While the world is slowly limping back to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic, the way technology influenced business operations worldwide during the peak of the pandemic will set new benchmarks for customer service even after the pandemic dies out. In the case of businesses, public health and safety, better in-store experiences and personalized shopping would be the need of the hour to regain a portion of the market share lost to e-commerce during the pandemic. Automated footfall counting is a viable solution to all this and more. It provides efficient and accurate data to keep the business on track and to manage the looming pandemic. In this article, we’ll find out the benefits of implementing the technology in any store.
We’re all still learning to be comfortable in crowds. As the pandemic becomes unpredictable we still can’t give up on the idea of social distancing. But managing the crowd and following government regulations can be a challenge to stores big and small. Automated footfall counting is an innovation that is best positioned to help businesses better serve customers and improve store experiences in a post COVID world.
In fact, studies show that the market for people counting systems would reach a staggering USD 1.3 billion by 2025 worldwide.
In simple terms, automated footfall counting refers to the usage of technology to identify the number of people entering or exiting a particular environment. The technology used involves several traditional as well as modern smart systems like cameras, IR counters, lasers, advanced motion detectors, IoT sensors, and much more. The best option for enabling automated people counting is to leverage all or most of these technologies by uniting the data aggregated by them and empowering accurate footfall figures validated by multiple sources.
So why is there a rapid increase in interest from businesses to implement automated footfall counting?
If implemented, businesses stand to gain a lot of benefits in different areas of management. From safety to marketing, the benefits to leverage are multiple.
Let’s take a look at it.
We all know how the COVID 19 pandemic disrupted the traditional model of business operations. Governments across the world imposed severe restrictions on movement and public gatherings to curb the spread. Even though there has been a progressing level of relaxation, one of the key mechanisms that have successfully helped reduce the spread is the prevention of crowding within closed doors. This is an important measure along with the enforcement of social distancing. Such a system can help businesses manage the number of people inside their premises at any time. During such healthcare emergencies, the system helps businesses comply with government regulations regarding the permissible number of people. This also helps planning waiting areas and other amenities within the facility and its surroundings.
While great products and services are always key in winning customer loyalty, industries like retail require a great purchase experience as well to keep loyalty levels high. In-store experiences are welcomed when people find what they were looking for in the shortest possible time. For example, a retail chain having stores globally will have to offer diverse experiences across each of its stores or stores in a region. This demographic preference from shoppers can be understood by analyzing data from using this solution. The number of times people spend at a particular aisle or department within the store may vary according to the store location. Having the right data allows retailers to stock products on their shelves depending on how each demographic customer base prefers quicker access.
Related article on Automated customer traffic analysis
The crowd at an aisle in most cases depicts the interest that a particular product can garner. Just as how we explained the positioning of products intelligently using automated people counting, the same system can help in assigning staff responsibilities depending on traffic within zones in the same store. This will avoid long wait times for customers and a lesser queue of people waiting for staff attention within the premise as well. Having more knowledgeable personnel in areas where footfall is higher can help in a better volume of sales. A big retail chain in Australia leveraged our state-of-the-art footfall counting solution to improve sales volume by as much as 18% in just 3 months since implementation.
It provides insights such as heatmaps within a closed premise. This heatmap shows the presence of people within a particular zone, their traffic patterns, the timing of the peak and low traffic within definitive spots inside a store, and much more. This heatmap can be leveraged by businesses to develop intelligent power management systems within their business units or stores. For example, a business can reduce the number of lights switched on across the store by dimming the lights in areas where there is hardly any customer traffic. The same applies to air conditioning units working to maintain temperatures within the store. These intelligent power utilization methods contribute significantly to lowering the cost of operations for businesses.
A key benefit of this system is that it helps businesses to not only decide on product placement as explained earlier but also helps them understand which signage or promotional content artifact within the store can get more attention. Depending on the number of people stopping by at that unique signage or campaign item and the time they spent reading the promotion is a measure of how effective the initiative was. With real-time insights, stores can test the effectiveness of signages and quickly make changes to their strategies based on real engagement data obtained.
Irrespective of the business domain, footfall counting solutions have great potential to become an asset in improving the customer experience journey. From better managing store occupation to improved sales, we have outlined just a few of the numerous use cases and benefits which any business can leverage from such solutions. As we progress further into the digital era, every business would be driven solely by data-driven decisions. It can thus be a vital link in the value chain of businesses supplying critical customer data that has the potential to influence decision-making at the top of the decision tree.
Get in touch with us to explore how your business can reap the benefits of our advanced footfall counting system that is today helping several of our customers deliver better experiences to their customers.
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