The Sun newspaper was the most read printed English language publication in the world for many years.
Not many would believe however that Tesco magazine circulation surpassed that of The Sun in 2012 according to the National Readership Survey.
Furthermore, Tesco Real Food rounds out the top five most read printed publications in the UK.
So if Tesco has two publications making up the top five highly read magazines in the country, why is the retailer losing its customers to Aldi and Lidl?
Despite having the highest readership of any printed publication, Tesco is failing to convert its readers into customers.
The objective of the magazines is not to entertain or win awards but to draw customers into the stores.
Stand next to an Aldi or Lidl when their publications go out and watch the stampede in their stores.
One of the key reasons British big four supermarkets are struggling to retake lost market share to Aldi and Lidl is their inability to convert shoppers into customers.
An inability to convert shoppers into customers is not limited to the big four supermarkets: It is a chronic malady in the retail industry.
Most retailers do not give the conversion process the level of attention it deserves because they underestimate difficulty of the process.
The reason online retail giants such as Amazon and eBay are devastating the brick-and-mortar retail industry is they understand the importance of conversion.
Amazon has dozens of staff whose only job is to watch the activities of each and every visitor to their online store.
Based upon the data they collect, they keep tweaking their web platform in respond to customers’ preference.
Even though retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence have access to similar technologies, they have not taken advantage of it.
Current footfall counters not only monitor traffic, they can also monitor shoppers’ activities and provide demographic information.
Furthermore, with the combination of footfall counters and sophisticated point-of-sale (PoS) systems, retailers have access to a reservoir full of data they could use to increase conversion.
However, the most essential data captured by footfall counters is the movement and activities of customers in the store.
Retailers now have the opportunity to know the areas of their stores most frequented, the length of time spent at each location and shoppers’ engagement with their merchandise etc.
Not only does this help with conversion, if the data are studied and analysed, it also helps reduce missed opportunities.
With footfall counter providing traffic information, the activities of shoppers and their engagement level, retailers now have the same opportunity Amazon has to tweak their sales process to match shoppers’ expectations.
But there is a caveat.
When collected, the data must be accurately analysed and acted upon.
Attracting customers into a retail store is the first step in a retail sales process.
Converting them when they are in the store is where the genius lies.
But the conversion process is the most difficult step in the retail sales pipeline, which is why it needs to be paid serious attention.
Once upon a time, for every twelve pounds spent in the UK, one pound went to Tesco. Tesco became the second most profitable retailer in the world.
According to a recent research by specialist advisory firm Lazarus, Tesco now has the lowest overall customer satisfaction metrics in the grocery industry and its brand is “tarnished”.
If Tesco new CEO is wondering why Tesco magazines have the highest readership yet sales and profit remain down and the retailer once synonymous with retail excellence is now receiving the lowest customer satisfaction ratings, he has his answer.
Retail success stems from getting customers into the store and converting them when they are inside the store.
The use of footfall counter can provide retailers the ammunition they require for effective conversion.
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