How to Measure Retail Foot Traffic - BrandMuscle

How to Measure Retail Foot Traffic

By: Jen Miles, Vice President of Performance Marketing at BrandMuscle & Maggie Thomas, Media Buyer in Performance Marketing at BrandMuscle

Your partners are spending money on cinema ads, billboards, events and other physical tactics, how do you connect the dots between those dollars and their doorway?

Foot traffic studies allow retailers to measure shoppers who have seen their advertisement, and analytically track them as they enter their physical location. The ability to measure retailers’ foot traffic is vital for their potential to grow and maximize ROI. Analyzing foot traffic not only allows retailers to measure the effectiveness of their advertising, but offers a new metric on the reach of their campaign. Foot traffic studies can provide unparalleled insights to retailers, specifically local businesses.

What Makes Measuring Foot Traffic Possible?

Mobile phones and apps capture a smartphone’s device ID, which allows retailers to use the location data (that shoppers have opted-in to sharing by using location services on the app) to track the number of people who saw their advertisement and subsequently visited their establishment. To track and measure the amount of people who enter a specific location, advertisers draw a digital virtual fences, or geofences, around the area of the physical advertisement and the physical area of the local business. Once a shopper enters both virtual boundaries, you have a correlation, meaning you can infer that the geo-fenced advertisement prompted the shopper to enter your partner’s location.

When retailers facilitate a foot traffic study, they begin with a key performance indicator, or goal of their campaign. An example of this is increasing the percentage of shoppers in a location, or driving shoppers into their store front. Retailers also may facilitate a foot traffic study to test two different types of media to see which brings the most shoppers. The success of the campaign is measured by calculating the lift, which is the number of people who saw the advertisement and visited the store vs a natural visitor who was already planning a visit.

There are dozens of ways advertisers can execute a foot traffic study. A method that has recently been gaining popularity is the use of digital billboards combined with geo-fencing. At BrandMuscle, we’ve also seen massive traction with cinema, events, and direct mail.

Our Strategic Approach to Measuring Retail Foot Traffic

Foot traffic studies cost a lot, and that’s why they are out of reach for the lone local business partner. BrandMuscle’s technology allows partners to leverage existing data from the sheer volume of small campaigns we run daily. That’s why we can help companies get foot traffic data at a fraction of the cost. The success story below takes you through an example of one way to strategically approach measuring retail foot traffic.

Success Story: Driving In-Store Engagement with Direct Mail and Addressable Mobile Display

Reach and activate potential cell phone users willing to switch networks to drive store visitation and purchase.

Help overcome banner blindness and crowded mailboxes from competition to gain subscriber market share.


Target prospects with in-market propensity to switch cellular networks by looking at household size and income requirements, which vary by dealer store location. Strategic tactic integration:

1. Mailbox Warming: Run mobile display advertisements through addressable geo-fencing 5 days before delivery of direct mail

2. Direct Mail Postcard: Deliver promotional direct mail postcard to household targets

3. Mobile Retargeting: Retarget device ideas captured through addressable geo-fencing for 30 days post direct mail

4. Store Visit/Purchase: Capture foot traffic into store conversion zones and coupon redemption






Ready to measure your retail foot traffic and convert more customers?

Contact BrandMuscle to learn more and work with our leading team of local media buyers.