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WiFi is the Future of Footfall Measurement

October 21, 2022

What is footfall?
Footfall is a term used to measure how many people enter, exit, and move around an area. It is becoming more commonplace in many types of venues, such as city centers, shopping malls, retail stores, casinos, stadiums, convention facilities, and campus environments. Footfall analytics is an advanced technique using Wi-Fi equipment to calculate the number of people entering a facility and other statistics relating to customers or visitor traffic. Wi-Fi footfall analytics is a counting technology that provides venue stakeholders with valuable visitor information. 

Traditional ways to count the number of visitors in indoor venues requires employing people at the entrances to count the number of visitors who entered or exited. These staff members usually have a clicker in their hand to track the people who walked through the doors and report the amount at the end of each shift. In outdoor events such as parades and festivals, staff members take pictures of the crowds and literally count the number of heads they see.  These methods come with several disadvantages. While it’s not only time-consuming and can be very inaccurate, employees are obligated to be stationed at the front door to ensure they obtained the correct numbers. Counting by hand can result in human error, and neither of these methods can be consistent on a 24×7 basis.  

Footfall analytics is evolving from the traditional way of counting visitor traffic to using technology to track the number of people entering and exiting an area. Footfall analytics also provides companies with other relevant information, such as return visitors versus new visitors, dwell times (how long people are staying in an area), which entrances and exits are busier, how people navigate through a store, and all of this is measured consistently, 24 hours per day. It can also alert relevant staff in real-time if an area is too dense or too sparse with people, which is excellent for check-out areas or to assist with crowd control. 

So how does it work? 

The most common way of gathering data about customers is through the use of Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones. These devices transmit a ping while trying to find a device or router to connect to. Most enterprise-grade Wi-Fi access points can pick up these pings and report to online presence analytics software tools. Device data can then be analyzed, parsed, and even overlaid on a floorplan drawing, creating heat maps and footfall path maps. These maps can show stakeholder patterns as people browse through a store, through a mall, and even through crowded outdoor events.  

Why use footfall analytics? 

Footfall analytics can help companies improve sales by using the information collected to setp displays in higher traffic areas, or where people seem to dwell. Malls can use the data to measure which parts of the building are busier and during which times of the days and days of the week. Outdoor events can measure attendance trends from year to year and even see percentage of new versus returning visitors. The data can also encourage better staffing as management can plan increased employee scheduling for busier times.  

GoZone WiFi is a SaaS company and leader in monetizing and managing Guest WiFi. The company offers business analytics, venue intelligence, and guest engagement using WiFi networks to deliver branded content, provide customer analytics, and display advertising.  

GoZone’s Smart WiFi Suite of products enables WiFi monetization through rich location data, marketing engagements, and third-party sponsorships. GoZone’s venue intelligence enables enterprises to strategically refine operations, bridging the gap between marketing and IT. 

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