The phrase “there is power in numbers” is true for many things, but this is especially true for a business owner. Knowing how many people are supporting your store or restaurant is a key factor in evaluating your business’ performance, creating revenue projections and determining what marketing techniques are the most effective.
There are four main reasons you should consider installing a people counting system:
Measure traffic: The basis of any evaluation is the hard numbers of how many people are simply coming and going. A people counting system empowers a single-location store/restaurant or a chain of stores and restaurants with the technology to track how many people come through the doors. The sales reports and periodic counts by employees will only tell you part of the story– reports from your people counting system can be generated for different times of the day, week, holiday and shifts to ensure your store is staffed effectively during the busiest days/times.
Evaluate promotions: Those glossy mailers and advertisements can get pricey, so it’s good to know which promotions are drawing traffic to your store or restaurant and which ones are not piquing customers’ interests. A people counting system will count the total visitors who come through the doors, but that’s only part of the equation. Some systems can be integrated with your POS terminal to track an uptick in sales of a certain product or service during the promotional period. If you mail a coupon to everyone on your mailing list, and there is an increase in shoppers coming to the store to use the coupon, the POS data will reflect that. However, if there is no spike in sales numbers for the featured item or service, it’s a solid indication that the promotion needs to be reviewed and possibly changed before you try again.
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 especially 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.
Optimize labor needed based on customer/visitor volume: 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. After using this technology for a week, month or a year, you can establish a pattern of what days and times the store is the busiest and schedule your staff accordingly. This will help ensure that you have enough employees in the store to properly staff every area. That way, no one is unassisted or unmonitored during peak hours, and resources aren’t being wasted by having too many employees on the floor during slow shifts.
For these reasons, a people counting system can be vital to the success of a business. Businesses can definitely get by without one, but getting by should never be the goal of a business. A people counting system can help a store or restaurant reach its full potential. When properly executed, people counting benefits owners, employees, and customers alike.