People Counters & People Counting:
Everything You Need to Know

People counters (or door counters) help retail stores collect foot traffic data to gain valuable business insights about their customers and businesses. Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the importance of people counting for your business, the different types of people counters on the market, and practical ways to use foot traffic data to make better business decisions.

Independent retailer striving to better understand your customers behavior? Enterprise retailer looking to compare foot traffic and conversion rate performance across different locations?

Is your goal to discover your stores 'peak hours' in order to optimize staff scheduling for increased customer satisfaction?

Recently rolled out a new marketing campaign and curious about the impact of your spending in your store’s foot traffic?

Utilizing people counters and measuring foot traffic allow businesses to achieve these goals.

People counters and foot traffic data are the only way to see the bigger picture for your business when it comes to understanding customer behavior, sales associate performance and the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

At Dor, our mission is to empower retailers with actionable data about their stores using novel hardware and software. On this page, you’ll find everything you need to know about people counters and foot traffic counting. If you have more questions, we encourage you to reach out! (email link to “reach out to us”: support@getdor.com).

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Why is counting door traffic important?

Tracking conversion rates

Tracking conversion rates

Only 9% of retailers know their stores’ conversion rates.

It’s not enough to know your sales numbers or revenue to understand your store’s overall performance. Conversion rate of customers is a crucial factor in determining the success of your store. Having a people counter in your store, allows retailers to measure conversion rates and learn about store performance.

Optimizing staff scheduling

Optimizing staff scheduling

Retail stores are over or under staffed 86% of the time.

This means that most retailers determine their staff scheduling without foot traffic data. Tackling staffing problems cannot be solved without vital information about your stores door traffic and peak hours. Knowing your store’s daily traffic trends and rethinking your staffing strategy will help you decrease labor costs and increase customer satisfaction.

Increasing marketing effectiveness

Increasing marketing effectiveness

47% of marketing spend is left unjustified.

There are so many advertising and marketing channels available to retailers, but which one is most effective and profitable for your business? The smartest way to decide where and how to spend your marketing budget is to track your foot traffic and see the correlation.

Pros and cons of different people counters

Scroll horizontally to see the full chart
    1. Technology
    2. Thermal Sensor
    3. Camera Sensor
    4. WiFi / Beacon Sensor
    1. Machine Learning
    2. +
    3. -
    4. -
    1. Installation
    2. Peel-and-stick
    3. Site Survey
      Professional Installation
    4. Professional
      Installation
    1. Personal Data
    2. 100% Anonymous
    3. Captures Personally
      Identifiable Information(PII)
    4. Captures Personally
      Identifiable Information(PII)
    1. Accuracy
    2. ✓ ✓ ✓
    3. ✓ ✓ ✓
    1. Pricing
    2. $
    3. $$$
    4. $$
    1. IT Requirements
    2. No Requirements
    3. Ethernet / WiFi
      Power Cabling
      Security Study
      Router Configuration
      Mounting Solution
      Employee Opt-in /
      Compliance Check
    4. Ethernet / WiFi
      Security Study
      Router Configuration
      Mounting Solution
      Compliance Check

Frequently asked questions about people counting

What is foot traffic and why is it so important for retailers?

Foot traffic, door traffic, store traffic, and customer traffic is the measure of people walking into a physical space such as a retail store, facility, office etc. Simply put, it measures how many people are in a given space at any time.

Collecting foot traffic metrics allows you to start tracking other business metrics such as conversion rate and start optimizing your business activities like employee scheduling and marketing effectiveness.

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What are the factors that affect foot traffic for retailers?

There are numerous factors that influence the number of people that visit your store every day including seasonality, marketing spending and type of business.

Weather is one of the most important factors to consider. Every location has different weather conditions and they can often drive foot traffic up or down. Location is another prominent factor. It is worth noting how foot traffic is varied in locations in higher density areas versus locations in lesser trafficked places.

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How can independent retailers use door counters?

Unlike enterprise retailers with hundreds of physical stores, independent retailers (or small businesses - SMBs) usually have between one and five stores.

Independent retailers should be tracking their stores’ foot traffic in order to have an in-depth understanding about their stores’ performance. By integrating a people counter to their POS, small business owners can easily see their conversion rates. Understanding individual store performance, allows them to make strategic and data driven decisions. Moreover, traffic counters show retailers store peak hours in order to optimize staff scheduling.

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How can enterprise retailers use people counting technologies?

With dozens or hundreds of stores, enterprise retailers have no choice but to use foot traffic counters to make strategic data driven decisions.

One of the key ways enterprise retailers can utilize a customer counter is by comparing foot traffic and conversion rates across different store locations to see overall performance. With this information, retailers can change retail strategy where needed and determine store openings and closures based on their own foot traffic data.

Some people counters allow you to use their API to connect the traffic data to your own data hubs.

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How can facilities and offices use people counting systems?

Foot traffic for facilities, offices and buildings can be tracked by the same hardware as retailers, but gather completely different insights.

Building, office and facility owners or managers use people counters to understand how spaces are being occupied and how they can make smarter decisions to optimize space usage. Furthermore, people counting solutions can be used for property and real-estate management decisions as it’s a great way to decrease your costs based on your space usage data.

People counters can also be used for restroom maintenance, lunch area and meeting room usage.

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What are the different foot traffic solutions for businesses?

Customer counters help retail businesses measure their stores’ foot traffic and purchasing trends to optimize their operations.

There are numerous people counter technologies on the market including thermal sensors, camera sensors, WiFi sensors, break-beam sensors and bluetooth beacons. Every sensor has its own limitations - price point, accuracy, and installations costs all differ.

Thermal sensors with machine learning algorithms, like Dor, have the highest accuracy rates with reasonable pricing and minimal installation requirements.

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How can you decide which people counting solution is right for your business?

It is important to consider the questions your business needs answered before choosing the people counting technology that is best suited for your store.

How long does it take to install the sensor and start tracking the foot traffic? How much does it cost to install and are there any extra costs? Do I have direct control over accessing the data? Can the door counter be integrated with third-party solutions such as POS systems?

There are a lot of people counter options and you deserve to know everything before purchasing the one that is right for you.

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How can you increase foot traffic?

At Dor, we know that increasing foot traffic for retailers is a huge challenge.

There are so many different and creative ways to increase retail foot traffic. Set up sandwich boards or creative displays, have an social media influencer promote your location, offer in-store classes and keep up with pop-culture trends when it comes to store design.

Want more ideas? Check out ourlist of 40 different ideas to increase your customer traffic.

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Why Dor?

About Hardware

  • Dor uses proprietary low-power thermal detection and machine learning algorithms, ensuring industry-leading accuracy.
  • Dor requires no professional installation, no drilling holes, no in-store Wi-Fi, and no running ethernet or power.
  • Simply peel and stick on your door. Dor runs on its own secure cellular network, so there is no need to worry about setting up network access or firewalls.
  • Dor uses thermal sensors which protects customer privacy and is GDPR compliant.

About Software

  • See your foot traffic, conversion rate, revenue, transactions and average transaction value on the same screen.
  • Easily view and compare all of your locations’ performance.
  • Integrate your data with your POS or any BI tool you are using or export it for reporting purposes.
  • Check your stores performance from your desktop, smartphone or tablet: any device, anytime, anywhere.

In retail, you’ve got to know your traffic and your conversion of that traffic. Without it, you leave way too many things to assumption.

I can actually look at my managers now and say, ‘You dropped six percent in conversions.’ They understand now the cost of people walking out without getting to the register. I’m actually putting financial reasoning behind this stuff.

Adam Scott Francisee, Clothes Mentor

I just installed another one of our Dor sensors today, took me not even five minutes. I don’t know anybody who couldn’t install it.

So far it’s been incredibly reliable. I have zero complaints and I’m just excited to continue to get data and be able to do something with it.

Robert Odom Director of Sales and Marketing, Original Mattress Factory

Our challenge as a 95-store operation, we don’t have a lot of infrastructure to make meaning out of all that data… [when needing to know how many people would be coming through the door] you wind up investing into a tool that would take us into foot traffic warp speed.

Evan Keller Senior Director, 4 Wheel Parts

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