Spring Fair - 3-7 FEBRUARY 2019 - VOLUME OPENS 2 FEB

2-6 FEBRUARY 2020 - EVERYDAY SECTOR OPENS 1 FEB

26 Mar 2019

The Retail Store: How Customer Behaviour is Changing

At Spring Fair this year, Diane Wehrle, the Marketing and Insight’s Director at Spring Board, spoke about how customer behaviour in retail is changing. For anyone that could not make the seminar, we have rounded up the key takeaways. If you've got some extra time you can watch the full video below. 

What does Footfall tell us about Customer Behaviour?

Unsurprisingly, there’s a strong correlation between footfall and sales. The more footfall there is, the more sales a retail store will make. Saturday is the peak retail trading day and Sunday follows with two thirds of the number of customers. However, retail workers are noticing that customers spend longer shopping on Sunday’s because they make a day of it with their families. Lunchtime is the peak trading time, so it’s important that staff don’t take their lunch breaks at regular lunch hours.

Four Types of Towns

Generally, towns can be grouped into four categories, each getting peak traffic at different times of the year. The comparison town (a town focused on shopping with a strong retail offer) peaks at Christmas time. The holiday town (a town where people go on holiday) peaks in the summer, particularly in August. The speciality town (a town that specialises in a certain area) has a similar peak to the holiday town, the summer months. Finally, the multifunctional town (a residential town with businesses and education) is fairly resilient throughout the year, but they see a small peak at Christmas time. 

Customer experience in retail

The Capture Rate

The capture rate is the market share of people coming to your store from the location you are situated in. It is a good measure of how you are competing with surrounding retail stores. Overall, capture rates are falling but in some sectors, such as entertainment and books, it is getting higher. One in four people that pass a department store on a street go inside, but this number is decreasing. It’s important that your retail store is appealing from the outside to help get people into your shop. As less customers are coming into the retail store, retailers should be upselling to the ones that do to increase their conversion rates.

Why is Footfall Decreasing?

Footfall is decreasing largely due to the internet, but instead of viewing online as a threat, it should be embraced as an opportunity. A quarter of consumers that start their customer journey online buy in store, so retailers should be nurturing their online marketing strategies to further increase this figure. Consumers are no longer shopping in store for convenience but for the experience. It’s up to the retailer to ensure their customers are getting an interactive and exciting experience that will encourage them to return to the store.


If you missed the seminars at Spring Fair this year, visit Autumn Fair in September and take part in the free workshops and talks.

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