Retail World

Advantages and disadvantages of Wi-Fi Tracking Technology in retail

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Nowadays, in the retail sector, it has become essential to obtain relevant data on customer behavior in order to survive online competition, and this is exactly where the Wi-Fi Tracking system comes into play.

In the online world, in fact, it is possible to collect and track almost all the data about users and their navigation: as a result, we can know who entered our site, which pages he visited, how long he stayed on each one, and even know if it is the first visit in our e-commerce.

In this article we will see how Wi-Fi technology can provide us with this information, and what are the advantages and disadvantages offered.

What can we measure with the help of Wi-Fi tracking technologies?

Thanks to Wi-Fi Tracking, we can obtain information on consumers, and identify the main issues of our stores, and make decisions to improve results.

Generally, this type of technology is used more in shopping centres, with the aim of knowing the number of people who pass daily in front of the shops, how many of them end up entering and how much time they stay inside.

Therefore, this counting technology is a tool suitable for any retail manager who wants to optimize his sales performance.


The technology for locating and measuring customer behavior through Wi-Fi has many advantages:

  • Each visitor is unique and identifiable

By tracing each visitor through the Wi-Fi signal of the smartphone, you get the MAC address of each mobile device. This MAC address has the distinction of being unique, and therefore allows you to independently identify each visitor detected with this system.

It is very important to point out that the Wi-Fi tracking technologies used in the retail sector are subject to data protection law, and therefore do not determine a specific person, but a coded signal that protects the absolute anonymity of personal data of each one

  • They are not disturbed by environmental agents

Being a counting system that works with mobile devices, it is not influenced by environmental agents such as sudden lights, shadows, wind…


Unfortunately, this technology also has some disadvantages:

  • Does not work if the phone is in flight mode, switched off or without Wi-Fi

Although this system can correct some counting errors due to environmental causes, there is a percentage of lost customers, because not all customers who visit the stores have a telephone or a working Wi-Fi signal.

  • It is difficult to restrict the counting area

This is probably the biggest disadvantage of the system: Wi-Fi technology does not allow to precisely locating the consumer’s mobile device or its exact path. In fact, it is a technology suitable for large spaces or big areas, where it is not necessary to know the real location of the user.

If our goal is to count how many people cross the door of an 80 m² shop located in a shopping centre or in a commercial street, it is therefore necessary to know the location of consumers in a precise manner.

In addition to Wi-Fi monitoring, other counting technologies exist to achieve certain metrics. At TC Group Solutions we also use other technologies to measure all the KPIs of a physical point of sale as accurately as possible.

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