Identify the best value locations
Measure the performance of VM changes
Monitor customer loyalty across stores
Understand customer movement
This is a computerised people counting system which runs on a local PC within the retail store. Customer counts are logged into a data file on this local PC and reports can be run as required. A PC based people counter uses a horizontal beam (often just called a laser counter) to provide the count data on customers moving through the entrance of a store.
Horizontal beam sensors or laser beams as they're often called have been around for a long time in retail. They lack accuracy and provide very little in the way of actual intelligence for a retail store. They simply provide a count for the number of times the beam is broken, which means prams and trolleys can really cause accuracy issues for laser beam counters.
Thermal sensors are able to detect and count multiple people as they enter and leave retail stores. This makes them much more accurate than laser beams, however, they are substantially expensive and provide little additional value other than a more accurate count.
Camera people counters are the most accurate form of people counting technology, with many cameras delivering +95% accuracy. In addition to accuracy, camera based people counters can provide other information (depending on the camera) such as demographics, ability to exclude children from counts and facial recognition.
Finally, the most recent development in people counting is through the use of Wifi. Wifi-based people counters are not as accurate as cameras, typically providing counts in the range of 70-90% of actual customer counts. Wifi people counters provide additional data such as customer dwell times, heat maps, bounce rates and outside customer traffic. This makes wifi based people counters a very attractive solution for many businesses - they provide very rich data which offers additional insights for a retail shop.