wanted to improve sales.

During extended low traffic periods, Leite strongly encouraged store managers and associates to “own” what they could control – i.e., conversion levels – in order to keep sales levels steady. Her best advice for store managers looking to increase conversion rates, regardless of traffic levels?

  1. Educate employees on the power of conversion and traffic data. Well-trained and informed sales associates can make a large difference in customer satisfaction. Knowledgeable associates create a streamlined consumer experience, which leads to simultaneous improvement in Shopper-to-Associate Ratio (STAR) and ATS.
  2. Enable store managers to contribute to organizational change by providing them with an education on traffic data and how it affects labor optimization. Take a cue from Lucky Brand and schedule labor around power hours, which led the brand to increase conversion rates during peak traffic times.
  3. Investigate existing technologies to determine which products are most helpful in improving associate effectiveness and customers’ experiences. Ultimately, high customer satisfaction begets returning future store visits.

To hear more about Leite’s advice on boosting conversion rates and incentivizing employees, watch the video interview below:


Read more posts by Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy is the General Manager of the Americas, in which he oversees regional efforts pertaining to the Traffic Insights business unit.