Why People Counters Are Important to Retailers…and How to Use Them Effectively

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Knowing how many people are in your store has never been more important. While there have always been fire code maximum occupancy numbers, the recent pandemic health department restrictions have run that number dramatically. To try to keep up with the rules, I’ve seen employees at the door clicking a manual clicker to attempt to get a count. That’s great for people coming in, but what happens when someone leaves the store? How do you subtract that person? Use another clicker? Obviously, such a low-tech answer to this dilemma isn’t much use. That’s where a people counter system can help.

They can also get status updates on the app and see when they are next in line. This allows customers to better manage their time. For example, if the app tells them there’s a 30 minute wait when they check in, they can stay at the office a little longer or run errands before arriving for their appointment. Showing clients how much time they will have to wait allows them to do something productive with that waiting time—often making clients feel like they are not waiting at all.

What is a people counter system?

There are a number of people counter systems that can be used in retail settings. Thermal imaging systems count the number of bodies in the store via their heat signature. CCTV systems allow you to track customers through the store and see what areas draw their attention. Stereo people counters are devices that count the number of people who pass under the device, which is usually positioned at an entrance. A digital people counter goes a step further than more traditional thermal imaging counters or counting people using CCTV. Digital people counters use signal tracking from customers’ mobile phones. If WiFi is enabled on their phone, the counter gets a signal and counts that person. Since the majority of shoppers have smartphones, retail owners and managers can get a pretty accurate number.

Other benefits of using a people counter

While knowing the number of people in your store was essential during the pandemic, there are a number of other reasons to use this technology. Knowing when shoppers typically visit your store can help you match staffing to demand. Combine this with a queue management system and your customers will spend much less time waiting in line to pay for their purchases, thus improving your customer service. In addition, digital people counters can tell you where in the store customers gather. This can help you make better use of point-of-purchase advertising, kiosks and interactive displays.

About Ombori

Ombori is an innovative technology company that provides a platform for ready-to-use, customizable, modular solutions for interactive in-store screens and mobile devices. In addition to providing queue management systems, the Swedish-based company is the creative force behind such revolutionary in-store technology as a talking mirror that asks shoppers to take a selfie with it and an interactive window display that lets passersby shop without even entering the store.

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