March 8th, 2021

Is Retail Footfall Counting Useful During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

The tumultuous times we find ourselves in call for renewed and more stringent focus on health and safety in public spaces. COVID-19 awareness and adjusting to a new normal has permeated our lives to such an extent that it simply can’t be ignored. And it shouldn’t be ignored in retail spaces either.

Studies show that global consumer behavior is changing drastically due to fears surrounding the spread of the virus, driving more and more people to do their essential shopping online. Those who are willing to risk in-store shopping make their choices according to how seriously retailers take safety precautions in their establishments.

Consumer demands today include controlled social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitizing, as well as product and service accessibility. Customers want to feel safe; they don’t want to struggle to find what they need, and they want to be served promptly.

As brick-and-mortar retail stores, shopping malls, grocery stores, and all other customer-facing service providers grapple with keeping their customers and employees safe while still making enough profit to survive, advances in footfall counter technology and data analytics software now hold the solution to their woes.

A revolutionary COVID-19 screening solution is now available from Vemcount. It’s not only making customers and employees feel safer, but it’s helping businesses optimize their processes, enhance customer experiences, and boost sales conversions. Let’s explore how!


What is Retail Footfall Counting?

Although people counting or footfall counting as a concept is not new, counter sensor technology has evolved over the years to include artificial intelligence and 3D video capturing capabilities. Footfall counter sensors are typically installed above the entrances and exits of buildings to measure the number of people coming in and out.

They can also be installed above checkout counters and other strategic areas to track traffic patterns, dwell zones, and queue management. The sensors can be integrated with analytics software to collect, combine and transform data into insights for business process optimization and customer experience enhancement.

Footfall counter sensors can collect the following types of data in a retail store:

▶︎ The total and current number of visitors entering and exiting a location;

▶︎ Zone-specific occupancy levels;

▶︎ Average dwell time;

▶︎ Traffic patterns and trends (with heatmaps);

▶︎ Queue waiting times;

▶︎ Social distance measurement and mask-wearing detection;

▶︎ Height, gender, and object filtration;

▶︎ Conversion rates;

▶︎ Customer interaction time;

▶︎ Bypasser count and behavior;

▶︎ View directions (can detect where people are looking).


How is Retail Footfall Counting keeping customers safe during COVID-19?

Vemcount’s COVID-19 screening solution improves safe shopping experiences in three ways: social distancing, mask-wearing, and occupancy levels.


Social Distance Measurement

Footfall counter sensors use x and y coordinates and accurately measure the distance between people to ensure that a 1.5 - 2 meter distance is maintained at all times. 

When integrated with Vemcount’s data analytics platform, users can set up customized alerts for when the distance is not maintained. It can either be communicated in real-time to customers in the store via a screen with a message, image, or sound or sent directly to staff or security on the floor to manage the situation. The alert system process is automated and triggered according to the sensor’s data, so no further manual intervention is required after the initial parameters are set up.


Mask-wearing Detection

Vemcount’s 3D camera technology can detect when people are wearing a mask and when they are not. This helps ensure that customers are wearing a mask when they enter a store, and if they are not, an automatic alert can be streamed via an in-store screen with a request to mask up before entering. Again, staff or security can also be notified to intervene if necessary.


Occupancy Measurement

According to COVID-19 restrictions, occupancy levels for any indoor area need to be meticulously controlled to prevent the spread of the virus. Footfall counter sensors can measure, with 98% accuracy, the number of people occupying a space at any given time.

The number can be displayed in real-time on a messaging screen at the entrance of a store. When the number reaches a predetermined limit, a new message can be displayed requesting customers to wait for a safe signal before entering. Automatic doors can even be controlled according to the count, so for example, the doors will close when the occupancy limit is reached and open when it is safe.

Vemcount leads the way in real-time COVID-19 safety measures, and retail stores are returning to pre-COVID sales numbers because of it.

Are you ready to create safer shopping experiences for your customers? Get in touch with us to find out how.