Top Shoppers are critical to a store’s financial performance because they exhibit all the characteristics that are elemental to a store’s success. Not only do they spend more than other shoppers, but they also buy across categories, enhancing their profitability as they purchase from higher-margin departments. They also shop more frequently, which can spur their participation in continuity-type promotions. Top Shoppers typically purchase an average of 25 items per transaction compared to 10 items per transaction for an average shopper. 

Top Shoppers also tend to defect at a lower rate compared to Occasional or New Shoppers. It is much less expensive for a store to retain its Top Shoppers than to grow the purchases of Occasional or New Shoppers. Some retailers mistakenly focus their marketing budgets solely on bringing New Shoppers into their stores when the reality is that New Shoppers always show a high rate of defection. The wiser course of action is to focus on retaining and growing their Top Shoppers in each store by directing its marketing spend toward this segment. 

% top shoppers

Percentage of Top Shoppers to Total Shoppers

In addition to measuring their number of Top Shoppers per store, retailers should track the percentage of Top Shoppers among all their shoppers. For leading retailers, the percentage of Top Shoppers should range between 12% - 25%. Likewise, retailers should measure the sales to Top Shoppers, both in absolute dollars and as a % of total sales. Leading retailers typically see 40% - 60% of their sales going to Top Shoppers. Retailers should also measure the retention rates of Top Shoppers, which should be very high, on the order of 95%. To get more granular around Top Shopper retention, retailers can measure how many shoppers remain in the top tier vs. falling down into the tier of Occasional Shoppers.