STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — More than half of shoppers (56%) who engaged with the salty snack category in a single store during a month-long period made a purchase — a high conversion rate compared to baby care where just over one in 10 made the transition from shopper to buyer, according to VideoMining Corp. here, which used ceiling cameras and analytic software to track 157,800 shoppers as part of its observation.
Whereas point-of-sale data apprise retailers of products sold, video analytics track a consumer's path to purchase including aisles visited and categories shopped. Even instances where consumers didn't contemplate a purchase are documented for shopping optimization purposes.
Take, for instance, the 26.3% of store shoppers who were present in the salty snack category. Just 12.4% stopped and engaged with products, marking a lost opportunity with the 13.9% of store visitors who passed them by, said Thomas Sullivan, president of VideoMining, which conducts research in retail locations including two Food Lion stores equipped with 120 ceiling cameras.
“Getting them into the store isn't enough, getting them down the aisle isn't enough, but getting them to engage with the category is really where you start the game,” Sullivan told SN.
VideoMining discovered a great deal of variance in average shopping times and shopper-to-buyer conversion rates, based on category. Shoppers take a more pensive approach when shopping for HBC items than they do in a category like bread with shop times averaging 111 and 56 seconds, respectively. But a more contemplative approach isn't necessarily indicative of higher sales. Just over half of HBC shoppers (51%) made a purchase compared with 81% of bread shoppers.
Beginning today, VideoMining is collecting similar data across a wider geography as part of a yearlong Center Store MegaStudy of 10 million shoppers.
As part of new, collaborative relationship with VideoMining, SN will present findings from the Center Store MegaStudy on an ongoing basis.
Beginning with two retail chains, the study will grow to include up to five retailers, 15 banners and 15 markets over the course of the year, Sullivan said. Video data will be supplemented with consumer intercepts conducted by Synovate, a global market research company.
“While VideoMining will provide breakthrough insights into what shoppers do, where they go and what they buy, Synovate will provide valuable breakthrough insights as to why they buy and why they don't buy,” said Sullivan.
VideoMining conducted a similar study with 7-Eleven and other convenience retailers. It found that over a third of visitors shopped for some kind of beverage immediately after entering the store; nearly one in four (24%) stopped to shop the foodservice category; and stores generated more than $3 for every minute consumers shopped the store.