Customers today use full-service locksmiths to facilitate specialized systems that would normally not be associated with locking systems. Customers will ask locksmiths to install and maintain keyless entry, card access systems, annunciation systems and other integrated systems.
Locksmiths who deal with integrated systems should introduce themselves to systems that count people.
People-counting systems can integrate into other security systems that locksmiths may be maintaining for their existing customers.
To get started, locksmiths should consider installing in their own shops, the minimal system described in this article. Not only will they learn the value of collecting “retail intelligence,” but also they will have on display for their customers a working example.
After the first installation, it becomes evident that people-counting systems are essential to every retail customer.
SELLING TO RETAIL CUSTOMERS
Savvy retail customers use people-counting systems to measure the effects of advertising and to properly staff stores so that coverage schedules match the demand.
Effective advertising by itself will not get people to buy the targeted product; rather effective advertising will get people next to the targeted product.
Figure 01 shows that sales increased during a 12-week period at a retail store. Almost immediately sales continued to rise and somewhere between the fifth and sixth week, the ongoing $5000 per week advertising expense returned the investment, and continual profits grew after that.
Even without an indicator reflecting increased traffic flow, this chart clearly show that sales are up because of a successful advertising campaign.
Figure 02 shows sales results for a 12-week period at another retail store. Apparently the advertisement campaign has not been successful. Tracking sales alone suggests that the advertisement is a waste of time.
Fortunately, in this same store, people-counters were installed and after checking traffic flow, a different story unfolds.
In Figure 03, each week the amount of visitors to the store has progressively increased. This shows that the advertisement campaign is very effective, but there are other reasons as to why sales have not improved.
Reasons could relate to: the condition of the targeted product on the shelves, how the product is displayed, lack of sales personnel, or other reasons.
Figure 03 definitely shows that advertisement is driving customers into the stores and connecting them with the targeted product, but for other reasons, the store is failing.
Valuable marketing information is available to the savvy customer by employing people-counting systems.
The data collected by people-counting systems can be downloaded into Microsoft Excel or Access to generate useful graphs that can report peak periods of customer traffic. For example, Figure 4 provides an hour-by-hour count of how many customers were in the store and how many sales associates were available.
Retail chain stores that operate many stores in many states or countries rely on people-counting systems to virtually download store activity many times a day.
There are many different types of people-counting systems. Depending on the sophistication of the technology featured, systems can range from simplistic and inexpensive to detailed and expensive.
Large lock shops that special at handling all types of integrated systems can tackle these types of projects. Because of the specialization; projects can be very lucrative.
Realistically, the type of system that can be easily be installed and serviced by most locksmiths is Infrared Beam Systems. Locksmiths should start out with the simplest people-counting devices.
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