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People Counter

How wifi people counters can amplify your in-store analytics

Written by Tony Loxton
Aug 25

It goes without saying that in a fiercely competitive market, you need to bring your A game when it comes to in-store analytics. If you’ve got the right data on hand, you can make calculated, data-driven decisions about everything – from your in-store displays and your store layout, to your allocation of staff and sales tactics.

But besides using data from your CMS or loyalty program, how do you collect this kind of information? That’s easy: with wifi people counters. Wifi footfall data is often called 'next generation' when compared to traditional people counting technologies - it's easy to see why.

Wifi people counters work the way you’d imagine them to: using wifi pings emitted from your customers’ smartphones.

Smartphones have changed the way we live, work and play. They’ve also given retailers a new way to gather crucial data about their customers. Once installed in your store, wifi people counters (also known as foot traffic software) scan the immediate area and surrounds for smartphones that have their wifi turned on. When your customers have their wifi turned on, their phone emits a ‘ping’ – these pings contain information that enables foot traffic software attribute a unique ID to their device. As such, wifi people counters are able to recognise individual devices, and therefore, individual shoppers (but don't worry, no private or personal information is available). When a customer first enters a store, their unique ‘ping’ is noted by the software, and if they return, the software recognises them and ‘counts’ them as a returning customer.

The premise of foot traffic software is simple, but its ability to bolster in-store analytics is extensive.

Foot traffic software does a lot more than merely counting the number of people who are entering your store. Thanks to this technology, you can determine:

The number of visits to your store 

If your sales for a certain period are a little on the lacklustre side, you can turn to the data gathered via your foot traffic software to see whether the volume of visits during that period were markedly lower than average, or whether the problem with low sales lies somewhere else. You’re also able to determine the days and times that draw the most amount of visitors, and those that are a little on the quiet side. Using this information as a source for your in-store analytics let’s you make informed decisions as to the best time to run a promotion, the time when you’ll need additional staff on the floor, and myriad other aspects of your day-to-day retail operations.

The places someone visits in your store

Regardless of what type of products you’re selling, you need to know the areas inside your store that visitors are immediately drawn to, the areas that captivate their attention for the longest time, as well as the places that they tend to overlook. These behaviours are dependant on a variety of factors – like your layout, signage and in-store promotions – but it’s crucial to first establish the ‘what’ before you can begin to uncover the ‘why’.

The time a customer spends in your store and in each area of your store

Establishing the dwell time of an individual customer, as well as the average dwell time of your customers, gives you crucial insight into the efficacy of your operations. If a customer spends a considerable amount of time in one area of your store, they’re either actively engaged (thanks to an in-store display or a superstar staff member), or are unable to find that they’re looking for. By establishing dwell time per specific area, you’re obtaining invaluable information about both your customers and your ability to meet their expectations.

The way a customer navigates your store 

The customer’s journey around your showroom floor or store is incredibly telling. If someone makes a beeline for a specific area or completes their purchase in a short amount of time, they’re either a repeat visitor, or owe this convenience to the fact that your store layout facilitates easy navigation. If a customer tends to double-back on their path several times or walk in circles around your store, your layout or signage could be to blame.

The number and frequency of customers’ visits

Foot traffic software gives you insight into the buying behaviour of each individual customer, enabling you to determine the number of times they’ve visited your store, and the frequency of their visits. If you see that a certain customer has visited your store every six months, they may be drawn by seasonal promotions. If a customer has visited your store, but didn’t buy anything, you may need to review your store layout or your staff’s ability to serve new customers.

In-store analytics based on data from foot traffic software is invaluable. Make sure that you’re able to tap into the power of data by finding out about our in-store analytics software, Blix Traffic.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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