Of course, absolute numbers regarding sales, number of visitors, etc. are important and good to know. However, standing alone, they lack context and don’t provide the information that is really relevant to a company.
By using people counters to measure footfall, a company gets important insights into the success of certain marketing activities (e.g. promotions, samplings, roadshows, etc.). As an example, if you set up a stand in a shopping mall where you organize a sampling of a new product, you want to measure how many people entered the area around your stand. While this doesn’t give you data on how many people have sampled the product, measuring footfall is a good measurement to see if such a product sampling has an adequate number of potential customers.
Further, footfall traffic data is necessary to calculate the conversion rate – (see above).
Footfall traffic data provides important information to draw comparisons of the total number of people that entered an area over time as well as over different locations.
In the case of a retailer, for example, people counting sensors give you an overview of if more people visited your store after you have launched specific marketing activities (advertisements, sales promotions, etc.) Such comparisons give you a good indication if a marketing campaign has been successful or not.
On the other hand, if your company organizes a roadshow, footfall traffic data allows you to compare how many people have been attracted and thus how many potential customers/leads there are at each location.
Dwell time refers to the amount of time a visitor spends in a certain area/location. It is a particularly important metric for the retail sector, but other sectors can also gain important insights from it. In order to determine the average dwell time of your visitors/customers, the arrival time, as well as the exit time of each person, has to be measured. Some of the advanced people counters used to measure footfall can also gather reliable data about the dwell time of visitors. Amongst them, WiFi sensors or optical camera sensors are best suited to do so – WiFi sensors can anonymously track the signal sent out from a visitors’ smartphone and determine the time of entry/exit, and camera sensors can determine when a person has entered/exited the field of vision.
In general, it is agreed that if visitors decide to spend more time at an activation/in a store, the chance of converting a customer (e.g. making a sell) is higher, so the goal is usually to increase the dwell time.
However, there are cases for which a low dwell time is a goal, like for example coffee shops/fast-food restaurants or stores where you pick up specific goods that are focusing on high turnover. In such cases, a high dwell time is usually an indicator for issues with the queue management or with the store layout (e.g. customers are not finding the items they are looking for).
For marketing activities like promotions or samplings, the metric of dwell time is rather irrelevant as people usually don’t stick around the activity but it’s rather more of a grab & go concept.
Thus, the significance of the metric dwell time and the question if it should be high or low depends on the kind of live marketing activity a company is pursuing.
Depending on your goal being a high or a low dwell time, data about the dwell time of visitors can be used differently.
If high dwell time is the goal, a company can take different measures in order to increase the dwell time of its customers. Examples could be a sales promotion for a retail store, a game to engage customers at a roadshow, or the option to test several different products at a product launch event. Comparing the average dwell time before and after the implementation of such measures provides a good overview of the effectiveness of these measures.
On the contrary, if low dwell time is the goal, a company has a different set of measures it can take to achieve said goal. For example, increasing staff to support customers or better placement of specific products.
Digital technologies from the area of footfall analytics allow companies to gather a lot more data about their live activities and therefore many additional KPIs become available to them – and if they can measure it, they can improve it. By measuring and comparing KPIs focusing on customer engagement like overall footfall traffic, dwell time or conversion rate, companies get important insight that allows them to determine the effectiveness of their live marketing campaigns and to optimize them in the future.
To get a full understanding of such metrics, it is important to not only collect the relevant data but to have access to a software solution that processes the data for you and visualizes them in a comprehensible manner. livealytics provides its customers with an end-to-end solution that includes the collection of data with a variety of different people counters as well as with access to the livealytics platform where the relevant data and KPIs are visualized according to the individual customers' needs.