How to Analyze Customer Movement with a People Counting System

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  2. 2017
  3. May

people in shopping mall - analyze customer movementPeople counting systems are doing for customer movement analyzation what smartphones did for communication. It’s a game changer that will revolutionize the way you currently look at your traffic flow, traffic trends and conversion rates.

Data is invaluable in the business decision-making process. Simple metrics like the amount of people who walk through your door each day, use your restroom facilities, or visit a specific area of your space can give you insight into fundamental business questions like:

  • How many employees do I need to schedule for a shift?
  • What are my security needs throughout the day?
  • At what time should I restock and check restrooms?
  • When is the optimal time to perform routine maintenance?
  • Where should I set up new displays?
  • What time can I turn down the heating or air conditioning?

Being able to accurately plan and predict the answers to those types of questions ultimately translates into tangible cost savings by eliminating overspending, overstaffing, or over allocating resources.

Identify Traffic Flow
The first step in determining customer movement within your building is to understand how traffic flows in and out. Use a people counter to monitor entrances and exits to start piecing together your traffic flow map and identify your most frequently used and least used doorways.

Perhaps you have a pretty good idea of where heavily trafficked areas are inside your stores but using a strategically placed people counter will give you concrete data to back up, or perhaps blow up, your theory. You may find the new display you thought was driving traffic, really isn’t performing like you imagined giving you the opportunity to make tweaks or rearrange.

Track Traffic Volume Trends
Once you get a baseline for measuring traffic flow you can begin analyzing customer movement trends. People counters not only measure volume but can identify slow traffic times and heavy periods by hour, day, week, month and year through reporting and analytics.

Plan staffing and anticipate inventory stock to accommodate for busy periods and plan extra promotions or events to drive traffic during seasonal slow downs. You can even use the data to perform A/B testing to determine customer responses through increases or decreases in traffic volume.

Calculate Your Conversion Ratio
Compare foot traffic data from a specified period of time to POS sales data to calculate your conversion ratio. This will help you quantify how many people you are converting from browsers to buyers.

Ultimately it is about ROI. You don’t want to waste time and resources on displays that don’t drive sales. When setting up new displays, use a people counter to measure how many people entered the new display compared to the sales figures for the product displayed.

Knowing your conversion ratio with the help of a people counter gives managers and owners visibility into the most efficient and profitable displays. Conversion ratio data can also be used to:

  • Offer sales incentives to employees to get your conversion ratio up.
  • Pinpoint time periods when conversions rates drop and take steps to address downturns.
  • Determine your return on investment (ROI) for an event, promotion, or special program.

Customer Movement Data Benefits are Invaluable
Not using a people counting system to analyze traffic flow and volume is a little like using an abacus to do math. It can be done, but why would you want to?

Not to mention, the best benefits of people counting increase over time over time as you accumulate layers of data over weeks, months and years to identify high level variables in your traffic patterns. If used well, insight into historical customer movement data is going to ultimately affect both sides of your balance sheet by decreasing expenses and increasing revenue.

 

The Connection Between Library Programming and Counting People

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  2. 2017
  3. May

Young man in library Library programming, people countingA library is all about books but library programming is all about people. Even though libraries are viewed as a valuable community resource, they are increasingly asked to justify operating budgets and prove that the public is engaged with the programs the library offers.

This puts pressure on libraries to offer high quality and highly successful programming. The best way to choose the best programs for your library, to justify budgets and to show that your programming is working is to measure the number of people participating.

Counting People is Worth the Effort

This requires a library-wide effort to constantly count the number of patrons at any given moment, at any given program. Many libraries tackle this manually, using volunteers and employees as human tally sheets leaving room for errors and inaccurate counts.

More and more libraries, however, are turning to digital people counters for a more accurate and infinitely easier way to get the data needed to aid in library programming decisions and to improve existing programming.

Imagine accurate attendance reports, concrete funding proposals, improved maintenance and security. All a result of simply counting people.

Annual Programming Attendance Reports

Utilizing a people counter to measure attendance for annual programs is one of the main ways libraries use the systems for data collection. Accurate people counts determine not just the success of a program but also gives a baseline to measure future success.

Aggregating historic data over time is going to result in an accurate picture, rather than an assumption, about your library programming and whether you are attracting the community to your library.

Project and Program Funding Proposals

Funding proposals for library programming are mere guesses without precise figures to back up requests. Having better data is going to result in better funding requests when you can illustrate the effectiveness of a specific program and justify budgetary needs.

Having a people counter in place takes the burden off your library staff to provide the numbers you need. The data is already there, ready to be analyzed and included in the budget when you need it.

Facility Maintenance

Taking the guess work out of supply ordering and restocking sounds ideal, doesn’t it? While facility maintenance is a facet of the library operations that is often a reactive effort, people counting can actually put you in a position to be proactive about maintaining your facilities.

A people counter placed at restroom entrances allows you to monitor activity and to plan accordingly. It even gives you insight into the most strategic points in the day to restock and clean with minimal interference to visitors while always having enough TP and soap in stock for busier times and big events.

Facility Security

You may not have thought of this but people counters positioned at exits can make your library more secure. Knowing roughly how many visitors are in the library at any given time gives you framework for scheduling security guards.

Determine when security needs are minimal like during the weekdays when it’s quiet to reduce man power and plan for added security to handle the increased volume during weekends or special programs when visitors increase.

Counting People Arms You With Knowledge

Do you have an accurate count for how many people attended your last event or how many people walked through your doors yesterday? Consider what you would do with the information if you had it. It could make the world of a difference in making informed decisions for your library programming, when asking for funding, and maintaining and securing your facility.