People Counting for Retailers
A business is successful when people know about it. Shops and hotels are successful when people visit them frequently. Therefore, it is necessary for any business establishment to consider the number of customers it does or does not attract.
In times gone by, security guards were required to count the number of people entering and leaving a hotel or store. This process was done manually and obviously was prone to human error – even if the guard made a small mistake, it would affect the entire calculation.
Updated technology eventually solved this problem, and now people counting systems are installed on the doors of a variety of establishments, counting the number of people entering and exiting accurately and without errors.
Variations People Counter:
The simplest form of a people counter is a single, horizontal infrared beam across an entrance, which is typically linked to a small LCD display unit at on the doorway. Such a beam counts a 'tick' when people walk through it and break the beam.
In addition to this, thermal imaging systems are a more advanced type of people counter. They use sensors that detect heat sources, typically implemented using the embedded technology mounted overhead for high accuracy.
With the advance of computer technology, complex image processing can now be used to perform people counting using camera imaging.
The latest generation of counters include a Wi-Fi Counting functionality. These systems collect Wi-Fi probe request signals from shoppers' smart-phones and add a number of important metrics for businesses, especially for the retail industry.
Many businesses are deploying people counters to help them to gain insight into their clients.
Benefits of the People Counter:
People counting systems in the retail environment are used to calculate the percentage of visitors that make purchases. These statistics are a key indicator of a store's performance and can provide valuable information than traditional methods.
Comparing traffic counts and conversion rates can reveal important sales information. This information can reveal why a specific store is experiencing more sales, why fewer people are visiting a store, or even why fewer people are making purchases.
Shopping mall marketing professionals rely on visitor statistics to measure the effectiveness of their marketing, these marketing metrics such as CPM (Cost Per Thousand) and SSF (Shoppers per Square Foot) are performance indicators that shopping centre owners monitor to determine rent on retail spaces. These calculations are based on the total number of visitors to the mall, or according to the number of visitors to each individual store in the mall.
The duration of time visitors spend in a store can also be checked by people counting systems. These systems are Wi-Fi enabled and gauge the time spent by the visitor in the shop. This information gives away how interesting the shop is to visitors.
Accurate visitor counting is also useful for optimizing staff shifts. Staff requirements are often directly related to the density of visitor traffic, for example, services such as cleaning and maintenance are typically undertaken when traffic is at its lowest.
People counting systems also assist in measuring the area of 'hot spots', where statistics gathered by people counters are often used to justify rental rates.