Before you choose your customer counter, do you really know what you’re getting? It’s easy to assume that every counter is equal, but in reality, each system has its particular strengths.
What are horizontal versus overhead customer counters?
A horizontal customer counter is a great way to start using people counting technology. Horizontal customer counters use infrared beam technology and can be mounted in your business’ doorway to count shoppers as they “break” the sensor beam upon entering your store.
Overhead customer counter options include thermal sensors or video recording. Overhead thermal systems are mounted on the ceiling and incorporate sensors that register each shopper who comes through your doors. Video customer counters use cameras to visually tally the shoppers moving, not just through your doorway, but throughout your store.
Ask yourself the following four questions to ensure you’re choosing the customer counter that’s right for your retail store.
1. Does your store have an open entrance or doors that swing out?
For horizontal customer counters, doors must swing outward for proper use. A door that swings inward would block the sensor beam, failing to count many of your shoppers. Since an overhead customer counter would be located on the ceiling above the doorway, the direction the door opens would not affect the people counting abilities of this counter.
2. Is your store entrance wide or narrow?
The layout of your store entrance makes all the difference. Horizontal people counters are not designed for wide store entrances because the width can affect count accuracy if multiple people are entering at the same time. In this situation, the horizontal people counter might only count one or two customers when four are actually walking through.
These customer counters remain accurate in a store entrance that’s up to 15 ft wide but are best for stores without much clumped group traffic.
3. Do customers tend to linger in your store entrance instead of walking straight through?
If you have promotional displays or other attractive items in your doorway that cause customers to dwell in the entrance to examine the merchandise, your traffic count may be inaccurate or incomplete when using a horizontal customer counter. An overhead video system is better equipped to tally each and every shopper entering your store, regardless of how long he or she might hang around in the doorway.
4. Is an 110V electrical outlet located near your store entrance?
Overhead customer counters will need to be wired into your facility and must be plugged into an 110V outlet, so be sure there’s sufficient electrical access near the entrance where you plan to install this type of customer counter. If an outlet is not available, horizontal customer counters can be a great solution because they operate wirelessly, using batteries rather than an electrical outlet.
With these four questions addressed, you’re one step closer to making an educated decision about the customer counter that best meets the needs of your particular retail store. If you would like more information on the different types of people counters and which counter would be best equipped for your business’ needs, contact a Traf-Sys representative for more information.