The New Science Of Counting Shoppers: The Tech Tracking Customers In The Age Of Coronavirus
Forbes | June 28, 2020
Video cameras and traffic-counting systems retailers have had in place for decades are being re-deployed in the Covid-19 era to monitor compliance with occupancy and social distancing rules and as health screeners that can alert a manager if someone with an elevated temperature enters a store.
Pre-pandemic, stores primarily used these traffic counting technologies for labor scheduling and conversion rates. But with states and cities restricting indoor occupancy rates, and retailers creating guidelines for occupancy and social distancing, those technologies have been turned into Covid-19 compliance tools.
Retailers are also exploring Covid 19 traffic monitoring solutions being adopted by office buildings and airports, such as mobile apps that conduct health screenings and that let pre-approved visitors open doors or activate elevators with their phones.
Sensormatic Solutions responded to the pandemic by expanding its ShopperTrak customer-counting and data services. “We pivoted pretty quickly. As soon as Covid-19 happened we saw that there was going to be a need for them,” said Brent Brown, vice president and general manager, North America, for Sensormatic.
Sensormatic is leveraging the traffic counting cameras and sensors it already had in place in its clients’ stores to create real time occupancy and social distancing density reports for those retailers. Stores that have to restrict traffic to 25% or 50% of capacity get alerts when the number of shoppers approaches those thresholds.
Sensormatic has created a traffic light system that collects occupancy data and uses traffic signals—red for wait and green for enter— at a store entrance. Sensormatic also is providing thermal imaging cameras that can detect shoppers with elevated temperatures.