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How to Increase In-Store Traffic with a DOM?

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
How to Increase In-Store Traffic with a DOM? Every retailer wants to increase in-store traffic. As Mark Ryski showed in his book Conversion – the last Great Retail Metric, in-store traffic is part of the equation that directly affects overall sales. Specifically, Ryski shows that store sales are directly affected by in-store traffic, conversion rate, and the average sale value. As such, sales increase proportionally with an increase in in-store traffic (all other factors held constant). But how does a DOM (distributed order management) in particular, help you make this happen?  

Store Level Inventory Visibility

The greatest untapped opportunity today, is to show more store level in-stock details to shoppers. Today, only 9.4% of retailers offer a detailed view of a particular store’s inventory levels by product. This level is 7.4% for US retailers, according to the Omni-1000 Research. Missed opportunity. Shoppers today want to know if the store closest to them has what they want. Or it might be on their errand run, that they will drop into a store on route. In fact, savvy consumers are often frustrated when these details are missing. What detailed inventory visibility does, is to provide options. It lets shoppers choose whether they want to order an item online. Then they want to choose whether to have it delivered, or do an in-store pickup. Alternatively they might just show up at the store knowing the location on their route has what they want. If an item is at a given store, the consumer knows that ordering online for a pickup (BOPIS), can get the transaction fulfilled quickly. Possibly the store has the merchandise, so they might pick it up within 1-4 hours. Maybe there are only a few items left, which creates a sense of urgency. Knowing there are only 2 pair of jeans in the color I want, and specifically in my size and style at the nearby store, means I want to lock in that purchase. Otherwise, someone else might get it.

Inventory Details

Just showing the inventory details at the store level can increase demand for merchandise. Given a consumer’s desire for instant gratification, there is a good chance the shopper will want to pick it up for themselves. They might want to try it on, see, feel, smell, or test the item in person. Showing customers what you have at the store level, means a retailer can drive up in-store traffic. Not only does that result in a sale, but there is a good chance they the shopper will discover more goods that they want and end up purchasing. Art Peck, CEO of GAP characterized this well in RetailWire. He pointed out that at GAP a big element is the in-store experience as, "a big part of fashion apparel is discovery" It is a big part of the upsell opportunity of the physical store. Giving customers real-time inventory visibility starts with a DOM (distributed order management system) that aggregates all stock positions from a centralized point.  

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BOPIS = Extra Potential

Call it click and collect, in-store pickup or BOPIS – it is about a customer coming into the store to claim their purchase. Yes, this alone increases in-store traffic. However, superficially this may seem like just additional strain on store resources. Be assured, it is NOT. Consider it an opportunity. BOPIS brings online customers into the store for their pickup. These customers purchase additional goods when they collect their items, at the rate of 58.8% of the time. That means your pickup shoppers are high conversion potential traffic! This is something that every store manager wants. Here too, the DOM is the retail technology that makes BOPIS an option for retailers.

Making The Most of Returns

Nobody likes returns. It’s not something retailers want. It’s not something that most consumers enjoy doing either. But face it, 8% of store purchases, and 20% - 40% of online purchases will end up in a return. So, how do store managers make the most of it? A recent UPS study showed that 58% of consumers prefer to return items to a store. This is regardless of whether the item was purchased online or in a store. It is easy to perceive this to be useless in-store traffic. But think again. That same study also showed that 66% of consumers returning an item in a store, will purchase additional goods while at that store. If you have to accept returns, then encourage as many of those returners to convert into a new sale. A great example of the right attitude and approach is a comment and suggestion from Betsy Jo Shillinglaw, Sales lead at Spanx. Betsy points out that, "I do not use the word RETURN...I present the word EXCHANGE with the Guest. It puts the Guests at a better comfort level, and also shows that we are interested in making their shopping experience more pleasant with more OPTIONS to buy something else or a different size, style or color." Take a similar attitude and approach in your store, too.

How a DOM Helps

From the three examples, it is clear that DOM technology helps retailers increase in-store traffic – which increases a store manager’s sales potential. At the end of the day, this is why good DOM technology can mean the difference between retailers that effectively drive more in-store traffic and engagement; and those that do not. If you don’t currently have a DOM at the center of your omni-channel retail strategy – then call a trusted provider like OrderDynamics. A trusted advisor can help guide you to the solution that makes sense for your business.   Author: Charles Dimov is Vice President of Marketing at OrderDynamics. Charles has 21+ years experience in Marketing, Sales and Management across various IT and Technology businesses. Previous roles include Chief of Staff, Director Product Marketing, and Director Sales. Charles has held roles in brand name firms like IBM, Ericsson, HP, ADP, and OrderDynamics.  
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