A lot has been written about how effective people counting systems are in retail stores, malls, airports, event centers, libraries, and other locations where it’s important to measure visitors accurately. People counting devices can be used for more than just counting traffic nowadays; they can also predict visitor behavior in physical spaces, tell you which zones are visited the most, when people are more likely to visit, and if they make purchases. Moreover, a modern, accurate traffic counting sensor can provide you with a breakdown of customer age and gender, while also complying with the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Adopting traffic counting technology for your physical location is a smart move if you own a retail chain, manage a store, operate a mall, or operate an entertainment venue. However, before you choose a people counting system for your retail business you should consider the pitfalls and peculiarities of working with these traffic tracking systems. You’re likely to benefit greatly from this technology if you run a brick-and-mortar business, but you may end up spending money on perks you don’t need or you may purchase an outdated and inefficient sensor, and making business decisions with inaccurate data can lead to disasters.
In this article, we explain why you should opt for a modern and super-accurate people counter, and what qualities you should be on the market for when buying one.
The Most Important Quality: Accuracy
The accuracy of a people counter is at times overlooked by potential customers. Regardless of the reason, nearly perfect accuracy is arguably the most important quality a people counter should offer. Traffic counting technologies are primarily used for making data-driven decisions to maximize revenue, optimize store experience, and understand the customer journey; you can’t make “data-driven decisions” when the pillar of your marketing strategy, the customer data, is corrupted or unreliable.
We’re not going to dive deep in and explain why an old and outdated technology can do more harm than good to your retail business, because we already have. Just know that infrareds, CCTVs, thermal sensors, and other types are all outdated and fail to count people coming in and out of a store accurately. They can’t separate groups of people (and end up counting them as one person), nor can they track the customer journey or deliver you any data on storefront activities. They have issues working under different light conditions and provide unreliable and impractical insights.
Here V-Count’s Ultima AI takes the cake as it uses the most advanced 3D active stereo vision technology with an HD resolution and offers up to 99% people counting accuracy. To provide accurate and reliable counting, 3D active stereo vision technology processes the combined images into depth maps.
These cutting-edge sensors can even distinguish people and objects and count them correctly. Plus, a high field of view allows this technology to cover the entire area, which is cost-effective for store owners.
All the important data you collected from your store and customers has to go somewhere and become meaningful. Fast and easy access to a secure and highly customizable online dashboard is a must-have if you truly want to understand what your store is telling you. The online analytics tool must offer more than just some basic information, it has to turn all the information people counting sensor gathers and generate easy-to-understand, comprehensive and actionable reports.
Ideally, the online visitor analytics tool offers hundreds of KPIs and solutions to help you optimize your stores and staff, come up with new marketing plans that suit your business, and measure the effectiveness of in-play marketing strategies.
If you’re running a franchise or multiple stores at different locations, this online platform should be able to give you extensive reports for each store under one system and offer you meaningful comparison tools to show you the true narrative behind the performance of each store.
If your store is following certain health rules and guidelines and you need to keep track of how many people are inside the store at that moment to act accordingly, then this dashboard should provide you with a real-time occupancy solution. For instance, gyms and fitness centers use this technology to regain customers they’ve lost during the pandemic. The ones who show that they care do significantly better than the outdated ones.
Special Features and Solutions
Consider a people counting technology that offers flexible features that can adapt to different scenarios. You want your people counting solution to be cost-effective, so why pay for features you won’t use now or in the future? There’s, of course, another side to this coin; why limit yourself to an outdated system and leave no room for upgrades? Your goal is to gain a competitive advantage and improve your business’ performance. Once you start getting results you’ll need more customer-oriented solutions to take your business to the next level.
Simply put, make sure it meets your current needs and is scalable for future needs. Asses where you want your business to be in the near future and ask yourself these questions: How can you streamline your data if you want to expand? Can the traffic counting technology be integrated with your POS system, making it possible to track conversion rates? Do you need zone analytics to track your premium products’ attraction and sales? Will your future marketing strategies include targeting specific demographics? The questions may differ depending on the nature of your retail business, but you get the gist.
Present and Future Costs of People Counting Systems
On the surface, investing in traffic counting technologies and solutions may seem costly, but when used correctly, a traffic counter can pay for itself very quickly. With enough data, you can optimize your staff and store layout to save on energy costs. You can also use people counters to manage inventory by ensuring you order the right amount of products and avoid paying for products you won’t sell in a timely manner.
Either way, you need to determine how much it costs to purchase, install, and maintain customer traffic counters before purchasing a system. Keep in mind the cost of technical support and, if necessary, future expansions and integrations.
People counting systems are more expensive than handheld counters, but they provide significantly more value in every imaginable scenario. There are a few visitor analytics providers that offer free demos to potential customers as a means of reducing the risk for the buyer. Seeing the benefits of the system first-hand makes it easier for them to make a decision to purchase. V-Count is one of the visitor analytics providers that offers a free demo. If you are unsure about what technology or solutions you need in order to grow your business, you can speak with our experts.
People counting systems that are accurate and flexible enough to meet both present and future needs are exactly what today’s businesses need not only the survive but grow too.
A visitor analytics provider that offers you secure cloud storage, incredible accuracy, hundreds of KPIs, a customizable online dashboard, easy-to-grasp reports that can be generated automatically or at will, and solid customer support is what you should be looking for. V-Count provides all of these, along with technical support to ensure that customers’ devices are working properly at all times and wherever they’re across the world. Make sure to reach out to us for a free trial.