Since the beginning of the pandemic, store closings, along with permissions to reopen or to stay open, are determined by local jurisdictions. For instance, in the United States and Canada, the number of customers allowed in stores varies according to state and province.
If you’re a store owner in an area that allows non-essential retailers to welcome customers, it’s likely that you still need to keep your store’s foot traffic below a threshold. Generally speaking, authorities have established the limit based on a square unit of retail space.
How does this translate concretely to your store?
Know the specific number of people you can allow in your store
To make it simple to know how many people are allowed in your store simultaneously—you can usually exclude employees—you can use the calculator Storetraffic has included below. Four steps:
1. Pick your preferred unit of measurement: ft² or m².
2. Enter the square unit prescribed by local authorities—i.e. the ratio number—to calculate your store’s capacity limits. In many areas, for instance, this unit is 20m² or 215.28 ft².
3. Enter the size of your store’s retail space using your preferred square unit (only the area that’s accessible to customers).
4. Click on the Calculate button and voila: that’s the maximum number of clients you can have in your store at the same time.
Monitor and manage your store’s capacity limit
Knowing the capacity limit you need to enforce in your store is the starting point.
For many retailers, the challenge lies in what comes next: monitoring and managing the flow of customers—on top of your regular store operations and all other COVID-19 related hygiene and safety measures.
The latest evolution of Storetraffic’s people counting technologies can automate this time-consuming task and act as your safety net.
Occupancy solutions for retailers
Using Storetraffic’s proven foot traffic technologies, our engineers put together two solutions that help retailers and other public locations conform to crowd management regulations.
No. 1: Occupancy monitoring app
Storetraffic developed a free App for iPhone and Android platforms that you and your team can download and use in seconds.
Dubbed Occupancy Tracker, the app allows you to keep track of the number of people in your store by simply pressing the + and – buttons on the screen. As opposed to a clicker tally counter, the app lets you correct mistakes. Better yet, you can set your capacity limit within the app to monitor your occupancy rate live.
No. 2: Automated capacity limit solution
Our engineers also created a fully automated solution to manage a store’s capacity limit. This Live Occupancy system is based on the Storetraffic people counting technologies retailers and public bodies worldwide have been using for years.
How does the automated solution work?
Quite simply, actually. Sensors are installed in your store’s doorway(s). These sensors count the number of people coming in and going out automatically—no chance for human error. The numbers are transferred in real time to a secure online space tied to your account.
How does the automated solution provide you with occupancy information?
As a store owner, you can grant access to as many employees as you wish so that they can monitor live occupancy as well. You can also see your live occupancy numbers whether you’re in your store or not, plus export time-stamped reports to consult your data later on or for compliance audits.
How to reassure clients that your store is safe
Storetraffic’s fully integrated system allows you to share your occupancy numbers in real time with clients. By connecting a screen to your local WiFi—e.g. smart tv or tablet—the system will display your occupancy rate along with clear indications for clients to “enter” or “please wait”. Some retailers also share this information on their websites and social media. Again, once set up, the process is entirely automated.