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Fact-Base Your Funnel

Scorecards are only as helpful as the data they contain.

Previous scorecards have relied on metrics that allow for a one-dimensional post mortem analysis, however, leading category teams have opened the door to a more proactive approach that is driven equally by up-stream indicators. This involves getting a closer perspective on traffic and shopping activities that occur across the store, aisle, and category itself.

An authentic and all-encompassing path to purchase funnel starts with total store traffic and total category sales, both of which are metrics category teams already have access to, but important grounding principles for establishing the in-store journey.

Where do you go from there?

  • Aisle Traffic: a measure of how many people walked down or were exposed to a particular aisle. This can be viewed as a percentage of total store traffic to provide the aisle exposure rate, that is, the percentage of store traffic that passes through or is exposed to an aisle.
    • Tip: Add in additional aisle dynamic metrics, such as directions of entry and exits and u-turns to assess aisle performance, flow, and shoppability.
  • Category Traffic: represents the level of exposure to the category itself. This quantifies the “opportunity to see” or interact with the category.
    • Tip: Take category traffic as a percentage of aisle traffic to consider the category exposure rate, a key indicator of performance along the path to purchase funnel.
  • Next, we shift our focus from traffic and exposure to actual shopping and engagement activities. Category Shoppers are those who stop and actively engage with the category. As a percentage of category traffic, those who actively stop to engage with the category offer the Engagement Rate for the category. This is a key metric to understand the “stopping power” of a given category.
  • Finally, we look to Category Buyers, those who convert to make a category purchase. This group also lets us look closer at the Category Conversion Rate, which indicates the percent of Category Shoppers who make a purchase from the Category.
    • Tip: Category Shoppers to Category Buyers holds tremendous power for building a deep understanding of shopper behavior at the shelf. It is also an essential diagnostic tool to understand where leakage and missed sales could be hiding in plain sight.

The path to purchase funnel is a game changing tool for category teams who reframe their category scorecard to provide important context to support category activities, such as shelf resets and aisle redesigns.

In all actuality, the core path to purchase metrics mentioned above should become a routinely leveraged suite of tools in performance reviews and diagnostics. This should be supplemented by a robust understanding of category shoppability and decision-making processes. These tools help unlock key insights around the factors that can make or break a conversion-friendly shopping experience. Many CPG and retail marketers look to shoppability and decision analytics to make informed decisions for optimizing the overall shopping experience, and answer questions such as:

  • How much time is spent navigating the category versus actually shopping?
  • Where do shoppers stop and visually engage with the category? Which shelf zones hold highest glance rates? Which in-aisle displays have true stopping power?
  • How do shoppers search and navigate the aisle? What do their traffic patterns and u-turns tell us about how they *expect” to shop the category, versus what they are met with in the aisle?
  • Did the shopper make their decision at the shelf or before the shelf?
  • How did the shopper deliberate and ultimately decide on their purchase?

The availability of innovative, scalable and precise in-store behavior analytics open the door to the north star of true and authentic data - derived from the shoppers themselves. What questions could you ask to transform your category strategy? Drop us a line at