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article imageBrick-and-mortar stores using sensors to track customer activity

By Karen Graham     Jan 15, 2018 in Technology
Milwaukee - Brick-and-mortar retailers, regardless of size are picking up on new technologies to track their customers' activities while shopping so they can keep up with the likes of online giant, Amazon.
Milwaukee-based startup Scanalytics is helping businesses explore customer activity with floor sensors that track people's movements. The company has developed paper-thin tiles, similar to a Touch-screen, called a Sole-Sensor.
The 2-foot by 2-foot Sole=Sensor panels are only 1/32 of an inch thick and can be snapped together and hid underneath a flexible floor covering to seamlessly measure insights on your location's performance. For example, the sensors can read a customer's unique foot compressions to track that person's path to a digital display and how long the person stands in front of it before walking away.
Not only can a store find out which displays draw the most customer attention, but they can use the data generated by the sensors to study what sells, know when to schedule staff for busy times, and what store layout is most effective. However, as U.S. News reports, the technology may be a bit expensive for small retailers.
The cost of having the sensors ranges from $20 to $1,000 per month, depending on square footage and add-on applications to analyze data or interact with digital signs. But the software applications can give a business a lot of information, including real-time and historical reports covering entrances and exits, heat maps, customer engagement and more.
Dashboard for Sole-Sensor technology.
Dashboard for Sole-Sensor technology.
Scanalytics Inc.
Scanalytics CEO Joe Scanlin says his sensors don't collect personally identifying information so there are no concerns about privacy or surveillance involved. His Sole-Sensors are strictly for tracking customer engagement and numbers.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based Scanalytics was founded in 2012 by Joe Scanlin and Matthew McCoy. The company focuses on the development of sensor-based analytics and engagement platforms for physical spaces.
According to CrunchBase, "Scanalytics records, stores, and analyzes where people walk, stop orient, how long they stay and how it all connects to conversions and floor layout/effectiveness. They have developed a proprietary technology that gathers this data 100 percent passively and unobtrusively without cameras, RFID or the need for cell phones.
Bottom line? This is a really neat idea simply because it is unobtrusive, and does not involve customer privacy. For retail stores, regardless of their size, who doesn't want to know how heavy customer traffic is on certain days or even particular times of the day?
More about floor sensors, Scanalytics, customer engagement, Activity, online retailers
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