What You Need In A People Counter - Part 2

Cover: Mall Traffic

Although the rise in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales is here to stay, brick-and-mortar stores are still very much a central component of retailers’ strategies. From a customer perspective, the pandemic has reshaped expectations of the physical store, with more emphasis placed on great service and an excellent in-store experience

That’s why so many brick-and-mortar stores are leveraging technology such as people counting solutions to turn raw store traffic data into accurate and actionable insights that they can measure and use to optimize their in-store experience. So how do retailers ensure they have selected the right people counting solution for their business?

6 Questions To Ask Before Purchasing A People Counter

In part one of our blog series, we explored questions around accuracy, cost-savings, and long-term support that retailers must ask themselves before purchasing a traffic solution. Now let’s dive into what you should be looking at when it comes to integration, audits, and data beyond traffic.

  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? 

4 . Does It Integrate Simply With My Existing Systems?

Many enterprises have already joined the move to store systems and business processes in the cloud. The main concern now is identifying cloud-based solutions that easily and automatically integrate with legacy systems. So what does this have to do with people counters? 

When shopping around for a people counting solution, take a look at whether it integrates your traffic data with internal systems such as POS data, Workforce Management Systems, and promotional calendars. By doing this, you use the shopper traffic trends to forecast peak hours and shopping behavior patterns to align your staff and shoppers per labor hour to traffic power hours. Add staff when needed, and remove staff when traffic is low yet conversion remains stable.

Image: POS

You’ll also want to consider if it provides you with an API that can send data to your data warehouse or internal systems such as business intelligence tools and other applications. Why? The shopper traffic data can add a layered context to other data sets that can provide a holistic view of your organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions.

For an expanding business or one with an existing global footprint, it’s also important to determine if the people counting solution you’ve opted for allows for a scalable rollout across geographies to accommodate your growth.  

Checklist Time

Does your people counting solution provide…

  • Vendor and system integrator tools to ensure timely, efficient, and successful deployments?

  • Deployment globally?

  • Scalable hardware deployment?

  • Integration into existing systems, tools, and other applications?

  • Cloud-management?

Stay Ahead With RetailNext

  • Avoid a patchwork of products that don't talk to each other with RetailNext’s pre-integration and advanced APIs that allow for seamless integration into a variety of applications. 

Infographic: RetailNext System Integration
  • Access real-time data within seconds on the user interface and APIs.

  • Slice and dice data via the personalized Analytics page, an integrated business intelligence tool.

  • Easily integrate existing cameras/sensors with the RetailNext platform while adding Aurora to the rest of a fleet.

  • Comply with global regulations, including GDPR and CCPA, via unique built-in privacy controls such as automatic video blurring. 

  • Save time and money with a simple plug-and-play installation.  

  • Enjoy the ability to deploy globally with ongoing support. 

  • Access built-in support for multiple languages and currencies.

  • Support your business growth with RetailNext’s scalable hardware.

  • Eliminate unnecessary hardware costs and strain on IT resources with the cloud-based RetailNext platform. 

Put To The Test

“RetailNext has been an excellent global partner for Camper, supporting us in every location around the world. They are constantly bringing innovation to us, thinking about how they can help us achieve our goals. From our store teams to our CEO, the entire organization relies on the data provided by RetailNext. As stores return to some kind of normal post-covid, this data will be critical to our success” - Pere Fiol, Head of Business Technology, Camper

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

5. Can I Self-Audit The Data?

In general, people counting solution providers claim to have high accuracy, and while that may be true in some instances, it can never replace a person’s natural inclination to verify something for themselves before giving it their trust.

As retailers face ongoing challenges from the widespread labor shortages and concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 delta variant, they are relying on real-time data to help them accurately identify top performers for reward and recognition, as well as make sound business decisions to improve low-performing areas. So how can they trust the underlying data?

People counters that provide on-demand recorded video are critical tools that sort fact from fiction and, ultimately, build trust in the data. When corporate teams, store managers, and store associates are enabled with the ability to verify their data, it opens the door to a data-driven performance culture.

The ability to self-audit data also takes the guesswork out of understanding what is happening in stores. By spot-checking the video, they can put to bed unanswered questions about "why were there traffic counts after hours yesterday?” and, "how can it be true that we had 50% more traffic this Thanksgiving compared to last?". This will ultimately enable them to remain agile and optimize their businesses against varying marketplace challenges.

Checklist Time

Does your people counter solution provide…

  • Instant access to your real-time store data? 

  • The ability to self-audit your data at any time?

  • Actionable insights to unanswered questions?

Stay In The Driving Seat With RetailNext 

  • Get the buy-in of corporate teams and associates in the accuracy of your data.

  • Quickly view real-time data to identify top and low performers. 

  • Benchmark store positions against both goals and peers to understand the specific actions needed to improve store performance.

  • Receive proactive, prescriptive recommendations to improve store performance.

  • Access video on-the-go through a mobile app.

  • Receive custom-configurable reports (PDF and XLS) via email.

Image: Mobile Traffic Dashboard

Put To The Test

As one of the largest, global beauty brands, Estee Lauder relies on accurate data to drive a deep understanding of their customers. It recently joined the RetailNext platform after experiencing several challenges with a leading competitor, including the inability to re-audit its sensors. Among the many benefits that Estee Lauder now enjoys about the RetailNext platform, is its ability to self-audit and provide 20% more accuracy.   

“RetailNext's advanced suite of shopper journey analytics, covering the full path of a shopper in-store, delivers deep insights into how customers shop and interact with our product, fixtures, and in-store technology. This technology allows us to continually test, measure, and optimize our business in near real-time. RetailNext has been great to work with as we have rolled out their technology and we look forward to our continued partnership” - Adolfo Rodríguez, VP, Global Retail Operations, Estee Lauder

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

6. Does It Provide Other Data Insights? 

Many traffic counting solutions only provide the foot count. But as the role of the store continues to evolve, and include new uses such as a billboard, stage, service hub, and immersive experience, traditional metrics such as sales per square foot or footfall are simply not enough. Retailers must expand their thinking beyond traditional metrics taking into account the many new uses of the physical stores, whether big or small, in order to capture other types of ROI brands are making into physical retail. 

It’s critical for brick-and-mortar retailers to leverage technology to measure and improve their in-store experience. By harnessing rich traffic data, retailers can begin to understand shoppers’ connected journeys. For example, by segmenting store visitors and their paths by age, gender, and shoppers vs. store associates, businesses can understand how different groups are shopping, and buying, in-store. This data can help them optimize their marketing strategies to drive shopper engagement and sales across all touchpoints. 

Image: Shopper In Store

Checklist Time

Does your people counter….

  • Tell you how your marketing and product initiatives (window displays, signage, and promotions) influence the shopping experience and sales?

  • Indicate what is your traffic to individual displays and how long do shoppers engage with products?

  • Provide the percentage of shoppers who engage with a particular area that buys those products?

  • Show how shopper paths differ between purchasers and non-purchasers?

  • Tell you what areas of the store are visited before a shopper engages with an associate, fitting room, or receives a consultation?

  • Provide insights into how to optimize your labor per shopper traffic? 

  • Provide consultative services from a dedicated team of retail experts to drive solution adoption, lead a culture of organizational change, and derive maximum value?

RetailNext Goes Beyond The Basics

While other people counting platforms are static in their rollout, RetailNext enables customers to upgrade their subscriptions to gain access to multiple solutions. The RetailNext platform goes far beyond basic traffic metrics to help retailers transform their business to deliver personal, meaningful, and boundaryless experiences. The company’s analytics software and retail expertise help you better understand shoppers’ connected journeys through these enhanced insights:

  • demographics

  • new vs repeat visitors 

  • directional mapping

  • full shopper journey analysis

  • true conversion rates

  • real-time occupancy and more! 

Put To The Test 

“RetailNext has helped evolve how we think about our stores at Calvin Klein and we think of them as an extension of our own team. Their robust shopper journey data gives our analytics team a much clearer view into what is happening in our stores, giving us e-commerce style analytics across store layout, marketing, product assortment, and more” - Darren Bowden, VP of Store Finance, Calvin Klein. 

LEARN MORE about the RetailNext platform and its extensive capabilities. 

Missed Part 1?

CLICK HERE to read What You Need In A Traffic Counter - Part 1 where we explore accuracy, long-term costs, and upgrades. 

About the author:

Headshot: Judith

Judith Subban, Content Marketing Manager, RetailNext

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