Measuring Retail Success In The Digital Age

Measuring Retail Success In The Digital Age

Online shopping has fundamentally changed the rules of how to gauge a company’s performance around the holidays. Unlike the old days, the number of people visiting a store on a major shopping day is no longer an indicator of success, Wall Street analysts say, according to Reuters.

Instead, the array of tactics to judge success has become more varied and modern.

Analysts say they are now employing methods, such as subscribing to retailers’ emails, so they can monitor sales, doorbuster deals and promotions.

They’re counting the proportion or number of millennials and Generation Z shoppers at a store, and counting the number of Instagram-popular fashion brands in a store.

They’re examining eReceipt data that shows when a customer was in a particular store and what they bought, and forming partnerships with analytics companies to measure website views, social media opinions and other analytics from a more objective standpoint.

By contrast, the traditional methods include things like measuring same store sales and sales per square foot of retail space, counting the number of cars at a store, looking at foot traffic and the velocity of a sale.

They also look at conversion, which means the number of people who visit a store’s website and then also come into the store in person to make a purchase. That is measured by observing traffic in stores.

According to The Associated Press, another method being employed by retailers: using cameras to take your picture. They reported that retailers are slowly incorporating more cameras into stores to study demographics like age and gender.

The cameras essentially have the same function in person in a store as computers do when tracking one’s online habits. By using cameras, retailers can track who’s buying what.

But Pam Dixon, executive director of The World Privacy Forum, told The Associated Press that they considered the development “creepy.”

And in the last few years, data has shown the biggest shopping day of the year is often the Saturday before Christmas, termed as Super Saturday, which sees sales similar to Black Friday.

Analysts say U.S. wage growth and a strong market have contributed to high spending around the holidays, and prices remaining even has helped, too.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.