For retailers, the ultimate goal is to attract as many customers as possible and make their store a regular part of customers' daily routines. To achieve this, convenience stores need to focus on minimizing wait times for customers. This is where traffic analytics can be extremely helpful. However, to get the most out of traffic data, it is crucial to ensure that the data is accurate.
On average, American customers spend around 3.5 minutes making a purchase at a c-store. This means that long wait times can deter customers and impact revenue. This is particularly true during rush hours when demand is high. C-stores that lack sufficient data may struggle to accurately predict the demand, and plan staffing schedules accordingly. Additionally, fluctuating traffic patterns and labor shortages can make the task even more challenging.
Market research suggests that poor staff scheduling and long wait times during peak hours result in a loss of around 15% of revenue for American retailers each year. While our own estimates are lower, they still indicate significant revenue loss.
Having ample traffic volume data for each day, week, and season can make staff planning for c-stores much more effective. It’s also important to consider drivers' behavior to improve estimation accuracy. Ticon's experts have been studying traffic behavior for over 20 years. And we would like to share some tips that can help you obtain useful data for effective staff planning at your store.
1. Rush hour traffic can vary significantly depending on the location. Traffic volumes on roads near your site may increase by up to 5-7 times during peak hours, or by just 15-20%, as shown below.
This is why it's important to request traffic data for your specific point of interest to ensure accuracy.
2. The concentration of potential customers may be different for primary and secondary directions, or occur simultaneously. See the illustration below.
3. Seasonal fluctuations can also lead to large variations in traffic volume. During specific weeks, or on weekends, the number of customers may double, and without adequate year-round data, businesses risk disappointing their customers.
4. Accuracy is a key when it comes to traffic data. Data providers often rely on mobile devices that represent only 5-15% of vehicles on the road. Relying on over-averaged statistics can lead to significant mistakes, particularly when it comes to a daily traffic count.
Attempts to increase penetration rates with mobile phone and LBS services make the situation worse, leading to mistakes that may cause up to a 40% difference from the actual count. Our research shows that probe size changes can differ from real traffic volume dynamics, even when using one of the best data providers that do not rely on irrelevant sources.
When it comes to business tasks such as staff planning or c-store site selection, where profit directly depends on accurate traffic count, a statistical approach is not enough. That's why Ticon has developed an algorithmic approach to data processing that works particularly well with vehicular data. Unlike mobile device data, traffic engineering provides opportunities to verify and adjust information for greater accuracy. Ticon has conducted numerous case studies (available upon request) that demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach, and can provide proof for the true traffic volume estimation. Therefore, before engaging any data provider for staff planning purposes, we recommend requesting a proof of data accuracy from a responsible manager.
Ticon is ready to become your reliable partner in winning repeat customers, optimizing staffing schedules, and increasing sales - with accurate traffic data.
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