When you hear the mention of a door counting sensor in retail what comes to your mind? Do you think only in terms of measuring your foot traffic and that’s it? Are you dismissing the importance of retail traffic counting because you are concerned that it will just be more data you have to file away? I was surprised to learn that two objections some business owners have to counters are the appearance and that they count children who those owners don’t consider important because they don’t spend the money. If these are concerns you have had and it has discouraged you from investing in a door counting sensor for your business this article is for you.
I know that some readers are familiar with the concept of retail traffic counting but may not know how it is done so I am going to digress briefly for the uninitiated. The basic idea is that a store uses a door counting sensor to identify the number of people entering the business. We will discuss how that information may be used a bit later. The sensor itself can be a stand-alone unit or in stores that utilize electronic article surveillance pedestals to prevent shoplifting a sensor can be attached directly to the pedestals. It’s that simple!
As I said earlier, there are two major objections I found that are used as excuses not to invest in a retail traffic counting system. The first objection was that some units have the appearance of a cctv camera and owners and managers are afraid it will make customers uncomfortable. Hogwash! There are very few retailers in this day and age which do not employ some type of video surveillance. It may be a Public View monitor at the entrance to a store or in an area known to be vulnerable to theft. As a Loss Prevention Manager I have seen them used in high end department stores at the entrance to fitting rooms. I would argue that the extensive use of cctv has actually de-sensitized shoppers to cameras and video monitors to the point they have negligible effects on deterring shoplifters. The other rebuttal to this objection is that when the unit is tied in to an EAS pedestal it is barely noticeable. Shoppers hardly notice pedestals when they enter or leave (unless it alarms) so adding a small accessory to it won’t cause any distractions.
The other argument against a door counting sensor is that they count small children who won’t be spending money. That is to say the results are skewed and therefore irrelevant. Well, Mr. or Ms. Grocery Store Owner, don’t you think that those children are influencing their parents while the parents are shopping? Do you display children’s cereals on endcaps? Do you have gum, candy and soft drink coolers at your checkout stands? Why do you think food manufacturers spend so much money on advertising and packaging? In many cases it is to appeal to the children who will influence parents spending habits. Clothing retailers, the same goes for you. There is a reason commercials are made to make clothing for kids to look “cool” and popular. Toy store retailers, I don’t think I should even have to say anything to you. How many children are buying your merchandise? That’s right, very few. It is the parents and usually a response to what their children have asked for on birthdays, holidays and just pointed out while watching a television ad. If you are striving to get people to visit your store you are going to reach out to as many folks as possible and that includes families with children.
I mentioned I would discuss how information from a Retail Traffic Counting system could benefit your store. Let’s suppose you advertise a new line of product you are carrying. You may use a number of media venues and door and window signage to get out the message. You create a new product display in a prominent location. The success of the new product can’t be measured just in sales dollars. A traffic counter will tell you how many people entered your store. When you have previous information to compare to you can see whether your new product drew in more people. That measure of success is something you can build on to keep new customers coming back time after time.
A door counting sensor isn’t just another source of useless data. If employed properly and the information understood correctly it can be a powerful tool for measuring success of merchandising. It can also be used to improve your payroll allocation, but that is for another article.
For more information about a door counting sensor contact us or call 1.866.914.2567