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.”
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.