5 Interesting Things You Didn’t Know About Door Counters and People Counting Technology
Door counters and people counting technology enable businesses to track visitor traffic in their physical locations. Devices are placed at entrances and passageways, and they count the number of people that enter or leave the space. People counting technology has proven effective for global business sectors. The solution is being leveraged in retail stores worldwide, as well as in banking halls, airports, hotels, casinos, theme parks, gas stations, and many others.
Despite its relative popularity, many business managers still don’t know enough about people counting technology. They don’t understand how it works and how their businesses stand to benefit from it. To help more people grasp the concept behind door counting systems, we highlight five interesting facts about it below:
The first people counting systems were manual
Some businesses recognized how important it was to keep accurate traffic count even when technology hadn’t advanced enough to create tools for it. So, the first set of counting devices were manual. Employees were tasked with standing at entrances and clicking a device when people walked through. Unsurprisingly, the system was very inefficient, and it was deemed a waste of human resources. Furthermore, human error and overwhelming traffic during busy hours compromised the accuracy of the data collected.
This system was replaced by pressure sensors that counted visitors based on the number of steps recorded by pressure-sensitive mats. This was not very accurate, too, and the first set of electronic counters eventually replaced it. These featured horizontal infrared beams reflected across entrances and LCD units that kept count. Whenever people intercepted the beam, a tick is recorded. Despite being more accurate than the other options available at the time, this system was only about 60 to 80% accurate.
Modern people counters are about 98% accurate
Modern door counters are significantly more accurate than the old systems, with the best counters recording accuracies of ~ 98%. Equipped with 3D stereo vision sensors, the counting devices are highly effective even during periods of high traffic volume. 3D counters can either be unidirectional or bi-directional.
Unidirectional counters do not distinguish whether the visitor is entering or leaving. It just measures total traffic, and the figure is divided by 2 (since everyone that enters eventually leaves). For better accuracy, bi-directional counters track the people coming, and those going at the same time but record the numbers separately.
Some door counters can distinguish children from adults
3D stereo counters track visitors by computing height via multi-dimensional depth perception. In simple terms, these devices measure the height of visitors as they pass through entrances. Depending on how tall they are, they are designated as children or adults.
While customers may visit business locations with their children, the kids are not typically the target market. If kids are included when visitors are being counted, the data is tainted, affecting analytics like conversion rate and draw-in rate. To increase the accuracy of data collected and get a better overview of business performance, it is essential to use door counters that exclude children.
The retail industry has the most use cases for people counting
All businesses that receive visitors need people counting systems to measure footfall, track visitors, and evaluate performance. However, given how much the business model depends on maximizing traffic, retail stores enjoy more use cases from people counting technology than any other business sector.
Retail outlets that use door counters stand to gain extensive insight into how effectively stores are being run. This is done by converting and analyzing the data collected into important retail analytics.
For example, if store traffic is analyzed with checkout data, the store’s conversion rate can be calculated. Traffic data can be analyzed to measure occupancy rates per section. It can be used to track the effectiveness of marketing initiatives. It may also be used to compare performance among different locations in a retail chain, identify busy/slow periods in each store, and track their staffing levels.
Most businesses don’t use the traffic data they collect
As useful as people counting data is, many companies collect the data but never use it. They want data about their operations, how customers behave, and the effect of specific strategies on sales. However, according to a report from Forrester, up to 73% of collected data goes unused.
If your business already has a people counting system installed, but you don’t know how to leverage visitor data, you are missing out on all the analytics listed in (4) above. This means you can’t track and optimize traffic, sales, business operations, and, subsequently, performance.
Luckily, V-Count, the world’s leading provider of people counting solutions, has a Business Intelligence Platform (BIP) that analyzes visitor data using cutting-edge AI and machine learning tools.
Owners/managers that are interested in how door counters and people counting technology can transform their businesses should visit V-Count.com to learn more. We have an ongoing free trial, check it out and see if you qualify.