A people and visitor counting system is a type of electronic system that scans, or “counts”, traffic in and out of an area. It is mounted on strategic places like the entrance and various zones of the facility. This is being used by store owners and establishment owners to gather data that they can manipulate with variables during special events, sales transactions, weather conditions and other things to come up with a more concise intelligence report. In turn, the management can use this data to come up with better ideas and strategy based on the data provided.
CountWise cites two types of sensors: one which depends on placement, the other on direction of traffic.
Overhead vs. Horizontal (Beam Type) Sensors
Overhead sensors are mounted up on the ceiling of the establishments. This is best for big retail stores. Because the sensors are being mounted high up in the ceiling, it can supply more detailed info of human traffic right from the entrance. This can be good for a more accurate customer traffic mapping that can help craft an effective scheduling and staffing system. Overhead sensors have two options, the thermal overhead sensor and the video based overhead sensor.
On the other hand, horizontal sensors, mostly beam types, are mounted on each side of the door. So whenever a person crosses the threshold, the infrared beam breaks, thus ticking the counter. A horizontal beam type counter is less expensive because installation is quick and easy, but it has its disadvantage too, especially when multiple people are entering at the same time, as it won’t count accurately.
Bi-Directional vs. Uni-Directional
People are in constant motion. In a busy and crowded establishment, people are coming in and out. But with the sophisticated counting system, it can determine whether a person is coming in and out of a certain zone. This is how bi-directional counting works, and both overhead and horizontal sensors are capable of directional counting.
While other horizontal sensors are utilized as uni-directional counters, uni-directional counters do not recognize which one goes in or comes out, so sometimes, the only way to get a figure (either entries or exits) is to divide the total number of counts by two.
In the world of retail and marketing, counting of visitors is tantamount to counting prospected revenues. This is one secret to the success of many retailers. Having a people counting system gives business owners the opportunity to collect data like attendance statistics, tracking and analyzing trends, counting actual buyers from visitors and making evaluations whether sales teams and or marketing teams are working effectively.