The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has raised multiple unexpected challenges for all businesses, retail included. Some questions today remain open and retailers are constantly looking for solutions to deal with customer limitations and safety norms, while keeping their business running. How to keep customers and staff safe always? What do I need to do to follow governmental guidelines and requirements and maintain a secure environment? What are the technologies at hand? The answers have been provided to Bâtiself, a do-it-yourself store, by the implementation of the IEE People Counter sensing solution in their premises.

While several countries have implemented maximum occupancy requirements based on the available space (e.g. 10 m² per customer), Luxembourg has not formulated such a requirement. Therefore, shop owners are free to define their own thresholds in order to meet the sanitary recommendations. Still, monitoring the number of customers remains a challenge. Some opted for placing a dedicated staff member at the entrance to manually count the visitors. Other retailers go for the more sensible approach of installing sensing systems such as offered by IEE to make a valuable long-term, hassle-free investment.

Our People Counter automatically counts the persons inside a building and provides real-time data, so that even in such stressful times where keeping a distance is highly recommended if not mandatory, businesses can operate successfully.

When commercial activities were allowed to resume again, Bâtiself Ingeldorf decided to allow a maximum of 120 customers plus staff in their premises. Only 120 shopping trolleys were made available to control building occupancy, and customers were required to enter the store with a trolley, to support social distancing. Today, this trolley usage requirement does not exist anymore, but monitoring the number of people inside the premises is still considered an important part of the sanitary measures and is likely to remain a valuable feature beyond the pandemic.

Bâtiself Ingeldorf chose to install IEE’s occupancy monitoring system for controlling its self-defined customer limitation. Placed above each entrance area, the People Counter system performs a bi-directional count of all people entering or exiting. By comparing all entries and exits in real time, the occupancy of the entire building can automatically be determined. The system is based on a 3D sensor technology creating real-time topographic images of the monitored areas. The 3D data is processed to realise a highly accurate visitor count. It is important to mention that the system works with the highest privacy protection: The 3D sensing technology does neither allow to identify people’s faces, nor to record the environment in which the devices are placed. The occupancy monitoring tool enables real-time counting for multiple areas, reliable data analysis, accurate statistics and reporting capabilities.

Ms Malou Schmitt, General Manager at Bâtiself, believes that IEE’s People Counter system will help her staff better track the number of customers:

“The system shows us in real-time how many customers we have in the store at a given moment, and at the entrance a screen with a traffic light indicates to customers if they are allowed to come in or wait. My staff is also notified when the maximum customer threshold has been reached. Overall, with the system installed, our shop feels more secure for everyone and gives us peace of mind.”

On top of counting the presence of people in the store itself, a dedicated software tool allows to generate a wealth of additional statistical data, which can be used for various business purposes.

Kai Pabélick, Head of the People and Object Sensing unit at IEE, explains: “The data generated by IEE’s People Counter system allows Ms. Schmitt to get an in-depth view on the customer traffic at the Bâtiself store in Ingeldorf. She is thus able to check what time of the day saw a peak of customers, for instance, which weekday is the busiest, whether an advertisement campaign generated additional customers, and so on. There are several scenarios in which this kind of info is critical to help shop owners boost their businesses. The system also helps to optimize staff deployment depending on the needs to deliver a better customer service.”

Pandemic restrictions require the implementation of maximum occupancy rules in shopping malls, retail areas and other public buildings. IEE’s People Counter solution allows to implement a highly accurate and cost-efficient occupancy monitoring system covering single rooms, floors or entire buildings. It supports the optimization of customer flows and enables compliance with COVID-19 related constraints. As the system provides a proven outperforming counting accuracy above 99%, the number of customers can be maximized towards the upper allowed limit, allowing shops to optimize their turnover despite the restrictions.

Download the brochure to know how People Counter can help your business keep up with maximum occupancy requirements. 

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