Omnichannel Retail Trends that Could Save Your Brick-and-Mortar Location

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  2. 2016
  3. May

Looking for ways to provide a better customer experience in your brick-and-mortar store and better position yourself against the competition? Consider how traffic counting solutions can tap into four important omnichannel retail trends and help boost in-store business.

Prime Location

It’s a tale as old as time; real estate boils down to location, location, location. So is your store in the best spot to attract hordes of shoppers? Turn to traffic counters to see how many people are entering your store, as opposed to those who simply pass by. People counting technologies can reveal patterns in your traffic and help you understand if your store location sees the greatest volume at specific times of the day, days of the week, and seasons of the year.

Maybe you’re in a hot spot to draw the lunch crowd that wants to get a little shopping done or perhaps you’re popular with mid-afternoon post-yoga moms. Use data gathered from traffic counters to understand how your location is — or isn’t — working for you. And because today’s on-the-go millennials and other discerning consumers always have their smartphones on hand, ensure that your store location is easily discoverable via Web search.

If you’re looking to move locations or expand with a new store branch, ask the landlord for people counting data, which can reveal if there’s enough traffic to support your new business. Having hard numbers on hand can help you to make an informed decision.

Breaking Down Big Data: Turn Insights into Action

Big Data is an omnichannel retail trend you can’t afford to ignore. Big Data drives informed decision-making and takes much of the guesswork out of your strategy. The key is to convert all of the raw data you are collecting into actionable insights.

How does this look in the real world? Use the data gathered from your people counter, for example, to reposition a store display that’s not attracting as much traffic as you hoped. Big Data shows you in black and white where people walk and congregate in your stores and can help you correlate foot traffic to sales.

Personalization: Give Them an Offer They Can’t Ignore

It’s no longer enough to blast out generic offers blanketing every customer. Personalizing offers according to customer preferences and shopping habits is a major omnichannel retail trend that shows your shoppers that you’re taking the time to get to know them and you understand what they want.

While personalization is a natural fit online, thanks to the wealth of data that e-commerce activities collect, it’s also possible to create targeted offers leveraging information from your people counter. For example, if you notice traffic peaks after a nearby sporting or cultural event, craft a thoughtful offer that ties with the event and rewards shoppers for visiting your stores afterward. Be creative in using data gathered from people counting platforms to your advantage.

Keep an Eye on Millennials

The numbers vary according to whom you ask, but there are at least 75 million millennials — roughly 18  to 35 years — in the United States, making them the largest and most influential demographic.

So ask yourself: does your brick-and-mortar store cater to what millennials want? They favor walkable, tight-knit communities packed with the mom-and-pop shops and small businesses (see: yoga studios, juice bars, and craft breweries) that really make a place feel like home.

Video people counters in particular can show who’s walking into your store as well as who’s ignoring your storefront. Use this data to adjust your strategy to better serve the mighty millennial.

You may not have the budget of the Amazons and Walmarts of the world but you can work with these omnichannel retail trends to ensure your brick-and-mortar store remains relevant and thriving in a fast-changing, digitally driven world.

How to Improve Museum Visitor Experience

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  2. 2016
  3. May

Museums are always popular destinations, promising to usher visitors into new, enriching, and novel experiences. But while you may be focused on installing the latest technologies to keep visitor numbers up at your museum — and that certainly has its place — there’s really one simple approach to improve the museum visitor experience across the board: using people counting sensors to understand visitor behavior and make improvements where necessary.

Who Are Your Visitors? Knowledge Is Everything

Do you know the types of visitors coming through your museums doors? While it might be easy to assume that all visitors have the same objectives for their trip to the museum, it’s important to realize that different visitors have different motivations. According to Dr. John H. Falk’s, “Understanding Museum Visitors’ Motivations and Learning,” there are five kinds of museum visitors.

  • Explorers: These visitors are curious first and foremost, seeking to find just the right content to catch their interest and unlock their thirst for learning.
  • Facilitators: As the name implies, this group tends to enable the museum visitor experience for others, e.g., a teacher leading a classroom of students or a father shepherding his children.
  • Professional/hobbyists: Already well versed on a particular topic, these visitors are seeking to deepen their knowledge in an area of prime interest, such as a history teacher researching an ancient civilization.
  • Experience seekers: These visitors are “destination-driven,” keenly aware of your museum as an experience to cross off their lists of important things to do.
  • Rechargers: Seeking a sanctuary from the busyness of modern life, these visitors are looking for a quiet reprieve from their hectic schedules.

People counting systems can help you gain a deeper understanding of who your visitors are by their behaviors. Are large groups moving from exhibit to exhibit together? Are individuals heading to particular areas and lingering there for research? This data can help you create the museum visitor experiences they are looking for.  

Winning Exhibitions: Identifying What Works and Where You Can Improve

How do you know if an exhibition was a smashing success or a disappointing dud? People counting systems can tally your visitors so you know how much traffic each of your exhibitions, and especially your special or visiting exhibitions, draws. People counters are more reliable than manual counts and can help you to plan future exhibitions by looking at concrete data on the types of exhibitions that have attracted large crowds in the past, improving the museum visitor experience for your regulars as well as your casual attenders.

Go With the Flow

Once through your doors, where do your visitors go? People counters deliver valuable insights about which areas of your museum feature the highest and lowest traffic, enabling you to re-envision your building and exhibition layout if necessary. Consider ways to redirect attendees so that traffic flows smoothly and perhaps even guide individuals to underexposed areas of your facility, ensuring a better museum visitor experience for all.

Right-Sized Staffing

Eliminate under- and overstaffing with data gleaned from your people counting system. Provide a stellar museum visitor experience for all of your guests by having just the right number of staff, security guards, and docents on hand to serve during your busiest and slowest periods. With people counting data, you can anticipate future demand as well. For example, if your exhibition on rare jewels last summer drew blockbuster crowds, you might want to have extra staff manning the museum for the temporary exhibition of South American gold treasures you’re launching this weekend.

What makes a great museum experience? Ask your visitors that question, and they’ll probably rattle off any number of neat things they learned, saw, or experienced within your four walls. Keep them focused on those awe-inspiring moments by doing your part behind the scenes: leveraging people counting data to elevate the museum visitor experience.

Monitor Traffic Flow 

The most-visited museums use traffic-counting systems to monitor the flow of visitors into and throughout the facility, and data on hotspots where crowds gather can yield useful information about the areas attracting audiences and others that are overlooked. People counters also can reveal where visitors begin and end their journey, helpful in understanding how many experience the exhibition in its entirety.

Workforce Management 

The most-visited museums keep their facilities as pristine as their art and artifacts, thanks in part to the strategic use of people-counting systems. There are a number of factors that play into becoming a first-tier cultural institution beyond collections and curators. How often do the floors need to be mopped? Do restrooms need to be refreshed twice daily? What about larger maintenance projects, like structural repairs, window washing and more? Use your people counters to understand the level of traffic your building can endure before maintenance is required. A well-kept facility helps to attract visitors; many museum-goers are drawn to the peaceful, sanctuary-like feel of these cultural spaces.

People-counting data aids not only with security staffing but also with your workforce management overall. By reviewing your historical traffic data, you can get a feel for the days, weeks and months when you attract the greatest volumes of visitors and times when you can lower costs by scheduling only essential personnel. For example, perhaps you need only half the visitor assistants on a slow Tuesday that you would on a perfect Saturday afternoon. The most-visited museums rely on actionable insights from traffic-counting data to right-size their staff schedules and keep labor costs under control.

Improved Security 

You can always find large crowds thronging to the most-visited museums, and more often than not, it’s an orderly, civilized affair. How do powerhouse museums like Carnegie, Getty and The Met run a tight ship? By leveraging people-counting data to get security staffing levels just right.

It’s important to ensure you’ve deployed enough security personnel not to just to protect your priceless objects but also to keep crowds under control. Are visitors bunching up in one specific area of a special exhibition? Security can help to keep everyone safe by steering museum-goers from one room to another, optimizing visitor flow as much as possible.

Make Smart Business Decisions

It could also help curators to determine the popularity or effectiveness of a travelling or temporary exhibit. If the exhibit does not do well, it could keep them from investing in a similar one in the future. People counters can serve as a potential money-saver in those situations, allowing curators to make more informed business decisions. On the flip side, exhibits that prove to be doing well can be expanded. Curators will be able to make this decision knowing that it will get a good response.

Incorporate Technology

After comparing traffic numbers from each exhibit, museum curators may find that the exhibits or area of the museum that are getting the most footfall are more interactive or hands-on and involve technology. Depending on the size and scope of the museum, curators could use metrics from their people counting system to make a case for an increased budget to incorporate more technology-based exhibits.

Traf-Sys People Counting Systems Help Museums Improve Business

Learn more about how people counter systems can your museum visitor experience by contacting Traf-Sys today. Call us at 1-888-815-6568 or contact us online.