The Mothercare group is a leading UK and international retailer, home to two iconic High Street brands, Mothercare and Early Learning Centre. Mothercare specialises in products for mothers to be, babies and children up to eight, including maternity and children’s clothing, furniture and home furnishings, toys, bedding, feeding, bathing and travel equipment, marketed both in store and online.
Mothercare’s UK business was suffering due to combination of external economic factors. The dwindling footfall through the stores and increasingly tight margins were just aiding the chaos. Key to their strategy was a better understanding of store productivity, including the way in which staff deployment, tasking and shop floor management affected store sales performance. The reduced footfall made Mothercare acutely aware of the need to maximise every customer opportunity and improve conversion rate; in some stores up to half of all customers left without purchasing.
Ipsos Retail Performance’s Shopper Count provided the ideal solution; by monitoring footfall and conversion rates it could provide Mothercare with the insights needed to improve performance. To maximise staff effectiveness, Retail Productivity Manager, Mick Follett, also elected to deploy their online staff scheduling solution, Staff Review. What we did Through their Key Account Manager, store managers were trained in the importance of footfall and conversion rate monitoring, how to interpret and utilise conversion data and how to use Staff Review to match store staff profiles to footfall trends. Following a successful initial trial, the two solutions were rolled out into Mothercare’s top 100 trading stores. Shopper Count’s online reporting platform enabled store managers to view hourly footfall and conversion rate data the very next day; it also provided an overview of commonly occurring trends in store. Store managers could identify times in the day when conversion rate performance fell below required levels and target these for improvement. Key findings which informed future planning included:
• Simply adjusting lunch breaks lead to a 16.5% increase in conversion rates
• Focusing on customer service instead of tasks increased conversion rates by as much as 9% during certain key periods.
• The absence of store managers could have a significant effect on conversion – reducing it by up to 5% The Staff Review online scheduling tool helped store managers to make better decisions between customer facing and tasking activities based on projected footfall. This in turn provided Mick Follett with a valuable tool with which to assess the impact of tasking in-store on conversion rate and sales, and ultimately the ROI of other measures designed to enhance productivity, such as pre-labelling of stock.