Shopping malls and retail businesses always have to monitor the footfall and count of people visiting them. As many people will visit a shopping mall as much business it will get at the end of the day. Here in Dubai and all around the UAE the retail industry is very competitive, people have a lot of choice to choose from. There are several shopping malls within a closer proximity, which also make customer more demanding and picky. That is why it becomes extremely important for malls to take all steps to satisfied its customers and ensure they have an excellent experience. In order to achieve that the mall management need to optimize the mall operation. The mall operation is relatively complex from several other facility management. There is a lot of resources involved both human resource and the financial expense. The shopping mall have to carefully utilize all resources to maximize the efficiency in mall operations. The people counting system is one of the best tool that can help shopping malls to optimize their operations and to achieve maximum efficiency.
There are several technologies that are being used by shopping mall all around the world. The people counting technologies have evolved a lot and with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) the people counting technologies have completely evolved. Now a days a modern people counting system consists of a very powerful software. It is not just the software that evolved and transformed, in fact the hardware also improved a lot, there was a time when the people counting systems were able to calculate the people with varying accuracy and error levels ranging from 10% to 40% depends on different hardware sensors and situations. Now a days a modern people counting hardware can count people with high accuracy more than 90%. However, a very latest breed of people counting systems have completely changed its approach towards hardware. Now a days, the people counting systems doesn’t need any dedicated hardware devices and sensors. In fact a modern people counting system can be linked with the existing CCTV security camera feeds and it is capable of analyzing the video feeds in real-time to extract the valuable data from it.
These modern people counting systems are more advanced, can capture highly accurate data, provide a wider range of analytical data and offer more useful features. Here are some key features of the people counting system which can help management to improve their mall operations.
People Counting System: Highly Accurate People Counting Data
The people counting system uses CCTV camera feeds and turn your all connected CCTV cameras into a people counting sensors. The AI based software engine is equipped with modern image processing algorithms. It can detect different moving objects and can distinguish between human and non-human objects. Regardless of the number of people entering from a monitoring point or entrance, the people counting system can accurately measure the number of the people. It is due to advanced image processing algorithms and ability to distinguish between human and non-human objects. Furthermore the people counting system can also differentiate between genders and it can also detect different age groups. This ability is achieved with the in-built analytical tools that extract demographic data form the live video feeds in real-time. These image processing features also raise the accuracy of the people counting data. As if a people counting systems is so powerful of identifying genders and different age groups, the people counting tasks is relatively simpler. That is why the modern people counting system can offer highly accurate people counting data.
When the shopping malls have real-time people counting data available for all the entrances and exits they can easily understand how many people are entering and leaving and how many people are inside the mall. Furthermore each camera is generating data, each camera is counting how many people are passing from its location, and this data is layered upon a 2D or 3D floor plan, which gives shopping mall a better understanding of people in any section, zone or area of the mall. This information is very helpful for the mall management. The mall management can easily allocate resources according to the traffic in a particular region. They can also schedule the cleaning, maintenance and other services according to the people flow to minimize the interruption. The mall management can also assign staff and security according to the traffic in a particular region based on the data generated from the people counting system to improve the service quality and to ensure a smooth operation.
People Counting System: Understand Customer Behavior
The modern AI based people counting system is a very capable tool. It not only measures the people count but it can do so much more. As the modern AI based people counting system analyzes the video feeds from the CCTV security cameras in real-time that means the data is fed to the system continuously. The people counting system can continuously monitor the customers and visitors within the mall premises. Which enables it to measure a lot of other matrices, such as it can measure the flow of customer in each area or zone. It can also measure the customer dwell time in each area and zone. Let say 100 people enters the malls, 500 out of that only spend their time in F&B section and left. The remaining 500 scattered all across the mall in different areas and zones. This information is important for the mall management to understand where they need to put more attentions to. The management can significantly improve the mall operation when they clearly knows where most of their visitors will spend more time.
The people dwell time is very important it tell shopping malls that which areas are important for them. Which areas are lagging behind, and how they can arrange different tenants to achieve a balanced distribution of the traffic all across the mall. That could be a big operational challenge if the mall management doesn’t have such information. The customer dwell time also shows in which businesses/tenants the customers are taking more interest. Let say there are three zones A, B and C people are entering from the A side, move across Zone B and end up in Zone C, the simple people count might tell that 500 people enters in Zone A and same number of people in Zone B and then in Zone C, however, the customer dwell time matric will tell which zone is popular for customers and visitors. If the Zone C have more dwell time, it will tell that people most likely made more purchases from Zone C. These information will help malls take effective steps to increase people’s interest in the areas where they are not spending more time which will eventually increase the sales.
The continuous CCTV video feeds, advanced image processing algorithms and AI based tools enable people counting system to offer another great feature which is heatmap analysis. The heatmap analysis is a great analytical tool, it help mall management visually understand the customer flow. The heatmap analysis count number of people, measure dwell time and put it on a 2D/3D floor plan in a color coded format. Different colors shows different amount of traffic. This will help mall management to understand how exactly people are moving within the mall premises. It lay down the complete route people take within the mall on the floor plan diagram, which also help management understand what is attracting people to move at a certain pathway and what is not attracting them and so on. The heatmap analysis is a great tool to understand complete customer journey, which entrances are used the most, which exits are used the most, which routes people take within mall, at which point they decide to return and so on. The heatmap analysis is very detailed and comprehensive. These all information help mall management to refine their strategies and help them making effective plans to maximize the operational capabilities.
People Counting System: Generate More Revenue with Premium Stores
Malls always have different rental categories for different stores placed on different locations. For example a 300 square foot shop next to the main entrance at ground floor would have higher rent than a same sized shop at the furthest spot from elevator at third floor. That is how the rent differs from one place to another, form one zone to another and so on. However, when the tenant comes to the malls, the malls must have to justify the premium rates for those hotspots. However, when the mall have historical data of customer flow and how customers are moving within the mall, they can easily determine all those spots and they can share the same data with the prospects to convince them for premium rents. When a tenant knows they will be receiving a certain amount of traffic they can estimate their expected sales and profits which give them confidence to go with premium rents. The people counting system can provide highly accurate data which can help malls to arrange different tenants in a way to get more exposure and offer better visibility to the stores that are not located in busy areas. Hence the malls can set their rents on the bases of the data they get and they can generate more revenue.
People Counting System: Effective Staff Management
The mall operation is heavily dependent on the performance of the staff and effective staff management. Most of the time the management face issues is directing staff to the areas where they are most needed. Sometimes they can’t effectively monitor the performance of the employees. However, with the people counting system the management can effectively track employee performance. The smart AI based software and image processing algorithms can distinguish between employees and other visitors. The same way that the people counting system tracks the customers and visitors, it can track the employees. It can capture their movements, their pathways, and their dwell time at any area, and it can also provide heatmap analysis of their movement and dwell time. Themanagement can easily relate it to the footfall and customer behavior. This allow them to make effective plans on the bases of historic data and they can also take instant decisions on the bases of live updates from the people counting system and assign more employees to the areas and job where they are most needed. This not only optimize and improve the operations but it also help improving the employee performance and efficiency.
People Counting System: Maximize the Marketing Outcome
The marketing is one of the core function of a shopping mall operations. The management invest heavily in marketing activities and different kind of events to attract more visitors. Sometimes sales and promotions are advertised to attract more visitors. For that the shopping mall use several different marketing channels such as social media, their apps, websites, and other traditional and non-traditional marketing channels. These all activities consume a lot of resources, efforts and expense. It is crucial to measure and monitor the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns to understand which strategy is effective and which isn’t. The monitoring and tracking also help measure the ROI of the marketing campaigns. The people counting system not only provides the accurate visitors data but it also provide complete historic record which help the management to understand the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns simply by measuring the increase in the footfall. The digital marketing and other traditional marketing campaigns are very expensive too, that is why it is important to invest only in the campaigns that really work. Furthermore the businesses can keep improving their campaigns by making changes and monitoring the impact on the footfall and sales.
A modern AI based people counting system is a very powerful digital tool which offer great functionalities and features. For example the people counting system can be integrated with the POS or sales system. It can be linked with any other enterprise tool or system via secure APIs which enables both system to share and synchronize the data. The people counting system can also be integrated to a central information system which enables businesses to transfer and synch data to and from the people counting system. This integration further improve the monitoring capabilities and boost the accuracy of the data. Which enables the malls to accurately track and monitor the performance of their marketing campaigns. Shopping malls also use a variety of methods to boost the customer flow and to maximize the sales within the shopping mall. For example, the digital signage are a great marketing tool for the malls. Usually these signage are placed on strategic spots where they can have maximum exposure. The people counting system can help identifying the hotspots and it can also monitor the effectiveness of the signage by monitoring the people behavior. It can count how many people passed by a signage, how many people spend some time in front of it and how much this impact the overall sales. This way the malls can only invest in the result oriented marketing campaign and keep improving them with continuous monitoring.
An AI based people counting system is equipped with high-tech image processing algorithms and highly effective analytical tools. Which can help malls in many ways to improve their operations. Effective and efficient mall management is a key to success. The people counting system can provide highly accurate people count. It can be linked with any existing CCTV security camera systems which save the cost of installing complicated hardware devices and sensors. The people counting system can take the feedback in real-time, its AI based algorithms can process it in real-time and they can provide reporting and analytical data in the dashboard in real-time. The shopping mall can do heatmap analysis to acquire highly accurate and very comprehensive data about customer flow and their movement within the mall premises. The customer dwell time let them understand what interests the customers. The people counting system data and its ability to integrate with other third-party tool allow mall management to effectively and accurately monitor the performance of their marketing campaigns. The people counting system can also help management in monitoring the performance of the staff and enable them to boost the efficiency of the workforce.
The people counting system not just monitor the footfall but it can provide a great wealth of business intelligence data that can be used to improve mall operations and optimize the resource consumption. Optimizing the mall operations and achieving better efficiency is a key to long term and sustainable success. A people counting system can be game changer for malls and it can provide a great competitive advantage. RSI Concepts is a leading people counting system provider with both standard and customized solutions. If you want to learn more about the subject or if you want us to build a highly cost-effective customized people counting system for you, please feel free to contact us through our Contact Us page or leave a comment in the comment box below and we will get in touch with you soon.
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