Why Should I Measure Foot Traffic? (And Other Frequently Asked Questions)

Today, customers have more choices about where to shop—both in-store and online–than ever before, so business owners need to have better insight when it comes to planning a new location, advertising campaign, staff scheduling and security.

It used to be enough to ask people, “how did you hear about us?” to gauge the effectiveness of a promotion or a new store opening. But as shoppers’ habits evolve, and word-of-mouth recommendations, showrooming and other variables come into play, it’s clear that asking people that golden question just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Knowing where, when and why customers are shopping can go a long way to helping business owners and managers make smarter choices about how they allocate their resources.

Not convinced? Have some questions? The Traf-Sys team is prepared to help. Below, please find some of the most frequently asked questions about people counters and why they are a smart addition to any business.

Q: Why should I measure foot traffic?

A: Counting visitors is invaluable for any business. Retailers can use their transactions as a baseline to see how many opportunities could be converted into sales. Libraries, museums, government or not-for-profit entities can use the counting statistics to manage their facilities and support funding requests and expansion plans.

Q: Will an automated system count my employees, and other non-customers? Does this affect how I look at my traffic statistics?

A: Yes. These non-customers will be built into the counting statistics, so your numbers will contain an error rate. This is why it is important to focus on the baseline in the numbers and the change in the statistics over time. Usually the error rate is a small percentage of the total, it is constant and affects all businesses.

Q: Do I need to divide my traffic statistics by two to get an accurate count of how many people came into my facility?

A: If you are using directional sensors, then they will correctly register you as an IN or OUT count. With these smart sensors, no dividing by two is necessary!

If you are using a uni-directional sensor, which does not know the direction of the person when it records a count, then you can set up the VisiCount software to automatically divide the counts by two.

Q: I have done a test where we manually counted for an hour, but our results are different from the VisiCount reports. Why are the results different?

A: It’s not a good idea to directly compare system counts to manual counts, because there will always be some delay in the system from when a sensor records a count to when it is published in the VisiCount software. As a result, late counts in a current hour may appear in the next hour on the reports. Also, if the system time is not on the same clock as the manual tester, a few seconds difference can mean two different explanations of when counts occurred.

Instead, try a live data test. Watch the counts in real time to ensure the system is correctly counting people coming in or going out.

Contact Traf-Sys Support for instructions.