5 Components of a Memorable Museum Visitor Experience

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First-time visitors to your museum will leave with new knowledge and stunning visual memories that will inspire them to learn and create. Challenge: create museum visitor experiences that will also inspire them to return.  A visit to your museum should leave a lasting impression that may also spark conversations with friends and family or on social media, which can help direct even more people to your door.

So how do you turn your museum into a must-see attraction with regular visitors? Here are five ideas you can use to orchestrate museum visitor experiences that help you achieve that goal and how you can measure the effectiveness of your efforts with people counting technology.

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Make Your Museum Visitor Space Welcoming

You need more than an entrance point and “Welcome” sign. From the moment your guests cross the threshold of your museum, they should be engaged and have a clear idea of what you have to offer. Some ways to achieve this are:

  • Have well-trained and friendly docents available to greet your visitors and provide information and enhance the museum visitor experience.
  • Provide clear signage or video monitors that display the highlights of what you have to offer. Strategically place easy-to-read floor plans and suggested starting points to give visitors the choice of how they want their experience to unfold.
  • Become a center for discussion by providing floor space or meeting rooms to promote educational topics, community diversity support, or quiet meditative environments.
  • Vary museums hours to make it accessible to a wider variety of people. Many potential visitors may work during the day, so providing an evening opportunity can open the way for more foot traffic at your facility.

Make Your Museum Space Interactive

A museum visitor experience can be greatly enhanced through modern interactive technology. Motion sensor and touchscreen interactivity have been around for some time and are still effective display tools. Imagine, however, an interactive display that can respond to questions in your native language or a robot that responds to your commands or queries. How about visitors being able to immerse themselves into a prehistoric setting using a VR headset? Combining older technology with advanced artificial intelligence tools and virtual reality can take museum visitor experiences to a whole new level and elevate your museum to can’t-miss-destination status.

Utilize Social Media to Engage Museum Visitors

Let’s face it, younger audiences, especially millennials and Gen Z, use social media as a form of communication. Use it to your advantage:

  • Use social platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram to attract young visitors to your facility’s offerings.
  • Video segments that show your feature attractions or a Facebook Live tour hosted by a curator can be engaging and encourage all types of audiences to visit.
  • Visitors love to take selfies when vacationing, so why not create spaces in your museum to encourage this activity? Provide them with hashtags for this purpose and watch your museum attractions reach an even larger audience.

Take Advantage of Digital Technology for Museums

Nearly all your visitors carry smartphones or tablets with them wherever they go. The museum visitor experience can be even more fun and engaging if you provide free downloadable apps that they can use to find more information on exhibits while touring your facility. Site maps, exhibit information, and digital galleries can also help compliment their journey and make it a more memorable visit.

On the operations side, invest in technology to count the people coming into your space so you have an accurate view of visitor numbers. You can even take that a step further by choosing a technology like ceiling mounted video-based sensors. This type of people counting technology gives you the ability to differentiate between and adults and children, taking your visitor statistics to a new, more in-depth level.

Control Museum Traffic Flow With People Counters

Whether your museum has a directional, one-way route or multiple ways for visitors to wander, it is vital to have proper signage that can help them navigate. Controlling the flow of foot traffic helps prevent congestion, which can detract from the museum visitor experience.

Using people counters at strategic entry and exit points can help pinpoint areas prone to traffic jams. This data gives you an opportunity to make improvements in crowd flow and can help determine the success of new exhibits.

Crafting memorable and enjoyable visitor experience is very important to your museum’s reputation and future success. Initiating these five strategies can help you build an environment that invites people to return. Your facility will become more valued by the community—and benefactors—once the word spreads about all the great experiences you have to offer.

If you’ve decided it’s time to start counting the adults and children who visit your museum each day with people counting technology like a video-based overhead sensor, contact Traf-Sys for a quote.

First-time visitors to your museum will leave with new knowledge and stunning visual memories that will inspire them to learn and create. Challenge: create museum visitor experiences that will also inspire them to return.  A visit to your museum should leave a lasting impression that may also spark conversations with friends and family or on social media, which can help direct even more people to your door.

Start improving your museum experience with people counters from Traf-Sys. Get a free quote today!

How to Boost Mall Traffic with a Consumer-Centered Retail Strategy

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The customer experience that you provide in your store is the bedrock of your success as a retailer. People counting solutions can provide valuable insights that reveal opportunities to improve customer service, optimize staffing, and boost your sales.

Customer service is one of the top factors people consider when they decide whether or not to visit your store. The RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report notes that “89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.” A second statistic, from Parature, says that “it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.”

Across America the traditional mall experience is morphing. Major U.S. mall owner’s like Simon Property Group, Westfield America, and GGP, faced with flagging mall traffic and unused space, are thinking outside of the box to attract shoppers and non-traditional tenants. The attempt to reinvigorate and revive the mall is resulting in a shopping, eating and entertainment mall model for the modern retail era.

Read the full article or skip to a specific section:

  • 5 Ways to Boost Mall Traffic
  • How to Increase Sales with People Counters
  • Understanding Shopper Counting Can Improve Customer Experience
  • Ready to start boosting your mall traffic? Request a quote for a people counting device today! 

    5 Ways to Boost Mall Traffic

    If you are looking for ways to boost your mall traffic and get shoppers through your doors, here are five creative ideas that can give your mall foot traffic a renewed boost.

    Turn your mall into an entertainment hub

    You need an incentive to attract customers into your mall and to spend time there. Consumers want more than a place to eat and shop—they want experiences. To increase mall traffic, dedicate spaces and hold events that offer forms of entertainment. Turn customer apathy into excitement with a variety of venues that entice them to visit your mall and stay longer.

    Hold community events

    Your current, unused mall space has the advantage of being large enough to serve as an event venue. This opens up opportunities to invite community groups and non-profit organizations to hold events year round and increase foot traffic.

    Wi-Fi hot spots

    Create a Wi-Fi café or multiple hot spots that promote a quiet haven for the growing work-from-home workforce or constantly connected mall visitor. You could offer snacks and drink choices that can be purchased while they check their email or reply to messages.

    Rent space to unconventional tenants

    Mall traffic can be increased dramatically by offering empty spaces to non-traditional types of tenants that offer entertainment options rather than retail shopping. How about a laser tag, indoor skate park or trampoline venue for the kids? Fitness centers, consignment shops, and specialty shops can also increase foot traffic.

    Mixed-use malls

    If entertainment options don’t necessarily work for your property, you may want to consider a mixed-use scenario to increase mall traffic. Many mall complexes around the country have adapted their empty areas to incorporate hotels or apartments, offices or play space. Target the people using those facilities by making them aware of the convenience of shopping nearby.

    Measure mall traffic

    Having a people counting solution in place before initiating these traffic-boosting strategies is important to measure the effectiveness of your efforts. Strategically place people counters in entrance points, parking garages, and entrances to specific venues spaces to track where your visitors are going. Over time, the data collected will help give you an idea of successful mall traffic trends and also areas that need improvement.

    Keep in mind that your investment in these solutions will provide a return long-term with increased traffic and an upswing in revenues. The data you collect will help you adapt your vision of mall spaces and choose the most profitable options for your business.

    Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (BOPSIS) 

    One smart way to get shoppers through your doors is to offer customer-friendly services such as “Buy Online, Pickup In-Store” (BOPIS). This smart strategy is the best of both worlds in a sense; it gives shoppers the convenience of purchasing online and the speed of retrieving their purchases at no additional charge and more quickly than waiting for a package in the mail.

    What’s more, BOPIS is a retail customer experience that drives additional sales beyond the products your customer purchased online. A Forrester report revealed that 46 percent of shoppers are enticed to spend above and beyond the original BOPIS purchase if they receive a personalized discount or deal when retrieving their purchases in store.

    How to Increase Sales with People Counters

    One of the biggest challenges for small to medium-sized retail business (SMB) owners is attracting customers to your store. To increase sales, you need to get people in the door, keep them coming back, and inspire them to tell their friends about the great shopping experiences you provide. Tools such as a people counting solution will help you work toward these goals and determine the success of your efforts as well.

    1. Understand Your Business. Consider the things that make you stand out from your competition. Formalize your unique value proposition (UVP) into a statement you can share with your management team and employees. Examine your processes (such as hours of operation, staffing, products, and marketing) as they relate to your UVP and make an honest assessment of your strengths and the areas where you could improve. Looking at these things from your customers’ perspective will help you figure out how to improve the customer experiences you provide.
    2. Know Your Target Audience. Trying to attract “the general public” is too vague and ineffective. Create a detailed profile of your typical customer so you can craft marketing messages that will appeal to those demographics. Compile and update a database of customer information, including addresses, order histories, and loyalty rewards. This data can help you shape personalized email invitations to attract customers. Foot traffic statistics from your people counter will provide insights into peak times for typical buyers and the areas of the store that draw the most attention, to complete your customer profile.
    3. Set Yourself Apart with Outstanding Service. One thing that will always attract customers is exceptional service. People counting solutions can help you deliver great experiences. For example, with foot traffic data, you can ensure adequate staffing during the busiest times of the day, week, month, or year, to avoid lengthy checkout lines. You can also tell which parts of the store are visited most, so you can adequately staff them with associates to assist shoppers with queries or make upselling suggestions. Great service from knowledgeable and attentive employees can lead to customer loyalty.  
    4. Keep in Contact. In today’s retail environment, shoppers expect to interact with retailers in stores and online through social media, texts, and email. Make sure your customer engagement strategy includes appealing to them on all channels. Send emails and texts to thank loyal shoppers and offer coupons or information about upcoming sales or other in-store events such as new product demos. Never underestimate the power of social media. Engage with customers who reach out to you or mention you on social media.
    5. Offer Promotions. A common strategy to attract customers is to offer promotions both in stores and online. These could include not only special deals such as “buy one, get one free” but also codes that people can share with friends to earn rewards. To tell whether an in-store campaign is successful, check your people counter to see if foot traffic increases during and after the promotional period.

    Start increasing sales at your mall today with a Traf-Sys people counting device. Request a free quote! 

    Understanding Shopper Counting Can Improve Customer Experience 

    Giving your shoppers a high-quality and highly enjoyable shopping experience is the key to ensuring that they visit your business again. Shopper counting and understanding how foot traffic moves and flows through your store can help you drastically improve your customers’ experience.

    • Display Promotions: Using people counters in separate sections of your store allows you to count how many people visit each area per day and, on a larger scale, per week, per month, and per year. This data can very easily help you to identify peak times of the year, month, week, and day for each section of your store.
    • Create Timed Promotions for Peak Visitor Times: You will also be able to identify which times of the year, month, week, and day your promotions would be the most successful. With your shopper counting data in mind, plan out your promotions ahead of time. 
    • Increase Staffing During Peak Times: It’s easy to predict these peak times and schedule more efficiently when you understand shopper counting. With people counters installed, you will be able to determine the peak times during the week and day during which may need to schedule a few more staff members. 

    Get Your Retail Traffic Counter From Traf-Sys

    Retail traffic counters help keep eyes on nearly every aspect of your retail store. Gathering these analytics can help you make the changes for a better, faster and more pleasant customer experience at your business.

    Contact Traf-Sys or request a quote to inquire about our services and how we can measure your mall traffic for a brighter and more successful future.

10 Ways the Casino Industry is Using People Counting Technology

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The casino industry is making a resurgence despite setbacks seen during the recent recession years. Casinos are enjoying increased revenue streams not only from the gaming aspects of their operations but from the restaurants, shows, shopping and other forms of non-gaming entertainment within their facilities.

Casino industry operators in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, throughout the U.S. and Native American Nations are using people counting technology installed at entrances and other key facility locations to understand better how patrons move through their casinos and the activities that are the biggest draws.

Here are ten ways people counters are a great benefit to this industry and why it is important for your business.

  1. Main entrance people counters: This can give you a total number of daily visitors coming into your casino. This data is vital to casino owners interested in gauging revenue percentages.

 

  1. Find high volume and low volume times: This data is helpful for scheduling special promotions or events to maximize revenue.

 

  1. In-casino service and entertainment locations: People counters can determine how many people visit shows, restaurants, bars or retail stores within the facility. The casino industry operators determine which services are successful—or not so successful—to determine funding and improve marketing.

 

  1. New game popularity: People counters can determine the success of new games being offered. If a new game is not doing as well as anticipated, perhaps moving it to a higher traffic area could “better the odds” of success.

 

  1. Sort out gamblers and non-gamblers: Using people counting data and observations, you can compare the number of people gambling with those just walking around or enjoying entertainment options.

 

  1. Forecast labor needs: People counters can help you determine when extra staffing for games, restaurants and security is required. Tracking casino patrons by the hour, day, week, month can also assist with optimizing facility management services such as heating, lighting, etc.

 

  1. Exterior people tracking: Know where your customers are coming from or going to with adjacent properties such as parking garages, outdoor pools or convention centers.

 

  1. General traffic flow: Knowing where the traffic flow is greatest can be beneficial for advertising or holding special promotional events. Perhaps a small entertainment venue near a bar where traffic flow tends to flourish can increase your overall sales revenue.

 

  1. Placement of equipment: People counters can help you place high revenue slots or ATMs in key areas where people tend to linger and need quick access to cash.

 

  1. Determine promotional success: People counters collect valuable data that is invaluable to a casino industry operator. The number of people who attend a special event, deal or promotion can help with future marketing and planning.

People counting technology from Traf-Sys, Inc. gives the casino industry more options for increased visibility into their operations. Real-time data collected by unobtrusive hardware can accurately gauge true interest by patrons of your games and other attractions within the facility. With the right resources in the right places, you will see a boost in revenue and popularity of your casino with proven people counter technology.

How to Count Crowds & Measure Attendance at Events

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You invested a lot of time and money planning, marketing, and holding your special event. After all is said and done, you may feel good about the outcome—it seemed like a success. Or was it? Your true marker for positive return on investment hinges on reliable large crowd counting to determine the actual number of people that attended your new store opening, a guest author engagement at your library or a visiting exhibit at your museum.

Using estimated counts or cruder methods of crowd size measuring do not give you the important data you need to determine success. Use these processes to get the answer you really need: The actual number of attendees.

How to Count Attendance at Events

Events that are enclosed and have defined entrance areas with a place to mount an overhead sensor in a doorway or entryway are the easiest to manage. Thermal-based and video-based sensor people counting devices are perfect for these situations and for large crowd counting.

Thermal devices monitor body heat signatures to collect data while video people counters have the ability to filter strollers and children, as well as tight groups of people entering at the same time, making it ideal for counting people at an event where you experience a heavier volume of foot traffic than you normally experience.

These people counting technologies can achieve a 95% to 98% accuracy rate so you can feel confident in your counts, regardless of the number of people that are attending your special event.

Estimating Attendance at Open Venues

Public events that are not ticketed such as community festivals, college days or outdoor fundraisers require a different method of large crowd counting and are a little trickier. However, you can also use thermal and video counting technology in these cases with a little creativity.

First, you will have to define a specific entrance area where all the guest must pass through. Second, you need to build something to give you overhead mounting capability for your people counting technology. Generally, this can be easily accomplished with a simple trussing system.

The extra effort is worthwhile when you consider how difficult it is to count the number of people at a free or public event. If your event is an annual occurrence, then understanding your attendance rates for budgeting and funding purposes is even more crucial.

Use People Counters to Count Attendance at Events

Using thermal-based or video-based sensors to gather accurate date and analyzing that data can provide information for journalistic or even historic records. Additionally, accurate large crowd counting arms you with ammunition to procure future funding by showing concrete proof of ROI. This hard data can also help determine staffing needs for future events, whether you need extra security or more volunteers to make things run smoothly.

Whatever your venue, understand that an accurate count of the extra people you bring into your space because of a special event is going to provide you valuable insight for planning future events.

Improve your next event with the help of Traf-Sys people counters. Request a free quote today!

What Retail Cleaning Services Have to Do with Traffic at Your Brick-and-Mortar Store

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“Cleanliness is a practice not a project.” Truer words may never have been spoken. Keeping your store clean with the help of retail cleaning services may result in financial benefits, according to the annual Healthy Hand Washing Survey sponsored by Bradley Corp.

Restroom conditions at your store may be considered a low priority for you and your staff when trying to juggle other business priorities, but the survey showed that people are more likely to shop at stores that have clean restroom facilities. In fact, about 60% make the decision to visit stores and spend money based simply on their appearance.

However, more than three-quarters of respondents reported that they have had unpleasant experiences with the condition of restrooms, which subsequently resulted in a lower perception of the retail stores. Look at the top five examples of negative survey results:

  • Clogged or unflushed toilets (83%)
  • Empty or jammed toilet paper dispenser (78%)
  • Non-latching stall (74%)
  • Unpleasant odors (73%)
  • Older fixtures or dirty appearance (72%)

The general attitude of those surveyed revealed that most people are unlikely to return to a business that has dirty restrooms or do not use retail cleaning services as a common practice.

Keep It Clean

With these insights from the survey, you are bound to want to keep facilities clean and make a good impression. But what’s the best plan? Here are some tips to keep your facilities well-maintained and your customers happy:

Establish an in-house janitorial staff or hire a professional retail cleaning service

Appoint someone or some entity to be responsible cleaning. It won’t happen if it is no one’s job. If there is bandwidth among your staff, you may be able to assign the task to in-house resources. More likely, however, you will need to find a retail cleaning service. There are many companies that specialize in cleaning retail businesses. Choose a company with a good reputation and rates that fit your budget.

Use a people counter to monitor traffic into your restrooms

Horizontal, doorframe mounted counters that use infrared beams can track each person entering your facilities. Prepare a work schedule with your retail cleaning service or in-house staff based on the number of people who use the facilities.

Practice preventive maintenance

Are all of your fixtures running properly? Leaky pipes, clogged toilets, non-functional sinks and hand dryers are an easy, less expensive fix than waiting for bigger problems to occur. Anything that could interfere with your customer’s experience should be part of a preventative maintenance checklist.

Use the facilities yourself

What better way to know how your customers feel than by using your own facilities? Imagine walking into the restroom for the first time. Make notes of any negative impressions. Do you get the sense that the facilities appear and smell sanitary? Test all the fixtures, towel and soap dispensers, and door latches on the stalls. Your personal experience can help you make any necessary changes if needed.

When customers enter and exit your store, what they tell others about their experience has a major impact on your reputation, brand and future revenue. You need repeat business to remain profitable, so it is vital to give people the best experience possible—including consistent retail cleaning services that let them know you care about all aspects of their shopping experiences.

The Pros and Cons of a Video-Based Sensor

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Overhead video-based sensors are an excellent way to track your customers entering and moving about your retail stores. This data can help you chart shopping trends or determine your staffing needs based on the busiest times of day. Using video-based sensors can also enhance security and theft prevention.

The video-based Eclipse people counter uses advanced image recognition technology that records highly accurate data under a wide set of conditions, such as high traffic areas, variable lighting, and wide entrance areas.

The Advantages of Video-Based People Counter

Consider these ways a video-based sensor for people counting can benefit your business:

  • Using multiple units, you have the ability to cover wide areas, which is beneficial for larger stores and shopping malls.
  • There is support for remote video capture when using an Internet-connected laptop or tablet.
  • In the event of a power outage, data can be safely stored within the solution’s flash memory, saving up to 10 days’ worth of data.
  • Video-based sensor counters can adjust quickly to changes in lighting and temperature.
  • These solutions have the ability to filter carts, children, and strollers, providing you a more accurate count of actual shoppers versus total number of people in the store.
  • It’s easy to upgrade these solutions so they are always running the latest software version.

When Video-Based People Counters May Not Be the Right Solution for You

Even though video-based people counters offer a wide variety of advantages, there are situations in which they may not be the optimal choice. Here are some additional facts to consider:

  • Areas of your facility affected by shadows, complex backgrounds or varying light levels may impact the counting accuracy of a video-based counter.
  • The capital investment and time and labor cost for installation is sometimes greater than for thermal sensor or infrared beam people counting systems.

Which System is Better?

Business owners and managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. The fact is, both systems have their advantages. A thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts, whereas overhead video-based sensors give you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for. Speak an experienced people counting solution provider to determine which is the right system for your business.

Traf-Sys is dedicated to providing solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data. Learn more about the Eclipse video-based sensor system here.

Reasons to Choose Thermal Imaging People Counters

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There are many people counting products available in the retail business market (e.g., door-mounted horizontal infrared beams, overhead video, thermal imaging, etc.), and not every type is right for every application. For malls and larger retail stores, museums, and libraries, the smart choice is a thermal imaging people counter designed to accurately monitor foot traffic numbers and pattern and to provide insights into customer or patron habits. Traf-Sys designed its Gazelle series thermal imaging systems to meet the challenges of these applications and deliver the best coverage and data collecting accuracy in the market today.

Here are six reasons thermal imaging people counters are the best investment for your business:

Foot Traffic Data from Thermal People Counters

A thermal imaging people counter provides more accurate foot traffic data when compared with less expensive systems such as infrared beam door monitors. Using infrared radiation detection, it is triggered by body heat, and can determine exactly how many people enter your store. Our Gazelle IP features state-of-the-art thermal counting technology and also provides you remote configuration capabilities.

Variable Lighting Conditions

Whether your establishment has bright sunlight or darker, lower lighting conditions, a thermal imaging people counter will be able to accurately determine traffic data because it does not depend on ambient light. The infrared sensors monitor temperature changes only, so the amount of light is irrelevant. This is especially beneficial in rapidly changing lighting conditions such as day-to-night outdoor monitoring. Our Gazelle 2 90° Wide-Angle Format people counting sensor is designed for highly accurate counts in these conditions. It also provides a 40% greater detection area than standard counters.

Accuracy Over an Extended Area

Larger facilities such as major retail businesses, university libraries, and museums have a more complex layout but still need an accurate people count over a large area for proper data analysis. Using multiple thermal imaging solutions, such as our Gazelle DualView or Gazelle IP along with Gazelle IP Node and Gazelle Relay Output for areas where a wired connection is impractical, provide counting capability over extended areas.

Easy Installation

Do you prefer a system that can be installed well out of the way? Thermal people counters usually are ceiling mounted — though they can be affixed to a wall with brackets if preferred — and you can install them between 11.5 feet and 27 feet from the ground. Discrete and unobtrusive, thermal people counters are a great solution for businesses looking to keep their traffic-tallying technology tucked away.

Array of Sizes of Thermal People Counters

While some people counters are limited in terms of where they can be installed effectively, thermal people counters perform well in entrances that are expansive or narrow, again because they rely on heat mapping to assign a count to each person in your doorway. In especially wide entrances, you can network together several thermal people counters to ensure that you’re achieving the most accurate count possible.

Thermal people counters also separate individuals entering from those who are exiting so you better understand the comings and goings of your traffic patterns.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging People Counter vs. Video Counters

Business owners and facility managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. Each system has its own advantages, a thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts and video gives you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for.

Why debate? A solution that integrates both technologies will provide you with the best of both worlds. For example, in a retail application where you want to consider only adult consumers who enter a store, you can opt for our Gazelle DualView that includes thermal detection technology along with video that enables verification.

Choose Traf-Sys Thermal Imaging People Counters

Thermal imaging people counters are clearly the best choice for retail stores or other facilities that have high customer traffic, larger coverage areas, and challenges with lighting. Our Gazelle series incorporates this technology into solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data.

Click to learn more about our Gazelle series or request a quote for additional information.

The Ultimate Guide To People Counting

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People Counting Process

People counting technology allows you to simply keep track of the number of people that enter a given area at any given time. At Traf-Sys, we have taken the basic analog person counter concept and made it digital. Our digital people counter is not only fast, efficient and automatic, but it also allows you to collect much more and more useful data than merely the number of people who have entered the area.

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Understand Pedestrian Traffic At Each Entrance & Exit

Our pedestrian counters are designed to count each person who walks through the area where the sensor is set up as one person. Because you are usually only concerned with how many people are entering your facility, not how many are leaving, you will need either a bi-directional patron counter that can tell the difference, or you will want to divide your total count at the end of the day by two — since, presumably, everyone who enters eventually leaves.

You should be sure to put one of our pedestrian counters at every entrance where a person may access the customer-facing portion of your facility. Also, do not forget that a horizontal people counter has difficulty registering two people who enter at the exact same time, so if your entrances are wide enough to accommodate multiple people at once, you will want to be sure to install an overhead person counter.

Retail environments come in many different sizes and configurations, from intimate boutiques to mega-sized superstores. People counting requirements can also vary widely, from simply tallying how many people come through the door to highly detailed mapping of customer movement. Fortunately, there are a wide range of technologies designed to fit a variety of location types, business needs and budgets.

Mounting Locations For Your People Counting Technology

The layout of your facility will influence where your sensors are mounted. Entrance width, door type and ceiling height are important variables to consider when selecting your system.

Horizontal Wired/Wireless Counting Systems

These people counting systems are the most basic and least expensive option. They can be mounted on a door frame to measure foot traffic coming into your business.

Independent boutiques, single-door gift shops, and smaller retail locations have found great success using horizontal people counting solutions. These systems offer solid basic data on overall foot traffic, and can reveal which times of day or which days of the week generate more foot traffic than others. Business owners have been able to use data from horizontal solutions to adjust their staffing levels so they have the right personnel on hand based on their needs.

  • PROS: Horizontal people counter systems are best for smaller physical establishments with a relatively low density of people moving through at any given time.
  • CONS: The accuracy of these systems is affected by entrance width limitations and possible prolonged blocking of the beam by lingering customers, which may lead to missed counts.

Overhead Traffic Counting Systems

This type of people counting solution is a great option for retailers who require greater accuracy when counting customer traffic. Data from the solution can be fed into analytics software, which maps traffic zones throughout your store. This data is valuable when placing promotional displays or determining staffing needs.

  • PROS: Greater accuracy than horizontal systems and ability to differentiate between adults and children.
  • CONS: Depending on your business’ needs, you may need to use a combination of technologies to reach the level of accuracy you need for your data to be useful.

Types Of People Counting Sensor

As technology advances, facility managers have access to multiple types of sensors for collecting data. Every sensor has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to work with a people counting expert when making your selections.

Infrared Beam Counters (IR People Counters)

This systems project a horizontal infrared beam across the entrance. The people counter records each “break” of the beam as a single customer as they cross the entrance threshold.

  • PROS: It’s a less expensive option for basic applications, and it’s also quick and easy to install.
  • CONS: The beam range is limited, and these systems are not the best options for wider entrances.

Thermal Counting Sensors

This system uses heat from customer’s bodies to track when they enter and move about your store. The accuracy is very high with this people counting solution especially in areas with a lot of ambient light. It also works well in low light areas, which is beneficial for security and loss prevention. Similar to the horizontal counters, thermal people counting systems can be wireless, but unlike the aforementioned system, the ranges of thermal sensors can be extended to fit almost any layout or building size with the use of repeaters.

  • PROS: It provides accurate data on multidirectional movement of customers inside and outside your store. Wide entrances are covered with a high degree of accuracy. In fact, the accuracy of thermal overhead sensor technology is at or above 95%.
  • CONS: Thermal sensors are more expensive because of the enhanced technology. The lower resolution and field of vision make it harder to distinguish between adults and children, which may affect demographic accuracy. Also, the customers must be in motion for the sensor to capture their signal. External weather conditions may also inhibit sensor accuracy.

Video-Based Overhead Sensors

This type of system is ceiling-mounted and uses video to track customer foot traffic in your business. They work best in consistent lighting environments and provide highly detailed information about customers entering and moving around your establishment.

  • PROS: They are able to cover a wide area when combined with multiple video-based units. You can capture video remotely using a laptop or tablet connected to the internet. This technology also has the ability to filter carts, children, and strollers, providing a more accurate count of actual shoppers versus total number of people in the store.
  • If the power were to go out, these systems are equipped with a flash memory that can store up to ten days’ worth of data.Software upgrades are easy for video-based overhead sensors and can also adjust to lighting and weather changes.
  • CONS: Video-based systems are more expensive than infrared and thermal people counters. Shadows, backgrounds and inconsistent light levels can affect the accuracy of these systems.

Ready to choose the people counter that is right for you? Get a free quote today and we’ll get one installed in your business. 

Why Is People Counting Useful?

What types of insights can come as a result of foot traffic counting? In fact, the value of foot traffic counting data can be massively significant for your business. Just a few of them include:

Deployment Strategy: Just a one-half percent increase in foot traffic can mean an increase in profits of hundreds of thousands of dollars for a large chain. If you are managing a retail store, a retail traffic counter can tell you when the most customers are likely to be in your store, so you can have more employees on hand at that time, improving customer service and making more sales possible. You can also choose these times to bring out new or more expensive inventory and make other useful decisions based on this data.

Monitor traffic flow: People counting systems are especially useful during holiday sales times to make sure the stores are not overcrowded and also to monitor traffic flow inside the store. Once the shopper is inside a store, a people counting system with heat mapping technology can be used to see how they shopped, which ways they traversed the aisles and what displays they lingered in front of and for how long. This technology is useful when testing out new floor and display configurations and other in-store promotional tools, like digital signage. Knowing how shoppers flow through your retail space will help you ensure that you have displays with the most sought-after items at the front of the store or in an easily found location.

Marketing Feedback: Evaluate the success of marketing campaigns with reliable customer counting. Too often, businesses feel like their marketing efforts are successful when they are not. A digital person counter can provide hard, undeniable data on whether or not your marketing strategy is resulting in greater traffic. If it’s not, you can end that strategy or promotion, saving you untold amounts of money. If it is working, you can build upon those efforts.

Staffing Decisions: Is your business really benefiting from being open 24 hours? Are you paying a full staff during dead periods where no one is in your store? One of the most basic functions of a people counting system is to tell you when people enter and exit your business and at what times. A Traf-Sys digital people counter can provide you with the data you need about specific periods, letting you know when the entire team is needed and when you can get by with paying only a skeleton crew, or even by closing during those hours.
Security: People counting information can let you know when the highest foot traffic times are, and hence, the most important times to have a strong security presence. Not only will this be better for the overall safety of your establishment, but it can also help you save money by not paying for extra security during times when you do not need it.

Who Can Benefit From People Counting?

It is our experience that any business that relies on physical customers or patrons can benefit significantly from people counting hardware. This includes places like shopping malls and retail stores, stadiums, casinos and concert halls. Visitor counting can also be extremely useful in areas where knowing attendance can affect policy and funding, such as:

  • Non-Profit Ventures: Visitor counting information can be used as data for funding requests, letting donors know how frequently the non-profit venture is being used and lending support to requests for expansion funds.
  • Libraries: Use our sensors to determine how many people are visiting the library relative to how many books people check out, providing important data about circulation rates. This can help you know how many books you need to order/keep in stock and what your staffing needs are.
  • Student Unions and Other School Buildings: Let university management know how often students and/or faculty are using the Student Union and other school buildings — and how many people are using them — for use in staffing decisions, expansion plans, budget appropriation and other strategic decisions.

Get Started With A People Counting Solution From Traf-Sys

People counting technology is an increasingly powerful tool for retailers looking to test different marketing strategies, identify showrooming risks and maximize revenue. Data analysis from people counters can provide valuable insights that retailers can leverage to improve their business. Available in a variety of forms to suit each retailer’s need, these systems are proving to be critical to retailers looking to stay successful and relevant in such a competitive market.

Choosing the right type of people counter for your business or organization will mean more accurate data and, ultimately, a greater return on investment.

The experts at Traf-Sys are ready to provide you with the information on the various types of people counters available and help you design a solution that gets you the results you need.