The Rise of Visitor Analytics: Key Trends for People Counting in 2024

January 15, 2024

Advanced traffic tracking, visitor data analysis, cost-effective products, real-time insights, and predictive analytics, let’s explore the key trends shaping the future of people counting.


Whether you are a retailer looking to optimize your store’s operations to maximize your revenue or a nonprofit organization seeking to boost your visitor numbers and enhance their experience, people counting and visitor analytics will help you stay ahead of the curve against your competitors.

People counting and visitor analytics solutions are advancing at a fast pace, and they are becoming more sophisticated than ever. However, they are also becoming more user-friendly, accurate, and, dare we say, mistake-proof, provided you go with the right tech provider. The devices used for people counting used to be limited, and the fancier ones would have some innovative features, but accuracy was usually far off. This has changed drastically and for the better in the last couple of years, and the technology —both hardware and software-wise—  is reaching new highs regularly.

Nowadays, people counting systems are used for more than just tracking the number of visitors going in and out of a specific location; they provide more precise information to help you optimize and improve your operations, understand the needs and wants of your visitors, reduce operational costs without having to sacrifice on the quality of your services and more. 

In this article, we will talk about which people counting technologies and solutions are trending this year, why they are trending, and how they can be used to improve your physical location’s performance across all the important metrics. We will also dive a little deeper and explain why some people counting solutions are no longer useful and cannot be relied on. Grab your coffee, and let’s start exploring which features are the most prevalent in the world of visitor counting and analytics.

In the wake of the pandemic, businesses had to tighten their belts to offset income losses. Now, more than ever, optimizing revenue and expenses is a top priority for companies. Even with the knowledge that revenues can be amplified through store optimization using people counting devices and softwares like BoostBI, some companies hesitate due to the perceived additional costs of these advanced systems.

Instead, they choose cheaper, single-feature options resulting in less data. This results in misguided decisions in critical strategic situations due to the scarcity of data.

However, the tide is turning. By 2024, it’s anticipated that cost-effective premium products with advanced features like 3D Active Stereo Vision Technology and AI-based object detection algorithms, will become highly sought after.

As a matter of fact, V-Count’s new product Nano is leading the charge with these features at a cost-effective price point.

By the year 2024, an array of companies across various industries are projected to significantly enhance their revenue streams and minimize operational costs through the strategic utilization of Nano sensors. These technologically advanced sensors, thanks to their innovative ‘plug and play’ feature, can be effortlessly integrated into their existing store infrastructures. This seamless integration will not only optimize the functioning of their businesses but also provide them with invaluable real-time insights, thereby giving them a competitive edge in the market.

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Competition is fiercer than ever in the retail space, and the “quarantine fatigue” has seen people going outside more often than they used to, per several reliable studies. This means brick-and-mortar stores gained visitors back but need powerful visitor analytics tools to understand the changing behavior of their visitors in the post-covid era. 

3D Active Stereo Vision Technology mimics human vision in an enhanced way. This is the most up-to-date technology in the people counting market; it collects and processes combined images and creates depth maps. Using this technology, you can count people going in and out of your establishment accurately, even under zero light conditions. People counting sensors powered by this technology and AI learning can also count groups of people together and generate easy-to-understand, visualized reports, charts, and graphics.

Furthermore, this technology can automatically distinguish between objects and humans, providing up to 99% accuracy in people counting. Pair this technology with the best visitor analytics platform for the real world, and you’ll see improvements all aboard in no time. 

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Outdated: 2D Mono, Thermal or Infrared Counters, CCTV, Time-of-Flight

Speaking tech-wise, there are many other people counting alternatives on the market, but nearly all of them are either using outdated technologies, and they are far from being accurate, or they have their specific uses and offer a limited scope. Your people counters should be able to provide you with accurate and reliable visitor data at all times and help you understand the ever-changing customer behavior. If you want to maximize your revenue and optimize your operational efforts, you need an extremely precise, reliable, and modern traffic counter, and ideally, your visitor counting solution should deliver more than just footfall traffic alone. 

Beam (infrared) counters, 2D Mono, thermal counters, CCTV-powered traffic analysis, time-of-flight, and other basic solutions are quite cheap for a reason: They are simply not accurate and have very limited use. While 3D Active Stereo Vision technology can count people accurately without being affected by radiating sunlight, shadows, or other environmental elements, the others listed earlier are heavily affected and can do more harm than good.

People counting solutions gather data and help decision-makers make critical decisions to run their operations smoothly. Whether a retail store, restaurant, shopping mall, smart building, public transport, museum, or other public areas, your establishment/organization can greatly benefit from access to important metrics related to sales, marketing, staffing, security, and customer satisfaction.

Having said that, outdated devices and solutions will more likely harm your efforts; accuracy is the first thing that matters in traffic and visitor analytics. Errors can lead to poor decision-making, badly optimized store layouts, a decrease in customer satisfaction, and inefficient resource allocation. Also, inaccurate results and decisions based on distorted data can lead to safety and security issues. On the other hand, the right choice can help you avoid potential legal and financial liabilities. Accurate people counting can even save lives in case of an emergency or natural disaster by providing critical information to first responders.

Real-time people counting can also help your establishment ensure compliance with your government’s regulations and prevent overcrowding at your physical locations. In the future, brands and organizations that employ people counting will focus more and more on accuracy first. Our Ultima Series traffic counters offer up to 99% accuracy, even under complete darkness.

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Outdated: Wi-Fi Analytics

Once, Wi-Fi-powered visitor analytics solutions offered unique features that were hard to replicate or downright impossible, but those times are long gone, and privacy laws have changed since then. Both iOS and Android devices have seen drastic changes that limit app tracking of users. As Wi-Fi Analytics requires visitors to allow their devices to connect to your Wi-Fi network to collect data, your scope will be limited, and results will be highly inaccurate. 

Additionally, both Apple and Android devices use randomized MAC addresses, meaning any data you collect over time will lose its meaning and become more polluted. As a decision-maker, you just can’t act on polluted visitor data or launch campaigns based on inaccurate results.

Last but not least, many people carry multiple mobile devices on them, they may be counted twice, and if they regularly visit your store with multiple devices connected to your network, your visitor data will just become unactionable. 

Age and gender analytics have improved quite a bit in 2024 so far, and the technology continues to advance and provide more accurate results. Understanding who your customers are, what products or services they are more attracted to, and what they want allows you to make smarter decisions.

Knowing who visits your establishment lets you make educated guesses about to whom you can reach out for potential growth as well. Through demographic analysis, you can provide a more personalized customer experience to your visitors and improve shopper satisfaction greatly. 

Understanding the age and gender profiles of your visitors will let you adjust your marketing and promotional efforts accordingly and improve merchandising effectiveness, store layout, and in-store design.

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Another great people counting feature that has become quite popular this year is zone analytics and other solutions related to analyzing the traffic of specific areas. Zone analytics can reveal which specific areas at your location are more popular than the others and help you understand why they are performing well. The very same applies the other way around too. You can discover which zones are underperforming.

Zone analytics and heat maps allow you to track visitor flow throughout your location, track customer dwell time, and see which routes they are usually taking. You can use this information to launch new marketing campaigns, enhance the store layout and optimize product placements to maximize your sales and revenue. A well-optimized store layout and product placement will drastically increase customer satisfaction too.

We strongly recommend checking out V-Count’s Ultima Prime sensor, which is designed with zone analytics and heat mapping in mind. Get in touch with us now, and let’s explore how we can shape the future of your business together. 

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The importance of real-time occupancy monitoring and people counting grew significantly as it allows enterprises and organizations to ensure compliance with safety and health guidelines. Not only can you track the number of people in a place, but you can also use this information to inform your visitors, get ahead of overcrowding issues, and ensure they feel safe. 

Real-time occupancy monitoring combined with visitor data collected over time can also help you optimize space usage to become a more efficient enterprise. You can also reduce bills and operational costs via real-time people counting. This solution lets you optimize heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and reduce energy consumption. 

Reducing your carbon footprint by leveraging people counting sensors and solutions helps the environment and makes you more favorable among young adults and younger generations. On top of that, if you do it in an efficient way, you’ll cut down on your operational costs without sacrificing quality.

While GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is commonly associated with the digital world, it’s just as important in the physical world and is enforced. The idea behind GDPR is to protect people’s rights to privacy and the protection of personal data.

In the real world, parties with bad intentions can easily collect your facial data as well as other key information through CCTV cameras, people counting sensors, biometric devices, and other technologies. GDPR protects you against such personal data collection, and your people counting provider must be GDPR-compliant; otherwise, you and your company risk potential legal consequences.

Conclusion

2024 is already set to be an exciting year for people counting, and according to Gartner’s recent research, real-world visitor tracking and counting will continue to grow in the upcoming years. Demographic analysis and zone analytics will allow businesses to understand their customers better and optimize their operations accordingly. Heatmaps and visitor flow/dwell solutions will help with analyzing foot traffic patterns and store layouts. 

Individuals’ rights to privacy and data protection have also become increasingly important; hence GDPR compliance will become increasingly important this year and will do so in the future. If you want your business to stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and remain competitive, reach out to us now, and we will get you connected with one of our people counting experts.

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