June 7th, 2021

Artificial Intelligence Is The New Driving Force Behind Footfall Counting Innovation

There’s no question that technology innovation in the people counting market is booming. However, given the increased privacy and security concerns in the digital age, some technology solutions like WiFi analytics are no longer able to offer the accuracy or functionality needed to compete with artificial intelligence and machine learning innovations disrupting the industry today.

Although footfall counter developers invested heavily in optimizing WiFi beacons for geo-location, in-store customer identification, and in-store customer engagement, the technology has become almost completely redundant. Device manufacturers are changing the way networks are detected by default to protect users from malicious parties. iOS devices, for example, transmit scrambled MAC IDs, making it impossible for WiFi sensors to identify users.

WiFi sensors are also only accurate if the device’s settings are compatible with the sensor and if a device’s WiFi is turned on. It makes WiFi analytics an unreliable and inaccurate method for foot traffic data collection, and in most cases, it can only achieve 10% accuracy.

Enter 3D AI technology. Offering 98% accuracy for footfall counts, 3D AI camera technology works by combining large amounts of data with fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms, allowing the software to learn automatically from patterns or features in the data. Machine learning automates analytical model building by using neural networks, statistics, operations research, and physics to find hidden insights in data without explicitly being programmed for where to look or what to conclude.

Millions of images are used to train the algorithms to identify humans and differentiate between humans and non-human objects, irrespective of lighting conditions or other disturbances in the surrounding environment. The AI algorithms can also intelligently detect gender, age, height, physical distance, and mask-wearing.

 

Benefits of AI Technology for Retail Analytics

AI technology empowers businesses through deep learning models, image processing, advanced hardware, and AI-powered cameras to identify targeted behavior to help improve store operations.

 

Customer Experience Management

By leveraging AI and sensor technology, retailers can provide a more engaging and positive customer experience. AI sensors can be placed above service areas to measure queues’ length and the number of times customers are idle in a queue. Automatic alerts are sent when lines are too long or a predetermined wait time has been exceeded. This enables staff to immediately intervene and expedite processes to keep customers happy. Occupancy management helps staff to meet demand more effectively because they are provided with real-time insight into how many customers are in the store at any given time. Traffic flows can also be measured by the hour, day, week, and month to identify peak performance periods to deploy staff and resources more adequately.

 

Store Layout and Product Placement Optimization

With the ability to track people’s movement and dwell time in a store, retailers can identify patterns that point to high traffic zones, popular routes, and optimum product placement areas. Store layout can then be optimized to promote accessibility with product placements in strategic locations. This not only enhances the customer experience but also increases the chances of sales conversion.

 

Marketing and Sales Campaign Optimization 

Retailers can measure sales conversions and track customer behavior during marketing campaigns to find the most successful initiatives and scrap the ones that aren’t working. Gender and age detection take marketing optimization even further by enabling retailers to determine customer profiles for targeted marketing campaigns.

 

COVID-19 Safety Prioritization

AI technology can measure distance and detect masks. Alerts can be set up to notify staff and customers in real-time when distance is breached, occupancy levels are reached, and when masks are not detected. This information can be displayed on in-store screens with customizable messaging or voice recordings for customers and sent via email or mobile messaging to the staff so they can immediately attend to the issue.

 

Inventory Management 

By implementing AI with advanced camera technology, retailers can gain real-time insights around inventory levels falling below defined goals, allowing staff to proactively restock merchandise to improve shoppers' viewing and interactions and potentially boost sales and customer satisfaction.

Although these AI technology features are only a taste of the benefits available in a retail analytics solution, you can follow the Vemcount blog for weekly insights and knowledge-sharing around the latest innovations in Footfall Counting.

 

Vemcount is a comprehensive retail analytics solution that uses the latest 3D AI sensor technology and an easy-to-use BI analytics dashboard. Vemcount sensors capture detailed and accurate data about customer flow, queue times, traffic patterns, dwell zones, conversion rates, outside traffic, marketing and sales performance, customers’ gender and height, and social distancing and mask-wearing measurements. You can see all of these details in real-time on the Vemcount dashboard and create custom reports with combined data to glean actionable insights that help you optimize business performance and customer experience.

Send us a message if you’re interested in learning about AI technology and Vemcount Retail Analytics.