Retail

How people counting solutions can boost retail store performance

29 Nov 2019

In an era of cashless stores, biometric payments and facial recognition, counting footfall can seem a relatively simple technology. But there’s a lot more to it and plenty you can do to get more out of boosting a store’s performance.

You can find several demonstrations in the Cegid Innovation Store. Among them are solutions by STACKR®, a specialist in people counting, which range from classic sensors that count arrivals and departures to solutions that will analyse the flow of people around a store. The storefront plays a vital role in making customers decide as to whether to enter a store or not. You can actually quantify the number of customers passing in front of a store, those who stop and those who enter; and even use it to identify those products more susceptible to getting customers through the doors.

Technically, having such tools requires the installation of a dedicated system. Boxes are installed between 1 and 1.5 metres adjacent to the door. An RJ45 network cable allows you to retrieve the data and send it to the cloud and back to the central point-of-sale system. Cross-referencing with data from Cegid Retail Y2 then allows indicators to be set.

In-store, retailers can also monitor customer movements around the store to help identify hot and cold areas. A bit like browsers on a website and being able to track mouse movements, you can learn lessons about buyer behaviour from analysing the flow of people in a store. For example, new collections are usually best located just inside the entrance to the shop to entice customers in. Whereas best-sellers and staples should be located further back to encourage shoppers to move further down the aisles.

More recent developments from STACKR® include the ability to monitor flow even more acutely and distinguish between sales staff and customers. You can also dig deeper and measure the customer reception rate by looking at the number of consumers served within a reasonable time-frame and the number of customers that return. Or, you might want to work out the average time it takes staff to come and greet customers.

These, and many other useful measures, allow you to take a step back and evaluate how a store is performing.

“We managed to evaluate the sales success rate of a hundred-store jewellery chain with how many staff were present at different times of the day,” said Guillaume Portella, sales and marketing director of STACKR®.
The main objective was to determine if there were an adequate number of employees for the number of customers and see how sales were affected by different levels of staffing. For the jewellery chain in question, it identified a shortfall of over three weeks of sales – estimated at around 100,000 euros – because during lunch breaks the store was under-staffed. “Sales were up, but the analysis shows that the retailer could have done a lot better,” concludes Portella.

Cegid’s opinion: A people counting solution means that retailers can adapt levels of staffing (or re-stocking) in line with detailed analysis of customer behaviour and, by doing so, improve a store’s performance. Those retailers who have adopted a people counting solution are much better placed for deciding where best to locate merchandise according to hot and cold areas of the store, and when to maximise staff for busy shopping periods.

The technology partner: STACKR® is a Lyon-based SME that works in distribution (retail and shopping centres), logistics (industry, ports) and with local authorities. It offers solutions to gather, measure and analyse the flow of pedestrians and vehicles in real time.

Discover this solution by visiting the Cegid Innovation Store in Lyon.