Retail World

Pros and cons of the Wi-Fi Tracking in-store


Having relevant data on in-store customer behavior has become essential to survive in the retail world. Also, this is where Wi-Fi tracking comes into play.

In the online world, almost all data relating to user interaction with our e-commerce can be “tracked” and analyzed to obtain valuable information: how many users have entered our web, how long they have browsed the page, or even if it was their first visit.

In this article we will see how Wi-Fi technology is able to give us this information, with all the pros and cons of the case.

  • What can be analyzed with Wi-Fi?

The Wi-Fi tracking is a technology that allows us to obtain information about the consumer with the aim of identifying possible customer losses, thanks to the analysis of the main KPIs of a physical point of sale and improving the indicators.

Usually, this technology is used in stores to find out how many people are passing by the same establishments, how many people are there and how long they have been in it. Therefore, this counting technology is a fundamental tool for every retailer or marketer to optimize sales results.

  • What are the advantages of Wi-Fi Tracking?

The technology of location and measurement of customer behavior via Wi-Fi has some advantages at the time of obtaining some KPIs. To obtain information such as, for example, the number of customers entering an establishment, the main advantages of using this technology are:

  1. Each visit is unique and identifiable

Counting each entry via the Wi-Fi signal of your Smartphone, you can get the MAC address of each device. In fact, each MAC address is unique, and, consequently, allows us to independently count each visit identified by this system.

It is necessary to underline that the Wi-Fi Tracking technology that is used for counting people in retail and in compliance with the law on privacy, does not identify any particular person, but a signal in code, therefore the data obtained are totally anonymized.

  1. The sensor is not affected by environmental agents

Since this is a counting system that works with mobile technology, it is not affected by any type of environmental agents such as, for example, extreme darkness, rain, lightning, shadows, etc.

  • And the disadvantages?

We have already commented on the two great advantages of using this system to count people, but the reality is that there are several disadvantages that make Wi-Fi monitoring not so accurate nor the best way to get consumer data in physical stores.

  1. Does not work if the phone is off or in airplane mode

Although this system is able to correct some small counting errors due to environmental causes, there will always be a percentage of lost customers for not having turned on the Wi-Fi signal on their mobile phone, or for turning it off.

  1. It is difficult to restrict the counting area

This is probably the biggest disadvantage of the system. In fact, this type of technology is limited in the exact location of the consumer’s device and its path. In very large areas, Wi-Fi tracking technology could provide useful information.

But, if we are analyzing the threshold of a small shop in a mall, knowing exactly where consumers are, is a very important piece of information.

In addition to Wi-Fi monitoring, there are other counting technologies to achieve the same metrics. In the TC Group modules, we use Wi-Fi monitoring, but we also use other technologies to measure all KPIs as precisely as possible from a physical point of sale.

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