The Conversion of Retail Conversion


If you have ever worked in retail, there are a few metrics you are familiar with: AT, UPT, PR% and the most important one of all - conversion. Conversion historically has been the measurement of the number of shoppers that enter a shopping space compared to the number of those shoppers that purchased items. Depending on the type of retail environment you run, the expectation around conversion can differ greatly. Let’s first consider the staggering statistics of e-commerce conversion rates versus brick-and-mortar conversion: E-comm conversion ranges from 2.5 to 3%, while in-store shopping converts to a whopping 20 - 80%. It’s easy to understand why retailers would make an investment to get customers into stores but it’s more critical than ever that retailers measure and manage the intended customer experience to keep them coming back.

Retailers have two choices when looking to convert more shoppers into customers, likely choosing a combination of both: Create new store experiences to keep customers coming back and/or invest in technology that optimizes conversion each visit. Let’s dive into both.

Conversion driven by customer and store experiences:

The good news is that there are several things' retailers can do to increase conversion rates, both in-store and online without high dollar investments. Here are some current examples:

  1. Apple Stores are known for their visually appealing and no-frills environment. They also offer hands-on experiences, such as Genius Bar sessions and workshops.
  2. Sephora stores offer beauty tutorials and makeovers. They also have a loyalty program that rewards customers for their repeat business.
  3. Nike Stores have interactive displays that allow customers to try on shoes and apparel before they buy them.
  4. Target has gamified stores with interactive loyalty deals, promotions, and contests.

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These retailers have two things in common: They have removed the friction from shopping while simultaneously adding fun and engaging store experiences. Here are just a few more ideas of things retailers can do to increase conversion:

  1. Make it easy for customers to buy from you. Create a sense of discovery. Customers want to feel like they are exploring something new and exciting when they visit your store. You can do this by creating a visually appealing and well-curated shopping experience.
  2. Offer hands-on experiences. Customers want to be able to touch, feel, and try on products before they buy them. Offer these experiences by providing testers, samples, and demonstrations. Interactive displays and installations allow customers to learn more about your products in a fun and engaging way.
  3. Personalize the experience. Customers want to feel like you know them and what they are interested in. You can personalize the experience by using data to recommend products, offer discounts, and create targeted marketing campaigns. You can also use customer loyalty programs to reward customers for their repeat business.
  4. Gamification. Customers like to have fun and play while shopping. Offering promotions, contests, and other events motivates and creates engagement.

Conversion driven by technology

GAMIFICATION.png Creating an inviting and immersive experience is one thing – but leveraging data to optimize that experience is what’s next. Technology improvements will be key to unlocking the conversion potential of the modern retail environment. Here are some specific examples of how a few of today’s hottest retailers are using technology to increase conversion rates:

  1. Warby Parker uses AR to allow customers to try on glasses virtually.
  2. IKEA uses Ariadne to measure every customer's journey and experience.
  3. Lowes uses VR to allow customers to design their own kitchens.
  4. Amazon uses AI to personalize product recommendations and pricing.
  5. Circle K uses AI self-checkouts with product recognition which eliminates the need for barcodes.
  6. Nordstrom uses CRM loyalty to track customer interactions and preferences and curate a more personalized shopping experience.


As consumer expectations continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative ways for retailers to use technology to improve the customer experience and boost sales. Here are a few examples:

  1. Frictionless checkout. Retailers can use technology to make the checkout process faster and easier for customers. This helps retailers reduce abandoned carts and increase conversions.
  2. Customer Relationship Management. CRM platforms help retailers track customer interactions and preferences. This information is used to personalize the shopping experience and increase conversions.
  3. AI-powered recommendation engines. These engines learn about customer preferences and then recommend products that they are likely to be interested in.
  4. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). AR and VR can be used to create immersive shopping experiences that allow customers to try on clothes, furniture, and other products before they buy them. This can help retailers increase customer confidence and reduce returns.
  5. Personalized Pricing. Retailers can use data to personalize prices for different customers. This can help retailers increase sales and profits.

The bottom line? The more personalized and engaging the shopping experience is for your customers, the higher the conversion rate and sales will be. Retailers should invest in tools that capture data to support conversion and provide analytics to help continue to innovate the store experience.

Where’s a good place to start? Solutions like Ariadne provide insights and analytics on what your customers are doing but also what they are not doing. Are customers interacting with staff? Are they visiting fitting rooms? Are they pausing to look at a display or discount area? Which products or departments are associated with one another? How is signage messaging and position impacting customer behaviour? What is the optimal staffing to handle customer volume?

Sounds great, but I can’t add another IT project. Strained IT teams should not be a barrier to deploying store innovation. Managed Service providers like Pomeroy help retailers implement AI, AR and VR solutions that enable digital transformation and create unique customer experiences so that retailers can continue to focus on their core business.

Learn more. Unlock customer insights with Ariadne’s leading technology - deployed and supported by Pomeroy. Join us at NRF 2024 Booth #1115 to see the collaboration that is redefining the retail horizon, where Pomeroy’s legacy of trusted IT services meets Ariadne’s trailblazing customer journey and analytics solution.