Random jumble of buzz words or a description of my workplace this
semester? Not surprisingly, both. In typical Silicon Valley fashion, this blog post will
focus on metrics (2 to be exact). “Traffic” and “conversion” are metrics I have come
to know and love over the course of my time working at RetailNext and you will
know and love by the end of this post.
RetailNext measures traffic and shopper behavior at real-life brick-and-
mortar stores, much in the way Amazon tracks your behavior on its website. We
are a way of leveling the playing field for retailers around the world. Traffic per
store or per aisle, as you may imagine, is a useful piece of information for managers
to use when determining the ideal time to restock shelves, staff employees, and
position their products. Conversion is the measure of how many people actually
make a purchase after entering a store and is often a useful way to determine store
At my job, I am also working on driving online “traffic” to the company
website using the magic of Google AdWords as a way of finding new customers.
The sales team then tries to “convert” site visitors to clients. Again, traffic and
conversion haunt me.
Most importantly, I have begun seeing the Silicon Valley Program
participants as traffic and our opinions on the valley as conversion. In the grand
scheme of things, our traffic figure is small (below 20 students), but as I have
learned, a high conversion rate is often more indicative of success. I believe this
program has exposed us to the exciting world of technology, and the alumni, host
companies, and our coworkers have certainly contributed to our conversion.
If nothing else, the Silicon Valley Program is, in many ways, the typical valley
experience. And, in many ways, I couldn’t be happier.
Class of 2014