With the 2012 Olympics just around the corner, retailers in London and other host locations will soon see a dramatic increase in the number of potential customers passing by.

Add to this events such as the Paralympics, the Diamond Jubilee and Wimbledon and retailers will be hoping to enjoy an extremely busy, profitable summer. But planning ahead will be essential.

One of the key sales drivers will be the in-store experience. Retailers need to implement strategies to ensure that during heavy periods of footfall potential customers are incentivised to enter a shop, then guided efficiently through the store, before being swiftly moved through the queue to complete their purchases.

By concentrating on a few specific areas, retailers can enjoy a substantial hike in profits for relatively little effort or investment.

Ensuring that a shop is visually appealing is vital in converting passers-by into purchasers. Clear and eye-catching promotional signage and strategically placed displays will not only provide directional guidance for the higher numbers of visitors during the summer, but also highlight special offers.

Given that many visitors will be from overseas, it’s important to provide multilingual signage. An effective way of achieving this is through engaging digital signage, such as the Tensator Virtual Assistant, which provides the illusion of a real person who speaks to customers, providing customisable promotional and directional guidance.

Retailers also need to address the issue of queue walk-aways - the 1.6% of people who abandon the queue before the checkout. Through the appropriate use of queue barriers, single line queuing methods and electronic call forward systems, retailers can not only reduce the number but also improve operational efficiencies. If they strategically merchandise the queue, they can also convert waiting time into shopping time boosting impulse purchases and margins.

There has never been a more important time for retailers to maximise their bottom line - or a bigger opportunity to. Get to grips with the customer journey and you’ll reap the benefits.