Customer counters are important for all retailers. However, larger retailers have the added issues that smaller retailers don’t always have. For example, larger retailers tend to have larger staffs, which means that they need to efficiently schedule their staff. Also, large retailers, as well as shopping malls, tend to have traffic patterns that are more dense than that of small retailers.
For these reasons just stated, we would generally recommend either our RTC-P3 Retail Customer Counter or our EPC-3D Electronic 3D Stereo Camera People Counter for large retailers and shopping malls.
Why is it important to analyze hourly traffic totals when scheduling sales staff?
Simply having a general idea of your busiest days of the week is not enough to help you efficiently schedule your sales staff. You need more information. You need to have an electronic customer counting system, like our RTC-P3 or EPC-3D, because the customer traffic data is saved in the hourly increments.
Not only would you have access to the hourly increments for any given day, but you can also run reports for the day of the week. This can be extremely useful. For example, let’s say that you find that your traffic total is lower on Wednesdays. You can then look at hourly total for various Wednesdays and you may notice that the customer traffic drops off in late afternoon. If you were overlapping your day shift sales staff and your night shift sales staff during these hours, then you are simply wasting money. In this example, you can adjust your scheduling to perhaps start the night shift staff a few hours later on Wednesdays.
Why is it important for shopping malls to have a customer counter system that saves the traffic in hourly increments?
A system like our RTC-P3 Retail Customer Counter System or our EPC-3D Electronic 3D Stereo Video Camera People Counter are useful in mall environments so that the stores that are leasing retail space in the shopping mall can be shown traffic figures in fine detail. It is not enough to simply let stores know of the daily, weekly or monthly traffic for the shopping mall. The stores would greatly benefit, and greatly appreciate when the shopping mall’s management goes to the effort of being able to show customer traffic figures in the hourly increments. After all, the stores that lease space in a shopping mall are the shopping mall’s customers. The shopping mall management should be doing whatever it can to make sure that the owners and management of the stores leasing space are as happy as they can be.
Why should shopping malls and large retailers consider using a 3D Stereo Video Camera Customer Counter?
Our RTC-P3 would be very suitable for many types of retailers, including large retailers. The sensors that are used with the RTC-P3 are side-mount infrared beam sensors. This technology is tried and true and very reliable. However, this technology isn’t as accurate for wider entrances, such as those in shopping malls. The reason for this is that wider entrances allow people to walk side-by-side more freely and easily. The side-mount infrared beam technology only knows when its beam is broken. It can’t tell how many people broke the beam at the same time. This is usually not an issue with a standard entrance or with a side-by-side double-door entrance because people will generally enter in a single file. However, because mall corridors and entrances to retail locations that are in shopping malls are wider, people can easily walk side-by-side. This is where an overhead camera people counter becomes greatly beneficial, such as our EPC-3D Stereo Video Camera Customer Counter. That is because these overhead camera systems can track and count multiple people at the same time.
There are different types of overhead camera people counters. In the past, the single-lens overhead cameras were a step forward in technology. However, 3D stereo video camera counters have much greater accuracy. This is because they use two cameras, essentially giving them depth perception, just like humans. This means that the stereo people counters can not only track more than one person in the people counter’s field of view, but it can determine the height of these people. This means that you can eliminate strollers, children, shopping carts, etc, if you so desire. It also means that you can set the system to only count children and eliminate adults (which may be useful in some environments, such as toy stores, or other establishments that cater to children). Some single-lens cameras can think that shadows are people, and count them. With the stereo cameras, such as our EPC-3D, the height of shadows will be calculated by the system as being essentially zero, and therefore not be counted.
What if a shopping mall or larger retailer doesn’t want hourly customer traffic totals?
Although we would strongly recommend the RTC-P3 or EPC-3D Retail Traffic Counters for our mall and larger retail customers, we have other options that may suit your needs as well.
An alternative to the RTC-P3 and EPC-3D is our EPC-IRD1 Electronic Customer Counter (and optional EPC-IRDE Infrared Emitter, when needed). This customer counter system also senses customers with infrared beams, like the RTC-P3. However, the EPC-IRD1 system saves one single running total and does not connect to a PC. It can be powered via batteries or A/C power and is very easily installed.
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