For retailers, knowing how many shoppers were in their stores at any given moment and what they were doing used to be a matter of profit and loss. Now it’s a matter of life and death.
Video cameras and traffic-counting systems retailers have had in place for decades are being re-deployed in the Covid-19 era to monitor compliance with occupancy and social distancing rules and as health screeners that can alert a manager if someone with an elevated temperature enters a store.
Pre-pandemic, stores primarily used these traffic counting technologies for labor scheduling (to make sure they had the right number of workers to meet expected demand) and to calculate conversion rates (the percentage of shoppers who entered the store who actually bought something).
But with states and cities restricting indoor occupancy rates, and retailers adopting their own guidelines for occupancy and social distancing, those technologies have been turned into Covid-19 compliance tools.
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Retailers are also exploring Covid 19 traffic monitoring solutions being adopted by office buildings and airports, such as mobile apps that conduct health screenings and that let pre-approved visitors open doors or activate elevators with their phones.
Sensormatic Solutions, the retail services division of Johnson Controls, responded to the pandemic by expanding its ShopperTrak customer-counting and data services to include Covid 19 occupancy compliance, temperature monitoring, and other safety precautions.