Dwell time measures the duration of time that a visitor spends in a town centre, shopping centre or individual store. The reason dwell time is important is the growing body of evidence that the longer a visitor spends in a location, the more money they spend.
Kingston performs well on dwell time. 38% of visits are over 40 minutes, 43% are 20-40 minutes long, and shorter visits of less than 20 minutes account for only 19% of visits.
We are also seeing strong spend trends compared to 2019, with % change in spend in the last 6 months, between 4% and 18% higher than we saw in the equivalent period of 2019, with Feb-Apr 2022 looking particularly strong compared to a slow start to 2019.
Part of the reason for Kingston town centre’s success is the experience people have when visiting and the wide variety in its offering: Kingston has a broad mix of retail, leisure, dining, arts & culture, and events. Dwell time and spend are also affected by social interaction, people in groups spend more than they would do on their own, and Kingston’s offering makes it a great place to meet people.
Kingston First is working hard through its place making, marketing and events, to improve the look and feel of the town centre, bring more people to Kingston, and provide events to increase dwell time further, but what can individual businesses do to improve dwell time in their stores?
Let customers interact with your products
Could you have a section of your store dedicated to allowing customers to try things out? Like a reading corner in a bookshop, messy space in an art shop, or wall displaying electronics that customers can test.
Provide baskets or totes for customers to shop with
Once they have a basket, customers tend to feel the need to fill it with more products!
Interact with your customers
Building a rapport with customers can increase spend, and also loyalty to your store.
Offer in store services or workshops
Gift wrapping, shoe/clothing measurements, personal shopping, beauty consultations, demonstrations of electronics; anything that shows off your products and keeps the customer in store for longer. Check out this article for tips on experiential retail, and let us know of any events you are holding, and we can promote them for you via our website and socials.
Make your store look and smell nice!
Lighting, music, scent, layout; all of these can have an impact on how long a customer spends in store.
Be social media ready
Make sure your displays are instagrammable, the quirkier the better, and don’t forget to tag @inkingston to improve your reach.
If you are a Kingston business, why not join one of our free marketing training sessions to learn how to make social media work for you. You can view our full range of sessions here.
Include charging points
Absolutely essential for restaurants and cafes looking to attract those working remotely, but could also keep customers in your retail store for longer, as they browse while waiting for their phone to charge! Just ensure charging points are lockable!
Cater to the kids
It’s no secret, parents spend more money when their children are happy, so get some colouring sheets and crayons ready, and a small corner where the little ones can stay busy. And once you’ve tried this out, sign up to Thumbs Up It’s Thursday, where businesses all over town put on kid friendly activities during the holiday, while their parents browse in peace.
If you have any other tips for Kingston businesses to improve dwell time, let us know!