Despite the significant payback of traffic counters, getting the investment right can feel overwhelming especially when it comes to deciding what you really need to how to pick the best vendor as your partner.

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Despite the significant payback of traffic counters, getting the investment right can feel overwhelming especially when it comes to deciding what you really need to how to pick the best vendor as your partner.

Download Our Retail Checklist

As you start the procurement process, many questions are likely to arise:

  • Which traffic counter is the best?
  • How will I know the count is accurate….and stays that way?
  • Wi-Fi counters seem a lot cheaper – are they accurate?
  • What about all the extra features — heat mapping, dwell, queue…what is the use case? Are they worth it?
  • How can I be sure that installing traffic counters will be worth it?

Over the last 20 years, the experts at HeadCount have installed virtually every category of traffic counter from beam and thermal sensors, to traffic counting cameras, to the latest Wi-Fi devices. Since we are not a manufacturer of traffic counters, we undertake objective, unbiased tests and reviews of available traffic counting hardware on the market so we can best advise our clients.

Our technical division at HeadCount continually evaluates new traffic counting technologies and we have found the Brickstream® 3D stereo camera from FLIR® Systems to be among the most accurate and reliable. As a result, it has become HeadCount’s de facto standard.

To assist retailers in making the best choice, we have developed a 6-question checklist you should review in detail when selecting the right traffic counting provider for your business.

1. Proven, Best-in Class Technology

Does the vendor you are considering offer proven, best-in-class technology or is it new and virtually untested? How long has the vendor been in the market? Every year new traffic counter manufactures pop up – but without a track record you can count on, you can’t be sure the technology works as intended…or that the vendor will be around if you need support later.

Brickstream traffic counters have been on the market for more than 20 years and have proven the accuracy of their algorithms in more than 260,000 installations. Also, Brickstream continues to build on previous traffic camera versions for even more robust and reliable technology advancements.

Brickstream sensors have documented Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of 10 years which have been proven over two decades and over hundreds of thousands of installations.

2. Anticipated Life

Traffic counters that have not been on the market long cannot demonstrate and document Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF). That means you really won’t know how long your investment can be expected to last. The vendor just won’t know the answer to that question unless and until they can evaluate thousands of client installations over time.

3. Flexible, Open System

Things change and sometimes you want the flexibility to change your vendor partner or simply bring data inhouse for your internal teams. Watch out for traffic counters that are built on proprietary, closed systems, unable to connect to reporting systems designed by anyone else. If you select a proprietary system you may be stuck and unable to make changes when you want to. In some cases, you may not have access to your own data.

Brickstream traffic counters can stream traffic data to any reporting systems using industry standard formats such as csv and xml. Also, if you decide you want to work with other analytics providers, the camera data can simply be redirected wherever you would like it to go.

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Find out how we can help you and your teams understand your business by looking through the powerful lens of traffic data – the data of opportunity.

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The Brickstream® 3D traffic counter is a self-contained intelligent video sensor with advanced count line definition. They are capable of directional counting (counts ‘in’ movements only). They can exclude counts from children & strollers. The dual lens also offers improved handling of aberrant conditions including reflections, and visitors who stand still for an inordinate amount of time by the door.

4. Complex Counting Environments

Sometimes there is a lot of ‘noise’ in your store – strollers, carts, and children – all of which you don’t want to accidentally count as shoppers or traffic counts. Furthermore, a lot can affect your traffic count accuracy that can change after installation – conditions such as reflections, sunlight that shifts by time of day and seasonally. Installing traffic counters may look easy, but ensuring that your traffic counts are (and remain) accurate in many changing conditions requires specific expertise and the right counter to start with.

5. Data You Can Trust

Things change and sometimes you want the flexibility to change your vendor partner or simply bring data inhouse for your internal teams. Watch out for traffic counters that are built on proprietary, closed systems, unable to connect to reporting systems designed by anyone else. If you select a proprietary system you may be stuck and unable to make changes when you want to. In some cases, you may not have access to your own data.

The Brickstream® 3D traffic counter has high rates of accuracy and they also enable remote troubleshooting from our team. That means faster and cheaper resolutions of any re-calibrations that may need to occur or troubleshooting that may be needed to explore other questions about the count accuracy.

The FLIR® Brickstream 3D Gen 2 traffic counters have advanced capabilities like many other premium traffic counters on the market. These advanced capabilities can be activated at any time – but they can be tricky to assess. Our team of experts are available to assist in understanding the full capabilities of the traffic cameras and, importantly, help you assess the business case for adopting any of the advanced capabilities before undertaking the expense of implementation.

6. Advanced Features

You can’t help but see headlines touting benefits of new technology for retailers and conferences that are over-flowing with new technology and their promises to transform retail businesses. But, how do you know how well these features really work in your specific environment? How can you decide if the advanced capabilities will really deliver the ROI you need to justify the cost and effort?

Not sure if you need traffic data? Take the test and find out how many questions you can answer.