Four Benefits of Bidirectional People Counters

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  2. 2015
  3. May

Maximizing the returns from an investment in people counting solutions means leveraging these technologies to do much more than simply “count heads.” When used to their fullest extent, people counting systems can provide data that’s valuable both for basic business metrics such as conversion rates as well as more nuanced insights into areas ranging from staff deployments to measuring the impact of marketing programs.

A key requirement for garnering this range of business benefits is the use of bidirectional people counters, which are capable of tracking peoples’ movements in various directions. Bidirectional people counting systems (which can include both video and thermal-based sensors) reveal whether someone is entering or exiting, providing accurate customer counts at any time. Overhead sensors provide a more detailed view of traffic movement throughout a location, revealing not only how many people are in the store but also where they go, how long they stay, and what they do.

Bidirectional people counters offer benefits in four critical areas:

Measuring conversion rates accurately: Knowing the percentage of shoppers who enter a store and actually buy something is a basic retail business metric. Bidirectional people counters’ ability to detect how many people are entering and exiting at any given time allow retailers to track conversion rates in more detail, showing the impact of factors such as the time of day, how crowded the store is, and the number of sales associates and cashiers on duty.

Keeping an ongoing count of the number of people in a location: Bidirectional people counters provide the means to determine how many people are in a store from the start of the business day through to closing time. This is critical for collecting conversion rate data that can be tied to times of day or to specific events, as opposed to relatively uninformative daily or weekly averages. Measuring the fluctuations in total people counts also lets retailers determine the optimal number of customers in a given location. As a rule, more traffic is good, but too much traffic can be counterproductive: too many customers can mean crowded aisles, an insufficient number of staff to serve them, and a greater likelihood of out-of-stock situations.

Deploying staff more effectively: In larger retail locations with multiple departments, it’s critical to know not just the total number of employees needed at any given time, but where they will have the biggest impact on customer service and sales. Without bidirectional people counters’ ability to trace traffic flows and determine density patterns, this becomes a difficult task. For example, high traffic density in a department that isn’t accompanied by a corresponding rise in its products’ sales can mean there are not enough staff people to take care of customers – particularly in departments requiring high levels of customer engagement, such as cosmetics, jewelry, or home decorating.

Measuring marketing success: The detailed, minute-by-minute data about total store counts, traffic patterns, and conversion rates provided by bidirectional people counters is critical to measuring the effectiveness of both large-scale marketing programs designed to increase foot traffic, as well as individual promotions taking place within a store. Basic business metrics such as CPM (cost per thousand), the cost of reaching one thousand people or households, as well as sales per square foot, rely on accurate data in order to be useful for analysis and comparisons to previous campaigns, other stores in a chain, or to competitors’ performance.

The use of bidirectional people counting technologies allows retailers to do more than get a basic sense of their business’ health. More granular data about how many people are in their stores, where they go and how long they stay allows companies to diagnose “trouble spots” and discover the most effective cures.

How Retail People Counters Increase Profit and Reduce Expenses

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  2. 2015
  3. May

Are you having trouble making business decisions about labor optimization, facility management, promotion effectiveness, and customer service? Implementing retail people counters can help you run your business more effectively. Here’s how.

1. Labor Optimization

Retail people counters allow stores to optimize the number of employees by allowing you to track how many shoppers enter the store during specific days or times. By analyzing these traffic trends, you’ll be able to more accurately schedule employees.

With people counting systems, slower days and times can be determined, and staff can be reduced accordingly, lowering costs.

During peak hours, you can increase staff to offer customers a better shopping experience. An appropriate shopper-to-associate ratio ensures that customers can find assistance and provides staff opportunities to upsell other items.

Retail people counters allow you to see the conversion rate for sales, enabling managers to evaluate staff members’ ability to convert visitors into sales and staff peak hours with skilled associates.

2. Facility Management

Retail people counters can also help you manage everything from your facility’s location to loss prevention to security needs. Issues in these areas can be extremely costly for businesses.

Location

Looking for a new location can be a very difficult decision. Retail people counters can ease the process by providing information on the area’s foot traffic.

Realtors and landlords can sometimes offer people counting data. If they withhold it, they could be hiding information like undesirable foot traffic. This knowledge will help you move on to a new location.

Loss Prevention

Both shoplifting and organized retail crime are some of the biggest concerns for retailers. This often occurs during peak hours when key areas like the fitting room are left unattended, making it easy for shoplifters to leave with products.

Retail people counters allow managers to staff key areas during peak hours. This can help discourage theft and improve your bottom line.

Security

Similarly, retail people counters can offer facilities a way to monitor foot-traffic versus security. Knowing the most trafficked areas can help you strategically place security guards.

3. Promotion Success Assessment

Retail people counters can also insure that your investment in promotions and displays is effective and has a high return on investment (ROI).

First, retail people counters can measure trends over time. This can then be analyzed to optimize your promotion techniques. Comparing the conversion rates for two different promotions or displays can pinpoint which one is more effective.

Once this is determined, similar solutions can be implemented. Understanding visitor patterns can help retailers target their customers with displays and promotions.

The results of the new promotions and displays can be measured and any corrections or improvements can be made. These insights will help your marketing and improve conversion rates.

4. Customer Service

One of the biggest advantages of brick-and-mortar stores is their ability to offer exceptional customer service. Retail people counters provide information about customers who have entered the store. That information can be compared to point-of-sales numbers to determine how many visitors didn’t make a purchase.

High foot traffic but low sales can indicate an issue with customer service. Analyzing the ratio of employees to customers can demonstrate staffing issues. Determining peak hours with retail people counters can enable you to staff your store appropriately.

When employees engage with customers, helping them find items and upselling, they can increase brand loyalty.

Retail people counters provide data on many business aspects. By improving areas like labor optimization, facility management, promotion success assessment, and customer service, companies can see a high return on investment for implementing people counting systems.