When we first began measuring traffic to stores and shopping malls, among other things by using customer counters, we discovered substantial differences between the stores. Why did some stores enjoy high traffic, while others, apparently similar stores, had way less?
From our own numbers, we know that stores at shopping malls have much higher traffic than others. In a shopping mall, the shopper to a greater extent goes walking around, and he walks in and out of stores as he likes. In street stores it is different. People first and foremost visit street stores because they have errands there.
Many visitors do not necessarily equal high sales numbers. Our experience is that street stores have a 20% to 30% higher conversion rate than those at shopping malls. A street store is, to a much more significant extent, visited by shoppers who have already decided to make a purchase.
At shopping malls, an average of 12% to 14% of those passing by enter the store. There are certainly big variations in this average, from approximately 5% to about 25%. Thus, there are stores in which only 5 out of 100 people enter. In other stores, the same number is 25 out of 100. What is the reason for these huge differences?
At the same time, many stores have difficulties when trying to explain their traffic. We formulated a general hypothesis, namely that an open and broad storefront, without many obstacles, would draw more traffic than a closed one. We then did an easy calculation for a client. We installed customer counters in more than 100 stores. How was the traffic in stores with 1 to 2 or with 3 customer counters? The average of the 100 stores was 4 customer counters.
Hence, we wanted to investigate how the traffic was affected by the number of entrances in a store. The survey results left no doubt. Stores with two entrances had more than 35% higher traffic than stores with only one entry. The survey was limited to the number of visitors, and excluded factors such as location, store size and the like, conditions which can affect the results in one way or the other. On a general level, however, there was no doubt left. Multiple entrances and open storefronts do definitely draw most traffic.