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People Counting blog

4 Retail Tips - How You Can Put Data To Work

Posted by Jordan Britchford on Sep 11, 2017 10:51:09 AM

Retail is getting more competitive all the time, and like any situation, you can only make the best decisions if you are fully informed. Irisys gives you the data you need to get the best out of your stores, malls, and other retail locations.

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Topics: Retail Analytics

Nearly Half of UK Stores Are Not Using Footfall Data to Improve Sales

Posted by Allen Haynes on Sep 5, 2017 10:00:00 AM

As the retail landscape continues to change with the evolving world of online shopping, it is becoming more important for retailers to better understand the nuances of customer traffic. By doing so, brick-and-mortar stores will be empowered to develop and strengthen the in-store strategies that will ultimately improve conversion ratios and help them make the most of every customer.

However, in an age where online stores continue thinning out the brick-and-mortar customer base, many retailers in the UK are still not taking advantage of retail analytics.

We recently completed a wide-ranging survey of UK high-streets and malls to investigate just how many retailers are using people counting solutions.

Of the 947 stores we surveyed, 445 – or about 50 percent – were not using people counting technology of any kind to track shopper traffic.

iStock-622222496.jpgIt is an interesting and puzzling fact that nearly half of the shops in these bustling retail locations do not fully understand their customers’ needs – an actionable insight derived from people counting data that helps increase revenue and decrease costs.

Many of these same retailers are investing more money into improving their brick-and-mortar locations’ aesthetic appeal through flashy displays that entice potential customers through the doors. However, that strategy is only effective when it is accompanied by superior, measurable service. For retailers not utilising in-store analytics, an issue arises when they don’t know what those shoppers do and where they go once inside the store.

With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, now is the time for retailers to consider making the right kind of technology a priority to ensure their in-store strategies are optimised for customer experience, customer service, traffic flow and sales opportunities.

Irisys’ people counting systems are among the best solutions available to help retailers to generate and understand retail analytics that can increase revenues. In fact, among the stores we visited  that were using retail analytics, Irisys technology was the clear favourite with a more than 43 percent usage rate.

Already the global leader in people counting technology, we are continuing to produce unrivaled people counters for retail analytics with our newest product, Vector 4D. It is the most advanced technology in the people counting market today and further improves the accuracy and expands the capabilities in how footfall data is collected. 

The introduction of Vector 4D expands the capabilities – and value – of the people counting device. Besides counting customers, Vector 4D can be configured to eliminate or count children as customers utilising height measurement technology; deployed to monitor shopper dwell times; and installed in areas where older technologies cannot perform.

Irisys’ newest retail technology solution consistently provides the tools and intelligence retailers need to improve conversion ratios and optimise staff scheduling.

Topics: People Counting, Retail Analytics

A store within a store – how stores are becoming more like malls

Posted by Jordan Britchford on Sep 1, 2017 1:01:45 PM

A curious thing is happening to the UK high street – more and more retailers are moving in with one another. One of the more prominent examples is coffee chains such as Costa opening in bookshops, clothing retailers, cinemas, and supermarkets.

From the point of view of both parties it makes sense, with both stores gaining a benefit from the combined power of the other to drive more footfall and customers from the other.

But more recently there have been a number of other partnerships that have appeared. Tesco is now partnering with Currys PC World to offer an outlet for the electrical retailer within a Tesco Extra store, with another trial location planned. Similarly, retailer Game has been building partnerships with other well-known names such as WH Smith and Maplin.

With a more challenging retail landscape, strong competition from online retail and the new opportunities that it offers, different companies now find themselves with greater incentives to work together more than ever before. But it can also bring up a few problems.

Without getting a firm idea of the footfall throughout these shared outlets, where customers are going on the shop-floor and the conversion rates that can be achieved, stores will not be able to have a clear picture and understanding of the challenges and prospects these new retail formats can offer.

Do they actually increase customer conversion from the cross-selling opportunities that arise? How can you set an equitable price for the space rented out to another store if you can’t measure the footfall they get? How can you make the argument to a potential partner if you can’t present this kind of data to them in the first place?

These are just a few questions rising with the tide of this trend. Thankfully, they are questions that can be answered through people counting technology. Retailers who are taking advantage of multiple customer bases by aligning for a more mall-like feel, should also make sure they are taking advantage of the new footfall knowledge that comes with those shoppers.

Topics: Retail, Retail Analytics

Three Ways Irisys Can Help You Improve Store Conversion

Posted by Allen Haynes on Aug 14, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Three Ways Irisys Helps Improve Conversion FINAL 8.8.2017.png

Topics: People Counting Technology, Retail Analytics, Infographic

People Counting Technology - Group Counting

Posted by Tim Wheatley on Aug 8, 2017 3:38:44 PM

It has been 15 years since Irisys introduced the world’s first high accuracy ceiling mounted people counter and since then the use of people counting to provide essential retail performance metrics has grown in popularity.  People counting enables a critical retail metric – conversion rate – to be easily calculated for a retail store. Conversion rate – the ratio of revenue against people count measures how effectively a retail premises turns customers into money and can hence be used to optimise store performance, measure the impact of advertising campaigns, understand seasonal variations in performance and compare performance store to store to promote best practice.

Over the years new features have been introduced into people counters – the ability to count based on customer height (a simple method for eliminating children from the count) and the ability to count families (a family of 5 should not be considered the same as 5 individuals) are just two examples. Irisys is at the forefront of such technological innovations, the latest Vector 4D product provides enhanced group counting and the ability to resolve height with world leading accuracy. However, both of these enhancements must be used with care – the use of height alone to discriminate children is open to significant error as any parents of 8-12 year olds will clearly understand. Similarly, whilst it is simple for a human observer to understand that a group of people looks like a family the same cannot be said for a people counter – rules are applied and unfortunately mistakes can be made.

People Counting feed.pngThere is a trend for users to only look at group counts or child free counts when comparing store performance and in doing this important information, insight and accuracy in the resulting conversion rate figures is lost. Here at Irisys we have always considered providing an accurate count of all of the people entering or leaving a store as the core metric – it is the baseline truth against which all other analytics can be interpreted. Use of height or grouping information should only be used as additional context to help understand differences in store performance and diagnose the root cause.

For example two stores may display different conversion rates based on the baseline truth people count – in understanding the reason for this difference it would then be useful to see if there were significant differences in the number of children or the number of groups entering the stores or whether the store was simply less efficient. 

For this reason Irisys provides a flexible counting system allowing counts of every individual, counts of groups or counts according to height range or any combination of these. Similarly Irisys Vector counters accumulate statistics of height allowing the retailer to understand how the distribution of height in a store varies over time for example, are there more children at weekends? Does this change how a store should operate at these times?

The use of these enhanced metrics undoubtedly can provide useful insight – but don’t throw information away – start with ground truth and then use the extra information to help you understand what is going on.  

Topics: People Counting Technology

Has America Seen Its Last New Mall?

Posted by Allen Haynes on Jul 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Twenty years ago U.S. consumers flocked to malls for most of their shopping needs. Department stores anchored these behemoths of retail industry in a time when mobile phones were only used to make phone calls, and the Internet was primarily a resource for academic research.

Today, access to online retailers via smart phone apps and mobile Internet browsers is part of an ever-strengthening digital shopping experience that is leading fewer people to the once dominant 800,000-square-foot shopping malls. According to Wall Street Journal, (note: article is behind a pay wall) as digital shopping continues to innovate, the future of large-scale shopping malls may be in jeopardy.

In fact, the last mall to be built in America opened three years ago, and although it has seen some success, experts speculate it could be the last of its kind. The 862,000-square-foot Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, Fla., was constructed by Taubman Centers Inc. after years of planning and regional population data consideration.

For now, the upscale mall is doing well, thanks to brands such as Apple and Tesla Motors, which are reliable traffic generators, according to the report. However, it is likely to be the last of its kind, at least for a while.

“We have every expectation that not many malls are going to be built, but we didn’t expect this to be the last,” said Bill Taubman, chief operating officer of Taubman Centers, in the article.

This news may come as a surprise to some retailers, where, for years, supersized crowds loyally filled their stores and aisles and clogged their checkout queues. For these retailers that aren’t using intelligent in-store technology, an even bigger surprise may be on its way. They may have observed a slip in traffic and in sales – but they may not fully know to what degree their traffic has fallen. Worse yet, many of them could have prevented their exodus of customers.

But while some retailers and malls may not have a full grasp on their footfall and conversion, many are refusing to dig their grave and are instead fighting back by investing in in-store technology designed to provide them better insight and increase sales.

The near real-time data collected from retail solutions like Irisys’ People Counting technology gives brick-and-mortar stores the intelligence necessary for sustaining longevity in the digital shopping era.

As competition continues to tighten for virtually every category of retailer, footfall data will grow as a crucial element to helping superstores understand their traffic trends – and prepare them to take action when smaller crowds begin to emerge.

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Topics: People Counting Technology, shopping mall, Irisys Retail

Why choose Gazelle 2?

Posted by Jordan Britchford on Jun 14, 2017 4:08:10 PM

The Gazelle 2 has become the preferred choice for many Irsys partners and end-users the world over, so what are the top reasons people are giving for choosing the Gazelle 2?

A new 90° lens

Giving a much wider field of view, the new 90° lens gives the Gazelle 2 greater options for installation, and ultimately means that a given area can be covered with fewer units - offering a significant cost saving. 

Faster installations

With optional Bluetooth technology on-site teams can connect to the Gazelle 2 much more easily, giving big savings of time and costs. The new 90° lens also means that there are more options for where you can install the sensor - on lower ceilings, on further from the door, all things that make it easier and faster to install. 

Very high reliability

Irisys devices have unmatched reliability, meaning fewer problems for partners to solve and longer uninterrupted data for the end-user. Combined with the low power consumption and remote configuration/validation capability, the Gazelle 2 has a very low cost of ownership. 

Wide openings

By linking together several units, data can be collected across a wide area as if by a single unit, give a more accurate count than multiple units counting independently. Entrances up to 50m wide can be covered using this feature.

Low light functionality

With Irisys' proprietary technology the Gazelle 2 uses a robust thermal-based people detection and counting system that works independently of ambient light conditions - so it will work even in total darkness.

Gazelle 2 - giving you more options for your projects

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Find product details on our free Partner Portal

 

Topics: Gazelle 2

UK Retail Sales Surge, Pound at Its Strongest Level in Eight Months

Posted by Allen Haynes on May 22, 2017 4:31:32 PM

Recent warm weather and a later than normal Easter brought shoppers out onto the high streets in April, creating a surprise surge in retail spending, according to a recent report from the Office for National Statistics.

Sales for UK retailers improved with a 2.3 percent increase from March, more than doubling the projected 1 percent.

This sudden increase in retail spending has stunned some industry experts who predicted UK retail sales to slow even more with prices increasing and consumers becoming more budget consciousness. However, these interesting spending patterns are further validating previous reports that British shoppers are heading back to brick-and-mortar locations sooner and more frequently than expected since the UK’s vote to leave the EU last year.

Interestingly, the UK is relying more and more on shoppers to drive financial growth since last year’s vote, while other sectors such as construction have slowed, said the report. The result has strengthened the pound to its highest level since September 2016.

And while British consumers flocking back to the high streets has surprised some, it is better served as a reminder to retailers that the in-store experience not only matters, but is a key driver in sales conversion performance and brand loyalty.  

British retailers must see this opportunity to create new and exciting shopping experiences as customers continue stepping away from online shopping and head back into their brick-and-mortar locations.

With summer fast approaching and holiday planning soon to follow, now is the perfect time for brick-and-mortars to commit to enhancing the shopping experience and improving operational efficiency through technological innovation like people counting and queue management solutions.

Retail technologies, like Irisys People Counting and Irisys Queue Management, play crucial roles in helping retailers improve in-store service-delivery strategies. Irisys People Counters provide critical performance metrics – and validate (or dispute) assumptions that stores are gaining traffic and improving conversion rates. And Irisys Queue Management puts retail metrics into action. The predictive checkout solution reduces customers’ queue times and optimises staffing levels at the front end and throughout the store.

Take a look at 4 Ways Retailers Can Save Money Using Analytics.

Contact Us to Learn More about Irisys Intelligent Retail Solutions

Topics: People Counting, Retail Analytics, Shopping Trends

Vector 4D Height Measurement Capability

Posted by Jordan Britchford on May 22, 2017 2:20:51 PM

The Vector 4D uses innovative Time-of-Flight technology, allowing a range of new characteristics and behaviours to be measured, opening the door to a huge range of new possibilities. While many systems on the market today claim to gather height data, due to the passive nature of video systems the best that can be achieved is often only an estimate. With the Vector 4D however, the height of all people passing through the field of view is measured directly, with high accuracy.

Using this measurement a height histogram of all people counted can be collected, giving a rich resource for estimating the distribution of adults vs children, for example. Limits can also be intelligently applied to counts to include or omit people above or below a given height, allowing children to be included or excluded from the count.

The heights of people may also be continually monitored allowing changes in behaviour to be detected; are they sitting or standing, for example? This will enable some new insights into the way that people use a space. Only the Vector 4D has the capacity to record this type of data with such accuracy and combine it with other built-in capabilities to give end-users a data resource with so many options.

The capabilities of the time of flight sensor also extend to the more practical side of operating the device, as it can understand its environment in great detail. It is able to automatically calculate its mounting height, and therefore the area of the field of view, making installation and calibration easier.

High accuracy by design, coupled with an innovative feature set mean that the Vector 4D will be unparalleled in terms of capability and practicality.

Topics: People Counting Technology, Vector 4D, height measurement

RBTE 2017 review

Posted by Jordan Britchford on May 12, 2017 4:22:55 PM

After a busy two days at RBTE 2017 the whole Irisys team is back at the office – but what a great show we had! As always it was great to hear directly from some of the UK’s largest retailers to talk about the challenges they face in shopper conversion and queue management.

We were especially pleased to showcase our new product, the Vector 4D which was nominated for the RBTE innovation award, recognising the transformative potential of this new sensor.

Vector 4D is Irisys’ innovative time of flight sensor combining highly accurate people counting, direct height and dwell measurement in one aesthetic IoT sensor.

Visit www.iriys.net for more information.

Topics: RBTE, Vector 4D

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