What You Need In A People Counter - Part 1

Cover: People Counters

So you’re shopping around for a people counting solution for your brick-and-mortar store. 

  • Are you due for an upgrade on your existing store traffic sensors and hoping to save some costs? 

  • Are you confident that your traffic solution is accurate? 

  • Perhaps you’re looking for ways to optimize your business ahead of the upcoming holiday shopping season and want to know what your options are? 

Either way, retailers must be sure that the system they are investing in is reliable enough to turn raw data into accurate and actionable insights.

6 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing A People Counter

So how do retailers sift through the noise to find a people counting solution that helps them solve the challenges of today’s business environment with the technology of the future? In this two-part blog series, we’ll explore questions retailers must ask themselves before purchasing a traffic solution.

  1. How Accurate Is The Solution? 

  2. Will My Business Save In The Long Run?

  3. Are There Upgrade Costs? 

  4. Does It Integrate Simply With My Existing Systems?

  5. Can I Self-Audit The Data?

  6. Does It Provide Other Data Insights?

1. How Accurate Is The Solution?

Pretty much "any" people counting solution can provide you with in-and-out store traffic data. The difference lies in accuracy and precision. A classic way of demonstrating the role of both accuracy and precision of in-store traffic counting is by using the image of a dartboard. The dartboard example below is a visual representation of how different traffic counting solutions, such as stereo video, monocular video, Wi-Fi/Beacons, and other types of people counting technologies potentially achieve accuracy and precision.  

In this case, let’s assume that three darts are thrown at the dartboard. Here the bullseye (center) of a dartboard represents the true value. Therefore, the closer the darts land to the bullseye, the more accurate they are. Whereas precision is reflected by a measure of how close a series of measurements are to one another. 

Infographic: Dartboard Explains Accuracy vs Precision

WATCH NOW: Accuracy vs Precision: What's The Difference? 

If your business is making financial decisions based on the real-time data collected from your stores, you need to trust that it is accurate and precise or you will never derive any real value and ROI from it. 

Checklist Time

Does your people counter…

  • Utilize stereo video analytics for the highest level of shopper traffic accuracy?

  • Have the industry’s widest field of view?

  • Have built-in functionality to exclude employees to ensure accurate shopper traffic counts?

  • Include audits of each and every store installation to ensure a minimum threshold of 95 percent accuracy?

  • Provide onboard 30-day recording of high-resolution video to enable self-audits?

RetailNext Accuracy = Your ROI

Graphic: Aurora Promo
  • RetailNext guarantees industry-leading accuracy of traffic data.

  • The Aurora, RetailNext’s all-in-one IoT sensor, uses a patented artificial intelligence algorithm based on deep learning to anonymously detect people with incredible accuracy. 

  • It detects people ten times each second to ensure maximum tracking accuracy and transmits analytic data to the RetailNext cloud each second. 

  • Every traffic sensor is manually audited for accuracy post-install through video recording and comparing it to the solution results.

  • Aurora sensors allow you to easily verify the system’s accuracy yourself if you wish.

  • HD video recording is available for validation (within 30 days).

Put To The Test 

Following an extensive audit for a RetailNext customer in China, it was revealed that their previous people counters from a leading competitor provided inaccurate store traffic data as it was incorrectly counting employees walking out to the lease line to try and get mall passersby to come into the store. RetailNext’s superior-tech excluded that activity, far lowering the store traffic counts and revealing:

  • the store traffic was significantly overstated

  • the conversion rate was grossly understated

  • labor hours were being squandered due to incorrect store traffic forecasts

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

2. Will My Business Save In The Long Run?

One of the things you’ll want to think about when shopping around for a new people counting solution is the coverage of the sensor. This is the amount of floor space covered by one sensor. Why is this important? Well, over and above the accuracy and precision it provides, store traffic sensors with increased coverage require fewer devices to cover a store floor plan which helps you save costs. Additionally, fewer sensors also reduce the amount of IT infrastructure to monitor and maintain, as well as lower installation costs.

Image: Calculating Savings

Checklist Time

Does your people counter…

  • Have an ultra-wide field of view? 

  • Require multiple units per entrance?

RetailNext’s Increased Coverage

  • At a typical install height of 13', the Aurora ensures coverage is nearly twice that of leading competitors with its industry-led field of view.

Infographic: Coverage Of Sensors
  • As with other sensors, the area covered by an Aurora depends on the height at which it is installed - generally the higher the installation height, the greater the coverage. RetailNext also supplies its customers with a SmartPlanner tool to make informed decisions on the number of Auroras needed for a given coverage area.

Put To The Test

We recently helped a large, global retailer save 35% of their OPEX by replacing the existing sensors with the Aurora. Not only did they reduce their sensor count by 346 across 528 stores, but they also saved on costs required by the competitor to upgrade to a newer version of the sensor. 

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

3. Are There Upgrade Costs? 

Technology is constantly evolving, there’s simply no getting around that fact. It’s all the more reason why retailers must look to invest in traffic solutions that are built for “tomorrow”, rather than the “now”. That’s why it’s important to select a people counting solution that consistently enhances both its hardware and software capabilities, to continue providing you with comprehensive data. These improvements also work to protect the accuracy of the data you’re collecting as well as the business decisions they are founded on. Further to this though, is the assurance that these upgrades don’t come at an increased cost.

Image: Upgrade Costs Review

Checklist Time

Does your people counter…

  • Conduct systemic and automatic health monitoring with immediate escalation for data anomalies?

  • Include continuous improvements based on user feedback and industry needs? 

  • Give you access to a 24 hour dedicated support team?

  • Offer these services listed above free of charge? 

The Aurora Standard 

  • RetailNext is constantly working on better software for the Aurora such as security updates and even new functionality based on customer feedback. 

  • RetailNext user’s annual subscription covers the cost of all updates and improvements.

  • The Aurora comes with a lifetime warranty. 

  • When new software is released, all Auroras automatically download and update themselves with it. This saves customers from searching for, downloading, and manually updating thousands of devices with new firmware. 

  • To minimize any possible interruption to data collection, Aurora updates always occur outside store hours, after the store is closed. 

  • The Aurora includes features such as high-resolution video and snapshots, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a revolutionary “time machine”, among others.

Put To The Test

RetailNext continues to be an innovation leader, constantly making retailer-driven improvements to its product, with recent ones including machine learning-based traffic and demographics, occupancy tracking and alerting, and the brand new Optimization Dashboard.

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

Read More!

CLICK HERE to read What You Need In A Traffic Counter - Part 2 where we explore integration, audits, and data beyond traffic. 

About the author:

Headshot: Judith

Judith Subban, Content Marketing Manager, RetailNext

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