People counting, also known as footfall analytics or pedestrian traffic monitoring, is the process of tracking and analysing the number of people that enter and exit a physical space. In this introduction guide, we will explore the importance of people counting, its various applications, the evolution of people counting systems and how it can benefit businesses of all sizes.


What Is People Counting?


People counting is the actual counting of people entering and exiting a physical space, such as a retail store, a mall, or even a public venue.

The data collected from people counting software and equipment can provide valuable insights into customer behaviour, store performance and overall business success.


The Importance of Counting Systems


As the saying goes, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”. This holds true for businesses as well.

Counting people helps businesses understand how many customers are visiting their stores, at what times and on which days.

This data can be used to determine the busiest periods of peak hours and even track trends over time.


With this information, businesses can make informed decisions regarding:


  • Staffing: By understanding the busiest and slowest times, businesses can schedule their staff accordingly and ensure they have enough employees to handle customer demand.
  • Marketing: People counting can help businesses assess the effectiveness of their marketing efforts by comparing footfall data before and after a campaign. 
  • Inventory management: By tracking the number of people entering and exiting a store, businesses can determine which products are popular and adjust their inventory accordingly.
  • Store layout: People counting data can also help businesses understand how customers move throughout their store and make adjustments to improve the flow of foot traffic.
  • Customer service:  By knowing how many people are entering and exiting a store, businesses can ensure they have enough staff available to provide quick and efficient service to customers. 


Applications Of People Counting


People counting technology has various applications and can be used in different industries, including:


  • Retail (stores and malls)
  • Hospitality 
  • Public Transportation 
  • Entertainment and Events 


The Evolution of People Counting Systems


Counting systems date back to the 1970s when manual counting methods, such as hand-held clickers, were used. However, with advancements in technology, people counting has become more accurate and efficient.


Today, there are various types of people counting systems available:



Beam Breakers


Beam breakers are placed across an entrance or exit, and when someone passes through the beam of light, it is broken, and a count is registered. The drawbacks of beam breakers are that they can be easily tampered with and may not accurately count groups of people.

The data collected from beam breakers are written down manually in a book, making it time-consuming and prone to human error. Additionally, beam breakers do not provide any other data besides the number of people passing through. The data is also not filtered which then entails a lot more work to utilise the collected data.


Infrared Sensors


Infrared sensors use technology that detects heat and motion to count people passing through an entrance or exit. This type of system is a little bit more accurate than beam breakers but still holds a few limitations.

Infrared sensors count groups of people entering a store as 1 person, which can skew the data if large groups of people enter at once.

The collected data is sent to a computer program which the working staff manages. It provides an opportunity for human error as the staff members change shifts, the computer shuts down, or there are technical difficulties such as network connectivity problems, all of which have a negative effect on your people counting results.


Video & WiFi Counting (TrueCounts People Counting)


Video & WiFi counting is the most popular and advanced form of modern counting systems available. This type of system uses a combination of video cameras and WiFi technology to accurately count the number of people entering or exiting a space. The collected data is stored within the processor and sent to the cloud, where it can be accessed eliminating lost data as in older systems.


TrueCounts People Counting, a 3rd generation technology provided by Milestone Integrated Systems, uses both Video and WiFi and tracks the following metrics:


  • visitor count
  • visit duration
  • returning customer
  • cross shopping
  • outside traffic


An added bonus of this counting software is REPORTS. Store owners can access detailed reports about:


  • total visitors
  • turn in rate
  • visit duration
  • returning rate
  • visitors per time of day
  • comparing regions
  • comparing current time periods with previous years
  • sales conversion
  • and so much more.


With this software, store owners can easily track trends in their store’s foot traffic and make informed decisions about staffing, marketing strategies, and store layout. 


Get The Best People Counting Software Today!


At Milestone, we have extensive knowledge and years of experience to know what works best for our clients. 

Our TrueCounts system is user-friendly and provides real-time data so you can make strategic decisions based on accurate information. We also offer customisable options to fit your specific business needs.

Don’t rely on manual counting or outdated technology. Invest in the most advanced system today with Milestone Integrated Systems.

Contact us for more information!