The must-have metrics for high street retail

Tuomas Wuoti

Many things can be measured in-store with modern retail analytics

We have all heard the doomsday talk: online commerce is killing traditional retail. Regardless, over 80% of retail transactions still come from brick and mortar stores. Don’t get me wrong, e-commerce has grown massively over the past years and is still continuing to grow. One of the key reasons for this fast growth has been its capability to adapt to individual customers' preferences using rich, real-time analytics of customer behaviour. As a consequence, marketers have been able to make accurate, data-driven decisions on planning, optimising and testing their online marketing and customer interface, which has led to the rise of a new industry, digital marketing.

Today, digital marketers have hundreds of tools and solutions to choose from – the market is full of better and better tools for web analytics, A/B-testing, and communication & message delivery.

But at the same time bricks and mortar stores have survived using more/less the same data sets and methods that were already available over a decade ago, at the advent of eCommerce. Also, the majority of the new innovations on how to use data efficiently have mostly focused on online commerce.

What would you think if your retail marketing team could have the same real-time tracking, measuring and optimisation capabilities that their digital marketing colleagues have had for years? There's a huge opportunity for physical stores in applying the data-driven tools and tricks which are now common practice in eCommerce.

At Walkbase, we are dedicated to bridging the gap between online and offline. The first step is to bring the tools used offline to the same level as online. After that, every retailer should think online and offline as one business unit but just different channels. We still see retailers too often treating online and offline as completely separate businesses. The table below compares the measurability of eCommerce and physical stores, demonstrating that most online metrics can be matched with similar in-store KPIs.

So what do you need to get in par with online?

With an appropriate retail analytics solution, you can  measure your customers in multiple touch points to optimise the customer experience, track your marketing effectiveness and allocate your advertising spend more accurately to achieve higher ROI and ROAS. 

Below is a list of metrics that a modern retail analytics solution offers to retail chains for enabling a data-driven decision-making approach to boost their in-store performance.

Footfall metrics:

  • Visits
  • Unique visitors
  • New visitors
  • Outside potential (people passing the store)

Customer path metrics:

  • 1st zone visited
  • Popular paths
  • Zone dwell times
  • Repeat visits
  • Zone interdependence, zone-to-zone conversions


  • Recurring visitors / Repeat visitors
  • Visit frequency
  • Retention
  • Cross-shopping / Cross store visits

Conversion metrics:

  • Capture rate / Storefront conversion
  • Bounce rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Average transaction per customer / Transactions per footfall
  • Average sales per customer / Sales per footfall

Engagement metrics:

  • Number of engaged customers
  • Dwell times per store and zone
  • Mean / Average visit duration

With these metrics, it is also possible to dig deeper into the data and measure trends over certain days or other timeframes, look only certain areas or behavioural segments or combine different metrics to unique KPIs.

It’s important to also remember that all different datasets including sales data, marketing campaign data, visitor data, in-store behaviour etc. are mighty more useful when combined with giving a full view on the store performance, marketing ROI and customer profiles. One of the most important integrations is integrating sales data to visitor analytics.

Once retailers have equal levels of data from both online and offline, it will be much easier to start connecting the dots for a true omnichannel experience.

After all, retail analytics won’t remain as a separate function for data scientists. Online marketers want to integrate retail analytics to serve their needs as well, for example by deploying marketing attribution models that can close the loop between online marketing efforts and the sales in-store.

Are you interested to learn more about the use of in-store analytics? Check out our new white paper.

Access in-store sales funnel white paper


Walkbase provides a retail analytics solution for improving the impact of marketing on physical stores and personalising in-store shopping experience.