The primary purpose of door counters is to enumerate the numbers of visitors that pass through the doors of a business organization. However, counting technology goes beyond just people counting. The data the devices collect can be analyzed to gain deeper insights into how customers behave in a physical space.
Analytics from door counting technology can be used to identify a retail store’s busiest periods, plot visitors’ journey through the store, and determine if it’s optimally staffed. These insights can be leveraged to improve day-to-day operations, optimize business performance, and kickstart long-term growth. And it all starts from door counters. Here’s everything you need to know about the devices and the technology that supports them:
The Different Types of Door Counters
Depending on your business needs, there several options to pick from when it comes to door counters. The most common types, along with their pros and cons, are highlighted below:
#1- Horizontal counting systems
This is the simplest form of door counters. Sensors are placed at either side of an entrance, and a horizontal beam is cast across the space. When people cross the threshold, they interrupt the beam, and the counter records their passage.
Horizontal counters are less expensive than other, more sophisticated options. However, they cannot be relied upon to keep accurate count when multiple people are walking through an entryway at the same time.
#2- Overhead thermal counters
Overhead counters with ceiling-mounted sensors provide more accuracy than horizontal systems. They can also be connected to analytics software, making it possible to leverage the data they collect more effectively.
Systems with thermal sensors use body heat to count visitors as they enter and leave a business location. In addition to keeping count, the system can also identify the sections that visitors enter and how they move around in a store.
#3- Video-based door counters
Video counters are also ceiling-mounted, but they provide better resolution than thermal counters and are less vulnerable to weather conditions. They capture pictures of visitors in real-time, and the counter tallies how many people enter/leave.
Video counters are ideal for large areas, and they guarantee accuracy of up to 95%. However, they are not as effective as thermal systems in low-light situations.
#4- 3D counting technology
3D systems offer the most effective counting technology in the market. Leveraging a stereovision algorithm, the counters have a minimum accuracy of 98%, even in densely populated areas. The stereo cameras capture images in 3D format, and the images are analyzed based on height, speed, mass, and direction.
The system filters out shadows and false objects (like trolleys). Kids—who are less likely to be customers—may be counted separately from adults, further preserving the accuracy of the data. 3D counters are not susceptible to weather conditions, and they are ideal for large retail stores, healthcare facilities, shopping malls, and entertainment venues.
If you are planning to install door counters at your business location, be sure to get a system that connects to analytics solutions. Doing so increases the functionality of the devices, and the data they collect can be leveraged to optimize the performance of your business.
The Business Benefits of Door Counting Technology
When door counting devices are integrated with analytics software, the resulting technology has several benefits for the businesses that adopt it. V-Count, for example, transmits data collected from door counters to its Business Intelligence Platform.
The cloud-based solution hosts the data securely and facilitates comprehensive analysis via cutting-edge AI algorithms. The analytics derived are then used to provide reports that highlight business performance and identify operational frailties. Finally, recommendations on how to improve performance and optimize operations are provided.
Here are some business benefits of door counting technology:
#1 – Real-time people counting
Keep track of visitor traffic and identify peak and off-peak periods. These insights can be used to optimize product restocking and staff allocation. If traffic is too low, you can implement strategies to attract more visitors.
#2 – Access to important KPIs
Access to traffic data means you can evaluate important performance indicators. If you manage a retail store, you can estimate your store’s draw-in rate and conversion rate. You can also measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and track year-on-year growth.
#3 – Optimized staffing
Traffic data can also be used to determine how many workers you need to run your business optimally. This prevents overstaffing, cutting labor costs. It also prevents understaffing, which may hamper customer satisfaction and lead to lost opportunities. Staff scheduling may also be optimized, with breaks placed during not-so-busy periods.
Every business needs to collect traffic data. Firstly, because it is the easiest way to measure performance, secondly, and more importantly, the analytics that can be derived from the data provide comprehensive insight into customer behavior. They also offer an overview of how effectively the business is operating and how it compares to competitors in the sector.