Reduce Queues with People Counting Technology

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businessman's hand & steel grocery cart full of money stacks - iThe ability to collect and analyze information about your in-store performance is invaluable. Determining the effectiveness of layouts, promotions displays, and your checkout queue can be difficult to capture. Sure, it’s possible to glean sales information from your point of sale system, but it can’t tell you a true conversion rate. How many people entered your store’s queue but left without making a purchase? Are sales down but foot traffic the same? What changed?

The answer to all these questions can be determined with people counting technology.

Step 1: Place People Counting Technology in Queue Entrances.

People counting technology can give you the missing piece of information when you’re analyzing your conversion rate. Placing it at key areas can allow you to assess specific aspects of your store. By placing people counting technology at the entrance to your queue, you’ll be able to see exactly how many people have entered your line with the intention to make a purchase.

Step 2: Combine Data with Sales Data from POS System.

Your point of sales system will be able to provide the other half of the equation—sales data. You’ll be able to determine how many people made a purchase for a given amount of time. Make sure that this time period is consistent with the length of time that your people counting technology has been capturing your queue traffic.

Step 3: Evaluate if you are Losing Business in the Queue.

If you are finding that your people counting technology is capturing more footfall than your POS system is capturing sales, you have a problem with your queue. This information can provide you with a baseline for how your queue is performing. Are lines excessively long? Are they dwindling before customers reach the checkout? As you begin making adjustments to your checkout line, you’ll now be able to compare the conversion rate to that of the original baseline to see if you are improving or not.

Step 4: Brainstorm Solutions to Solve the Problem.

There could potentially be a number of problems that are resulting in your lower-than-expected conversion rate at the queue. Do you have adequate staff to move customers through the line quickly? Using people counting technology in the entrances to your store can provide you with information on how many people are entering your store. If there appears to be high traffic with minimal staffing, you may want to consider optimizing your staffing levels. You’ll then be able to see how increasing the number of customer service representatives influences the conversion rate through your queue.

Maybe you need promotional or engaging signage throughout the line to keep customers interested. You can then measure if these promotions encourage people to complete their transaction.

You may not realize that your store has an issue with its queue until the appropriate data can be collected from people counting technology and then compared with your sales data. Operating in blissful ignorance is no way to run a successful store. Customers who enter your queue are interested in your product and want to make a purchase. Don’t let them slip away because you didn’t realize your queue was under performing.

People Counting Solutions: Do Colleges’ Shiny New Buildings Hide a Secret?

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87165432If you’ve got kids, chances are, you know college is expensive. Whether your kids are still in diapers or getting ready to graduate high school, you’re probably very familiar with the looming cost of higher education.

As the cost of a four-year degree continues to rise, enrollment is declining. In 2012, the number of students attending college fell by almost half a million people after more than 20 years of rising enrollment. One would think that higher learning institutions would also cut their costs to help attract new students, but it’s exactly the opposite.

Infrastructure is king

Across the country, colleges are building shiny new buildings for students. At the University of California at San Diego, $2 billion worth of new facilities, including a new engineering building, an addition to the school of management and several other new structures, including a parking garage, labs, an apartment and dining complex and a music center were either recently completed or in the process of planning, design or construction.

Across the US, colleges have seen a decrease in their numbers amid rising tuition rates. Shortfalls are being covered with alumni donations and endowments that are also dwindling, as people have to reach deeper into their pockets just to pay their tuition bills.

According to The Hechinger Report, since 2010, universities and colleges have spent more than $11 billion on building new facilities—twice what they spent in 2000, a boom year compared to the economic doldrums of 2010-2012.

But nothing is free

So what happens after these state-of-the-art buildings are completed and there are not enough students to fill them or pay the bills to keep the lights on? In a time when universities are looking to trim their budgets, the square footage is increasing and these new additions need to be heated, cooled, cleaned and maintained.

Some industry experts estimate that construction costs only make up a third of what it costs to maintain a building over its lifetime. When you add in repairs and maintenance, the bills skyrocket.

At the University of California at Riverside, there were two buildings planned for a new medical school. One of the buildings was built and the other had to be delayed because there wasn’t enough money in the budget to run both, causing the opening of the medical school to be pushed back.

Despite anecdotes like this one, the building boom is not going to subside anytime soon because a university relies on state-of-the-art facilities and comfortable buildings to help them attract students. But colleges can be smarter about how they plan and optimize new buildings to make sure they are used to their fullest potential.

Do we need all of these buildings?

Universities that want to control their spending and trim operating budgets can use people counting technology to help them plan and use these new structures so they don’t have a campus full of buildings with each one operating 50 percent capacity.

Schools can also use this technology to help them map trends in other buildings for future planning. If a new residence hall is in the planning stages, traffic counting can help architects and engineers plan the building so it will be utilized to its maximum potential. This is especially important when considering operating budgets because a building with a lot of wasted space still needs to be maintained.

Traffic counting technology should also be employed in gathering places, like university libraries, student unions and dining halls. By tracking peak hours and shifts, universities can ensure they have each location appropriately staffed and that they are not overbuying food products for dining halls or other items needed for their day-to-day operations.

Traf-Sys People Counting Solutions Featured In Jewelry Industry’s InStore Magazine

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InStoreMag.comTraf-Sys Inc. supplies people counting solutions to major jewelry retailers such as Pandora and Alex+Ani, and was featured on this month in an article about customer counting. InStore is a print and online magazine featuring the latest news, stories and tips in the retail industry. Written by Josh Wimmer, the article discusses different models of traffic counters and the benefits they can bring to retailers.

The article suggests that people counting systems are more cost efficient than just using traditional point of sale systems, as they are less expensive and provide more informed sales insight. However, as with most technology, the more you pay the better the quality of your customer counting system.

“The least expensive counters require you to walk over and manually write down the counts,” Chris Wadsworth, Traf-Sys Inc.’s President noted in the article. “A lot of stores see value in spending a bit more for an automated system that transmits counts to their computer wirelessly.”

Wadsworth recognizes that aspect of his clients’ needs. Traf-Sys traffic counters offer seamless integration with retail point of sale systems.

In addition to costs, Wadsworth also offered InStore readers advice on counter models. He explained that entrance layouts play a part in choosing the right counter for a retail store.

“What type of counter you use depends on how many entrances you have and how wide they are,” he said. “If you have a wide entrance, more than one person can walk through at a time, which throws off your count with some of the technologies.”

The article highlighted the Traf-Sys IP Thermal Sensor, explaining that it can be tailored to each retailer’s unique entrance for optimum accuracy. Wimmer mentioned that it can be combined with other sensors for wider areas. Traf-Sys also offers video, dual view, horizontal, bidirectional and unidirectional people counters in order for retailers to choose the correct hardware for their entrance.

Wimmer showcased Brian Toone of the Jewelry Design Center in Washington, who installed an infrared beam – like Traf-Sys’s IP-Connnected, Dual View and Wireless Thermal Sensor options – over the front entrance of his store. This allows him to receive deliveries through his employee-only entrance in the back of the store without interfering with his traffic count.

“It helps you plan vacation time,” Toone said of his infrared people counter. “It helps you see how effective your staffing is. It’s also nice for parties; it gives you a count. RSVPs are never very accurate.”

Traf-Sys to Exhibit at NRF’s Annual Convention

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Company to Showcase Traffic Counting Solutions for Retailers

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – January 3, 2013 – Traf-Sys Inc., a leading provider of wireless people counting solutions, will be exhibiting at the 102nd National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Annual Convention from January 13th-16th at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Known as “Retail’s BIG Show,” the annual NRF Convention is an event where the retail community gathers each year to network with peers and learn about new technologies impacting the retail industry.

Located at booth #2741, Traf-Sys will showcase two people counting solutions specifically designed for use in retail store and shopping mall settings. The first solution, the Vision Apex Stereo, is a traffic counter that uses advanced stereo vision and object tracking technology to provide extreme accuracy – distinguishing among children and adults – and accounting for inanimate objects such as shopping carts and strollers. Traf-Sys will also feature the IP-Connected Thermal Sensor. Thermal imaging people counters use heat to detect people traffic and are among the most accurate counters around.

“In today’s competitive retail environment, the ability to accurately count traffic helps organizations run more efficiently,” stated Chris Wadsworth, President of Traf-Sys Inc. “Our solutions empower customers with information that helps them make more informed decisions on marketing, facilities management, staffing, security and many other business areas.”

To learn more about how people counting solutions can improve the profitability of your retail operations, stop by booth #2741 at the convention, or visit

Walker Wireless is now a part of Traf-Sys People Counting Systems

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Two leaders in the People Counting industry have joined together to provide a wider selection of technology options and excellent customer service. Pittsburgh based company, Traf-Sys Inc, has purchased Walker Wireless to combine their efforts and reach new markets. Traf-Sys Inc has been providing complete people counter systems since 1996 and has specialized in handling large enterprise-level clients such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

Walker Wireless was originally founded in 1986 by Mark Walker as the MWalker company. The company entered the People Counting industry by providing cost-effective, reliable people counter devices to libraries that had a need to provide patron counts in order to quantify and justify funding for buildings and special projects. Over the years, MWalker provided counters to government agencies, colleges and retailers.

In 2002, MWalker started using wireless technology to transmit patron count data from people counting devices to a PC or a PC network. MWalker was then renamed to Walker Wireless LLC.

In 2008, Walker Wireless introduced the ConceptOne sensor family which would be used for environmental and condition monitoring over a WiFi connection. These sensors would be used for health care, food safety and industrial monitoring applications.

In April of 2009, Walker Wireless was purchased by Traf-Sys People Counting Systems and will continue to provide quality people counting devices and environmental monitoring sensors. The cost-effective wireless people counting devices provided by Walker Wireless will be a perfect fit with Traf-Sys People Counting Systems selection of people counters and systems. The environmental monitoring sensors provided by Walker Wireless will also allow Traf-Sys to expand into new markets and opportunities. Together, the companies will be able to provide a greater variety of technologies and even better customer service and support.

The next generation of reporting and analysis for your customer traffic data is now available

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The VisiCount People Counter Software has been updated to provide even better reporting and analysis tools for your customer counting needs. We’ve been able to greatly improve and enhance the VisiCount People Counter Software using feedback from our users and advances in software technology.

VisiCount 2.0 Features:

  • New and Improved web interface
  • New Report Gallery Reports
  • Site Occupancy Report. Use Directional People Counters to estimate the current occupancy of a site at any given time of day.
  • Trend Inbound vs. Outbound customer traffic data.
  • Weather and Special Events reports with the ability to retrieve historical weather information from local weather stations, automatically.
  • Period Performance Reports. View Customer Traffic, Transactions and Sales information all in one report.

Contact Traf-Sys People Counters for a live demo today.

Traf-Sys to Exhibit at National Retail Federation Annual 2009 Tradeshow

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January 12th through the 13th 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Booth# 975

Traf-Sys will be an exhibitor at the 2009 National Retail Federation convention in New York City. Stop by our booth, meet our staff, and learn how Traf-Sys People Counting technology can help benefit your business.

For more information about NRF 2009 go to

Seattle-Based Advertising Company Measures The Audience of Digital Signage

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Using people counters to measure audience

Seattle Digital Signage is the leading provider of affordable digital billboard advertising solutions, digital signage kiosk, iPosters, and electronic tickers in Seattle, Washington. They use the Traf-Sys Wireless Infrared Beams to measure the audience for their advertisements. This information gives them the advantage of knowing how many people their advertisements are reaching which allows them to target larger audiences.

You can learn more about Seattle Digital Signage at their website,