What is a People Counter? Is it the Same as a Footfall Counter?

2 min read
May 16, 2019

What is a people counter?

A people counter is any device that is used to count the number of people that use an entrance/exit or passageway. Depending on how the counter is used, a people counter may be called a footfall counter, a door counter, a customer counter, or a visitor counter. All these people counters work in the same way. First, a count line is set up in the configuration settings of the device. When the device detects that a person has crossed the count line while travelling in the direction being reported, the count output from the line increases.  This data is then sent via the Internet to a retail analytics platform for analysis.

A people counting device can be as simple as a manual clicker or as advanced as an infrared beam, a thermal imaging system, or a video system that uses machine learning algorithms. Whatever the technology, people counters—referred to by their many different names—are used in many industries.


Who uses a people counter called a footfall counter?

A people counter used to collect retail analytics for retail stores and supermarkets is often called a footfall counter. The term footfall counter is used instead of people counter in the retail industry as the term footfall refers to the amount of foot traffic that a store gets.

Irisys people counters are widely used in retail stores to measure store footfall, conversion rates, the effectiveness of displays and marketing campaigns, and to efficiently allocate staff to meet demand.


Who uses a people counter called a door counter, a customer counter, or a visitor counter?

Door counters, customer counters, and visitor counters are also people counters. They perform the same function and deliver the same metrics as all people counters. They’re just used in different environments and are named accordingly.

A door counter is a people counter that counts the number of people who enter or exit via a specific door. Libraries, museums, and exhibitions often refer to their people counters as door counters.

A customer counter is a people counter that counts the number of customers that enter or exit a store. In the retail industry, people counters are also referred to as customer counters as well as footfall counters.

A visitor counter counts the number of visitors that visit a tourist attraction, an event, or a public space.

How can a people counting device help my business?

The benefits of people counting can be enormous. Depending on the type of business where a people counter is installed, the device could help:

  • Calculate your store's retail conversion rate (the proportion of visitors to a retail outlet who make a purchase: If 100 people visit your store in a day, but only 25 buy something, the conversion rate is 25 percent)
  • Compare store performance across a worldwide network
  • Calculate your footfall patterns to determine peak hours so you can plan for adequate inventory for demand and you can match your staffing to customer traffic levels
  • Optimize your building layout and staffing levels, for example, by identifying which pathways are the most frequented, which areas are underused, and where there may be issues like crowding
  • Improve customer service

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Irisys have years of experience helping retailers and supermarkets to improve customer service, customer satisfaction and ultimately increasing sales. As the world's leading supplier of people counters we have worked with retailers all around the world - check out some of our people counting success stories to see some of the results we have delivered! 


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