Mecca Brands

ShopperTrak helps Australian Retailer Mecca Brands deliver a beautiful customer experience

Australian retail giant Mecca Brands is one of Australia and New Zealand’s biggest cosmetic distributors with over 40 stores and a thriving online business. Its mission is to help its customers look and feel their best by bringing them their most loved brands and most effective beauty products under one roof.

Mecca Brands scouts the world to bring together the most comprehensive selection of cutting-edge brand names in colour, cosmetics, skincare, haircare, fragrance and bodycare. It pairs world-class products with the in house expertise of its resident make-up artists and skincare specialists to become, in the words of the influential Women’s Wear Daily®, “a leading global beauty destination”.

The Business challenge

Mecca Brands needed to gain insights into footfall patterns and the volume of ‘non-transacting’ customers in all its standalone Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima stores to determine sales potential, increase profitability and support the company’s aggressive growth plans.

ShopperTrak’s Solution

  • ShopperTrak Clarity counting system
  • ShopperTrak Delivered Reporting
  • ShopperTrak Interactive Reporting
  • Consultancy Services

Business Benefits of People Counting

  • Objective measurement of store performance by conversion rate, units per transaction and average transaction value
  • Ability to benchmark stores by size, type and location
  • Measures missed opportunities to pinpoint underperforming stores and implement quick turnaround strategies
  • Identifies top performing stores so best practice can be shared
  • Staff rostering reflects peaks and troughs in customer footfall
  • Ensures all sales opportunities are captured by engaging with ‘one-day-transacters’ during peak trading times in stores with high footfall but low conversion rates
  • Performance management tool for store managers and hosts
  • Footfall patterns inform the timing of catalogue distribution and efficacy of marketing initiatives
  • Historical performance analysis used to set realistic targets and gain store team buy-i

“It was incredibly insightful for us to discover that there was a bucket of stores that had substantially more footfall in the last week of trading preholidays than our other businesses yet conversion rates were significantly lower.”

Maria Tsaousis, Head of Retail, Mecca Brands

Mecca Brands has three distinct beauty concepts in its stable:

  • Mecca Cosmetica stores offer the world’s most comprehensive and unique selection of cutting-edge beauty brands in a sophisticated, purpose-built retail environment that focuses on product trial, professional advice and unsurpassed customer service.
  • Kit Cosmetics – home to the most lusted after and hard-to-get beauty brands at an entry-level price point.
  • Mecca Maxima, billed as ‘a beauty playground for all’, brings together the most popular brands from Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics, together with leading brands sold in its department store outlet

Mecca Brands has been using customer analytics to gain insights into store performance for its Mecca Cosmetica and Mecca Maxima brands for almost 12 months now and will use this first year’s figures as a benchmark for future performance. Maria Tsaousis, Head of Retail for Mecca Brands, remarks, “Before measuring footfall the only metrics we could look at were sales and sales KPIs in isolation, which was misleading. Now we can see the size of the opportunity and put underperforming stores under the microscope to improve conversion rate and other critical business KPIs.”

The Mecca Brands management team now receives detailed weekly reports showing conversion rate performance, sales, footfall, Units Per Transaction (UPT) and Average Transaction Values (ATV) by store. Stores are categorized by type –shopping centre locations, strip stores (and sometimes city strip stores as their figures will vary slightly from those in suburban areas) – to enable like-for-like comparisons to be made.

“We believe this strategy of focusing on delivering a better customer experience to improve conversion rates will result in double digit sales growth.”

Maria Tsaousis, Head of Retail, Mecca Brands

Sales (x axis) and footfall (y axis) data is plotted on easy-to-understand scatter charts that, explains Maria Tsaousis, instantly tell a story. “One underperforming store had low sales figures – 4% down on the previous year – but high footfall equivalent to stores that delivered significantly more sales, which indicated it was missing a huge opportunity. We made changes to the management team and showed how doing nothing else but improving the customer experience would improve the conversion rate, UPT and ATV. The customers were there and hungry to buy – it was low hanging fruit, we just had to find a way to engage them.” She elaborates, “When you demonstrate products, you’re not actually selling customers a product – you’re selling them a solution.” The success of this strategy was clear: over the four-week period, although there was no increase in footfall, conversion rates improved dramatically. Six months on, sales revenues at the once chronically underperforming store consistently show a 10% uplift year on year – a 14% shift.

Mecca Brands had to decide whether to invest its marketing budget in attracting more footfall into its stores or focus instead on converting its non-transacting customers to achieve its ambitious growth target for the 2012 holiday period. Maria Tsaousis explains, “We felt we weren’t moving the dial far enough in terms of dollars generated. We chose to capitalise on the customers we already have, rather than spend that money on a marketing campaign to attract new ones. So we recruited extra team members and pinpointed the stores we forecast will see a 400% increase in footfall in the last trading week before the holidays. Hosts will be positioned at those doors that present the highest footfall opportunities over the holiday period. We believe this strategy of focusing on delivering a better customer experience to increase conversion rates will result in double digit sales growth.”