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Kathmandu Credits Traffic Counting Tech for Driving Smarter Decisions

Australian outdoor retailer Kathmandu is using shopper analytics to chart a path to higher profit margins.

The rugged outdoor apparel and gear retailer, which operates 160 stores across Australia and New Zealand, has engaged retail technology solutions provider Sensormatic Solutions to provide consumer behavioral data via its ShopperTrak Analytics platform. According to a statement from Kathmandu, this new retail tech has helped the retailer make data-driven decisions about marketing campaigns and staff schedules and improve overall operational effectiveness.

Over the past 30 years, the retailer has been a leader in Australia and New Zealand’s outdoor market, providing all-weather hiking gear, travel packs, sleeping bags, footwear and more to avid adventurers. The organization’s vertically integrated operations and significant brick-and-mortar presence have been assets in its growth and international expansion.

But the company has struggled to find an effective way to leverage its in-store shopper traffic data. For one, Kathmandu previously used unreliable infrared door scanners in some of its older stores, which only gave a “vague indication of sales conversion,” Sensormatic said in a case study. The accuracy of the technology was questionable, and it was not linked to a central database where it could be consistently assessed by the company at large. The lack of hard, clear data impacted the company’s ability optimize its store workforce and encourage customer conversion, and to foster consistency in performance across its large network of stores.

In deploying the ShopperTrak tool to provide traffic insights, Kathmandu also installed foot traffic counters in all of the entrances to its stores across Australia and New Zealand. The company’s data is now run through its personal data warehouse, and it refreshes hourly.

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According to Sensormatic, the insights gleaned from this new data infrastructure have allowed Kathmandu to develop a new demand planning model as well as a workforce planning system. It helps the company’s sizeable network of locations align staff scheduling with periods of peak shopper traffic, which has increased conversion rates in stores. The data has also helped the company to improve advance promotional planning and improve its overall sales analytics by tying traffic insights to sales data.

“Having an accurate traffic data set with actionable metrics is a critical advantage to help improve decision making,” said Scott Edwards, retail operations manager at Kathmandu. “The ShopperTrak solution enables us to create a demand-planning model that feeds into a workforce planning system.”