Why You Should Use People Counting in Shopping Malls

November 17, 2022

Retail sales in shopping malls across the world are expected to grow according to Reuters, Economic Times, Trading Economics, and a number of other reliable research companies and data providers. The US retail sales saw significant growth recently and the same applies at varying levels to other larger markets across Europe and Asia too. The pandemic has been destructive for many shopping malls; however, the world is finding a new “normal” and the fear of going out is pretty much wholly replaced with venturing out and making up for the lost time sitting at home. The numbers suggest upcoming years will bring further growth in retail and shopping malls’ ways, but there’ll be a rough balancing period during which the industry will find its new equilibrium. 

Hence pops up the question of how your shopping mall can survive the upcoming turbulence and come out stronger than ever. Adjusting to industry-related changes and ever-shifting consumer behavior is the key here. The best and most reliable way to observe these changes is by basing your decision-making on accurate data. Adopting the right technology at the right time will improve your shopping malls’ performance. Knowing the occupancy rate per hour, how successful your draw in power is, the demographics of your customers, and how your anchor stores are performing can help you improve your sales numbers, maximize your profit and reach optimum efficiency.

In this article, we’ll explain how people counters and people counting solutions can help you improve various aspects of your physical spaces through accurate and reliable data. We’ll also explain how you can use accurate and visualized data to find out in which areas your malls need improvement. 

Reasons to Use People Counters in Retail & Shopping Malls

  • Measure The Effectiveness of Your Marketing Campaigns
  • Accurate and Informed Leasing Valuation
  • Optimize Staff Allocation and Scheduling
  • Real-time Occupancy & Traffic Monitoring
  • Measure Anchor Store Occupancy
  • Improve Customer Experience
  • Compare Shopping Mall Performances

Measure The Effectiveness of Your Marketing Campaigns

Shopping malls offer customers more than just extensive shopping opportunities, they are also places to socialize with friends and family. They offer great entertainment opportunities like arcades, gaming areas, and cinemas. An important part of their pull comes from the entertainment value, and where there is entertainment there are great marketing possibilities.

However, going in blind and not knowing when your shopping mall is the most active and by which demographics will result in badly optimized marketing campaigns and you’ll probably end up wasting money and other resources. On the other hand, if you use zone analytics as well as demographics analysis solutions, you’ll know which zones across your mall are performing well and you’ll be able to pinpoint immediately why they’re doing good (or bad) and who specifically are making these zones hot. Knowing your audience lies at the very core of a successful marketing campaign and for physical places, only the best of the best people counting technologies can get you the accurate and actionable data you need. 

Using a mall traffic counter can give you all the power and necessary insights you need to shape your customers’ journey and push them to make purchases. Of course, in order to pull all of that, your traffic counting sensors should come with an online shopping mall dashboard that’s customizable, mobile friendly, and gets regular updates to suit the ever-changing industry needs.

Accurate and Informed Leasing Valuation

Having to sit with your tenants and convince them that your lease valuation is fair is always a tough talk to have. Sure, exceptions happen here and there, but how often? If you’re using traffic counters, though, the story and the whole exchange can go differently and in the way you hope it would. 

An accurate people counting solution will get you the number of people who come in and out of your malls, which zones are hot and performing well, which areas customers visit often and more. 

It will help you convince your tenants that the rent is fair if you back up your lease valuation claim with actual numbers. You can use this information to support lease negotiations and understand how external factors, such as public holidays, affect consumer behavior. You should be on solid ground as long as your traffic counting solution can precisely measure traffic footfall across floors and entrances.

Optimize Staff Allocation and Scheduling

There’s a reason why shopping malls feel homely and many people are drawn into them if they’re visiting a new place, whatever their reason may be. They feel similar, welcoming, and safe. Most shopping malls follow similar principles in layout and design to accomplish this sense of safety and homeliness, but an important part of that sensation comes from the people who make sure the mall operates at its best. This includes both the management and the staff.

Your traffic counter must be able to provide you with more than enough visualized data so that you can understand how many staff members you need for operating the mall at maximum efficiency and what their work schedule should be. 

When your mall is pulling in big numbers during weekends and prime hours, you’ll obviously need more security and cleaning staff to keep things running smoothly and your customers happy. A reliable people counting technology will show you when exactly these hours are and help you prepare. 

Not only will this save you money on staff expenses and salaries, but also on energy savings since fewer people automatically translate to less utility usage across the place. 

Real-time Occupancy and Traffic Monitoring

There are numerous ways to use real-time traffic data at your physical places, but once again accuracy plays an extremely important role here. In this regard, V-Count takes no competition and its Ultima series sensors can count the number of people entering and exiting your malls with 99.9% accuracy in real-time. 

You can combine real-time occupancy and traffic monitoring solutions with other KPIs, generate easy-to-understand actionable reports and compare them with one another to build a strong base for your future campaigns.

You can manage your occupancy limits in real-time and follow government restrictions on health-related issues (the most recent example would obviously be the Covid-19 pandemic) and do it via anonymous tracking. Ultima sensors count people, track age and gender, but keep no facial data and they’re all fully GDPR compliant.

You can also integrate the occupancy data provided by the VCare real-time occupancy solution into your own application through API and let your customers know the live traffic numbers in your shopping mall. 

Measure Anchor Store Occupancy

Anchor stores are the largest department stores at malls and they’re usually the main attraction for customers, the heavy lifters so to speak. The number of anchor stores varies depending on the size of the mall and their storefronts and nearby areas offer great opportunities to draw more people into your shopping malls. 

Setting up mall traffic counters at key locations such as food courts, cinemas, gaming areas, arcades, and restrooms will tell you a lot about how your shopping mall is performing and what can be improved or optimized.

Improve Customer Experience

A happy customer is a loyal customer, they’ll come back to your mall regularly and become regular spenders. Mall traffic counters provide you with all the meaningful insights in a way you can easily understand and take action right away.

People counting solutions allow you to get ahead of problems and solve them before they even come up. You’ll have an arsenal under your hands to turn regular customers into loyal customers.

Compare Shopping Mall Performances

If you own or run more than one shopping mall, your traffic counting choice has to offer you healthy and easy-to-use comparison tools built into its online dashboard and application. Comparing people counting data coming from multiple shopping malls can lead to important discoveries and help you diagnose issues if there are any.

You can also use the comparison data to optimize and improve your worse-performing shopping mall and get the most performance and revenue out of the one that’s already pulling good results. There’s also room for improvement.