All posts by Retail Sensing

Retail Sensing manufacture the Video Turnstile people counting, vehicle sensing and smart city equipment. Our systems not only measure footfall and traffic, but monitor queues, display occupancy, track shoppers around stores, show heat maps of most visited areas, record passenger numbers, count pedestrians and provide retail intelligence and key performance indicators.

How important is footfall data?

Acting on footfall trends can maintain profitability even in harsh trading conditions. The key is to analyse the fine details rather than just looking at the big picture.

Zooming into various indicators lets retailers identify badly performing areas and act to improve matters. For example by:
– Comparing footfall and sales conversion at different hours of the day
– Comparing footfall and sales conversion at different properties
– Monitoring how many people pass by
– Mapping “hotspot” areas to discover which places are most popular and where the dead zones are.

When the live footfall numbers are integrated with current purchases at the till, the data becomes even more powerful. Sales conversion figures taken throughout the day and on different days of the week show the way to progress and increase profits.

Outdoor footfall counters provide more detail to assess and improve performance. Are you taking advantage of the busiest periods in your location, or is there potential for improvement? Understanding the pedestrian flow outside a property helps benchmark the performance of each shop, restaurant, cafe and bar.

Footfall data shows whether premises are under- or out-performing and measure the success of marketing initiatives, staffing levels and layouts.

Let the data drive decision making and see the rewards in the sales figures. For more on the technology needed, or for a roadmap of how to improve your sales figures, contact Retail Sensing.

Why do libraries need a people counting system? We share the reasons

More and more libraries are reaping rewards from visitor counters. They are using them to save money, improve services and, increasingly, to justify their existence. With a visitor counting system they can

  • Record visitor numbers per month, week, day, hour or even every five minutes
  • See which areas and floors of the library are most popular
  • Monitor and reduce queues
  • Find which days and times are the busiest
  • Know the current occupancy of the library
  • Track the paths people take through the library

The main reason libraries install people counters in the first place is to prove to funding agencies with user statistics. However, a video counting system soon proves itself cost-effective in many other ways.

Libraries use the data to improve the visitor experience by increasing staff at busy times and reorganising displays that aren’t working. They can also save money by reducing staff during quiet periods. The number of people visiting the library at different times and days is remarkably constant; recording people counts let libraries plan ahead and optimise staff levels and opening times.

Understanding usage patterns of the library, for example, let the Thomas Cooper Library of the University of South Carolina extend opening hours on its busiest days – Sunday to Thursday – but not on the quieter Friday and Saturday.

Library management: count people, reduce queues, allocate staff, track area popularity

The video visitor counters provide quantitative data showing how much and how often people use the library’s physical resources. This evidence provides support for the resources that are being used and enables the reduction of under-used features: saving money whilst giving people more of what they want.

Administrators and librarians use the statistics provided by the library counters to evaluate the ways in which the library supports their community.

Determining how much a libary’s facilities are being used by its patrons is an effort that every library should attempt.

Daniel S Dotson and Joshua B Garris writing in Library Philosophy and Practice

Video people counters use pictures from CCTV to identify and count visitors. Counts can be stored and displayed both locally and remotely, with data being sent over the internet to administration centres. Systems are over 98% accurate.

Further Reading:
Counting More than the Gate: Developing Building Use Statistics to Create Better Facilities for Today’s Academic Library Users,
Daniel S. Dotson, Joshua B. Garris. Library Philosophy and Practice

Contact us for more information.

Video Technology will Dominate People Counting over next 5 years

By 2022 the people counting market is expected to reach USD 1637 million, growing at a CAGR of 18.9%. That’s according to a study by MarketsandMarkets.

Video-based technology is expected to dominate the people counting system market during this period.

“This technology offers high accuracy during high-volume traffic, ability to detect the direction in which person or shopper is moving, remains unaffected in varying environments of light, heat, shadows, and it can easily distinguish people from objects and track continuously through a large area for an extended period of time.”

Video people counting offers the best way of ensuring accurate footfall and queue counting in locations such as retail stores, train stations or airports where there are dense crowds and slow-moving traffic. It can differentiate between people and objects to count with high accuracy.

This technology is ideal for anyone who requires the highest accuracy, reliability and count validation.

The retail stores, supermarkets and shopping malls are expected to lead the market during the forecast period as the retail industry is becoming more complex and is constantly evolving. In a shifting environment retailers will have to modify their existing strategies to achieve new goals. Retailers need to know the footfall at their shop at regular intervals to remain competitive in the complex retail world.

The report continues

  • By observing the ratio of traffic to sales, retailers can fairly and accurately compare stores with low sales volume to stores with high sales volume.
  • People counters help improve store operations by giving information about the number of people entering the store, passing by the store, duration of their visit, and frequency of their visit.
  • They help measure the performance of marketing campaigns and advertising.
  • They also help making decisions regarding staff planning.

It’s not just retailers who are benefiting from people counting systems, there is increasing demand from:

  • the transportation sector – trains, buses and airports
  • the increasing number of smart city and building projects
  • the hospitality industry, especially booming in the Asia-Pacific countries
  • banking and financial institutes
  • sports and entertainment
  • government and healthcare
  • education

Another analysis, this time by Reasearch Beam, identifies China as the fastest growing market. They predict that the market will continue to grow here faster than anywhere else in the world.

Currently, the lowest penetration of people counting systems is in South America, the Middle East and Africa. These emerging markets also provide ample growth opportunities for the people counting system market in the coming years.

Growth, however, is expected in all regions including Europe and North America.

Further Reading

People Counting System Market by Technology (IR Beam, Video Based, Thermal Imaging), Application (Retail, Transportation, Banking & Finance, Hospitality, Sports & Entertainment, Government), and Geography – Global Forecast to 2022. MarketsandMarkets

Global People Counting System Market Professional Survey Report 2017. Reasearch Beam. December 2017.

Learn how counting people helps improve services and profits

Did you know we have a range of leaflets giving you the low-down of how counting people can help you improve services and increase profits?

Any questions email or call us on +44 (0)161 839 6437.

Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

The collection of accurate data is essential in measuring marketing effectiveness. By thoroughly analysing data, marketers can improve the success of their efforts and make better business decisions. Popular metrics include tracking visitors, sales and customer conversions.

What do visitor analytics tell the marketing department?

  1. Combining people counts with sales transactions shows the customer conversion rate (customer conversion is the percentage of people who actually buy something as opposed to just browsing)
  2. With people counts and customer conversion figures, directors can determine their return on marketing investment. Marketing professionals get a full picture and can determine the costs and benefits of getting more people across the threshold.
  3. Armed with people count information, marketers can easily test different promotional techniques across different stores or venues.
  4. Each person entering a store is a potential customer, an opportunity for a sale. Knowing the number of potential customers is essential to measure how the opportunities converted to sales.
  5. Without customer conversion figures there can be no valid comparisons between promotions, stores or regions.

Marketing departments are now under more pressure than ever to deliver results that can be tangibly measured. As video people counting systems are over 98% accurate, they provide concrete data and key performance indicators. Counts are available in real-time, so Marketers can fine-tune their strategies in the midst of a campaign. In a retail example, more people may be visiting a store, and sales may be up, but without the conversion figures it is unknown how many potential sales were lost. If, though, marketers have real-time conversion percentages – and they are going down – then quick action can make all the difference, converting quite good results to an outstanding return on investment.

Footfall counting increases sales over a 1000-strong chain of stores

Edinburgh Woollen Mill owns not only the EWM stores but also the Peacock’s chain – a total of over 1000 sites. They needed a footfall system which could pull in data from all the stores around the UK and integrate the information with other key performance indicators and influencers.

To help them they turned to Retail Sensing.

Retail Sensing manufacture sophisticated video counting systems called Video Turnstile. After a successful couple of months’ trial in a limited number of shops, the company started installing CCTV cameras and intelligent counting units across all their properties. We are happy to say that the full rollout, to over 1400 locations, is now complete.

The smart counting units detect people in the CCTV video and send the counts over the internet to the EWM server. Here it is combined with other key information including sales figures, weather conditions and staff numbers.

The Video Turnstile smart footfall counting unit
The compact Video Turnstile smart footfall counting unit

The sites are accessible remotely – so the accuracy of the footfall counts can be easily checked simply by viewing the video and the counts together. Adjustments can be made centrally via a software application for each individual store’s counts. For example, the operator can fine-tune the system to cope with shadows or reflections in particular entrances.

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill is now successfully implementing business strategies to increase performances across clusters of stores. This is resulting in larger profits and increased revenue. Data gained from the Video Turnstile footfall system is thus enabling the EWM to successfully improve sales.

For more information contact Asad Syed at