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FloorTrak Combines RFID With Video to Count Retail Customers

Time Domain Corp. has integrated its real-time location system with ShopperTrak's video-based technology to enable retailers to better determine the number of shoppers visiting their stores.
By Beth Bacheldor
In addition, the two companies had to build interfaces between their systems so PLUS could pass along UWB tag read data to Orbit, and so Orbit could then process that data along with the customer counts it captured. Tag reads are captured in near-real time, and the tag read, in effect, tells the Orbit system it should eliminate one customer count from the total. "What we are adding, in effect, is an intelligent data stream to the customer counts," Clawson states.

FloorTrak can also help retailers determine if and how their staff interacts with shoppers that enter the dressing rooms. "There is a lot of research in retail that if you have the right employees working with customers at fitting rooms, then sales can go up," Clawson says. "And that directly impacts their revenues."

By positioning FloorTrak at dressing room entrances, a business can determine which staff member is working a particular dressing room, and also compare employee counts with customer counts. By analyzing data captured by FloorTrak, retailers can make sure their best-trained workers are positioned at dressing rooms as often as possible, and at times of the day when customer traffic is typically higher in the dressing rooms.

FloorTrak is currently being tested at two retailers: a specialty apparel store and an automotive retailer. Neither has yet agreed to speak publicly, though Clawson says both have been using the solution in multiple stores. The apparel retailer has been using FloorTrak since November to analyze traffic in and out of its dressing rooms. Employees wear the PLUS tags on lanyards. "This is an ongoing pilot," he notes, "and the retailer used FloorTrak to collect data over the holidays and is now analyzing that data."

The automotive retailer has been testing FloorTrak since July 2008 in six of its locations, mainly to separate employees from shoppers at store entrances. The PLUS tags are affixed to the backs of the workers' name badges. "At these stores, employees go in and out of the stores to help customers whose cars are in the parking lots," Clawson says. The retailer may opt to expand the project in 2009, he adds, and may also consider using the system to track assets. "There are a lot of specialty tools and diagnostics tools that go in and out of the store, so you could tag those assets to know when they went out and in."

FloorTrak is currently available from ShopperTrak.

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