Best Practices of Using Real-Time Traffic Reporting – Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel is an industry leading multi-channel home furnishings specialty retailer, known for its exclusive housewares and furniture designs. In addition to a thriving direct marketing division that services more than 90 countries, the company operates stores in most major North American markets as well as international franchise locations in Dubai, Singapore and Mexico.
In 2012, Crate and Barrel kicked off a company-wide store reorganization effort focused on identifying new and innovative ways to improve customer experience. While the corporate leadership and regional management teams had long leveraged data from ShopperTrak’s Managed Service to gain insight into foot traffic and sales performance, this reorganization effort marked the first time Crate and Barrel began to explore the real time sales opportunities the numbers offer. By using traffic data delivered by ShopperTrak to the store in real-time, the company created a system for immediately informing, influencing and improving sales behavior at the store level.
“The fact is, sales associates work in the moment. What they are doing and what’s happening in the store on the spot is far more influential than yesterday’s performance, much less last week’s or last month’s,” said David McCoy, Financial Analyst & Project Manager KPI Goals for Crate and Barrel. “We were looking for a way to make customer data provided by ShopperTrak immediately tangible for our sales teams while they’re on the job and interacting with customers.”
Continuing its long tradition of setting best-in-class sales performance and quality benchmarks, Crate and Barrel began to examine ways of using ShopperTrak in real-time to provide immediate insight into key elements of the sales process, such as units per transaction, order value and conversion.
In the summer of 2012, Crate and Barrel began piloting ShopperTrak real-time reporting in four stores across the Midwest—three in Chicago and one in Milwaukee. Managers were given easy to access real-time traffic data at workstations throughout their stores. The reports, which automatically update every 15 minutes, track customer traffic in relation to several critical sales KPIs (key performance indicators):
- Increased Sales
- Conversion Rate
- ATV (average transaction value)
“Our goal was to provide concrete ways to help our sales teams succeed,” said Kate Showalter, Regional Trainer & Project Manager for Crate and Barrel. “We realized that using ShopperTrak’s data in real-time was another way to ensure we were making the most of the time customers are in our stores. We took the data and aligned it with KPIs to make it actionable.”
Sales managers were outfitted with headsets and walkie-talkies that enabled them to update sales associates throughout the store on whether or not they were achieving their KPIs. They were encouraged to communicate regularly to let their teams know when they were meeting or exceeding conversion and ATV rates and to encourage staff members to refocus their efforts when they were falling behind.
The impact on sales was immediate and impressive. By the second week of the pilot, the Milwaukee store reported a 6% increase in its weekly conversion rate while the company’s store in Northbrook, Illinois, saw a 4% conversion rate bump.
“We saw store managers re-investing in their leadership roles,” said Showalter. “Before the real-time reporting, they couldn’t provide their staff with performance insight until the next day. Since implementing, they are able to coach in the moment, identifying opportunities and rallying associates to hit targets.”
After the successful pilot program, Crate and Barrel deployed real-time traffic reporting throughout the entire company. By October 2012, all North American Crate and Barrel stores had access to real-time traffic data from ShopperTrak.