Customer Foot Traffic Data – Definition, Use Cases, and Calculation

Table of Contents

    Customer foot traffic data has become one of the most important resources businesses from every industry and niche have at their disposal to learn about their customer behavior and purchase journey. 

    In the post-pandemic age, brick-and-mortar stores face more competition than ever as the world transitions to a digital-first economy, with online businesses dominating the market. 

    However, this doesn’t mean the brick-and-mortar retail model is going extinct. There’s been a strong resurgence since lockdown restrictions were gradually eased. Customers are returning to malls, restaurants, and other businesses with the lifting of COVID restrictions. 

    To ensure continuity and maximize revenue, businesses should optimize product placement, interior flow, and other aspects of their physical operations. However, they need the right information to make this possible, especially regarding the number of people entering their stores or facilities.

    Fortunately, the influx of powerful tools, such as ClicData’s business intelligence and data management platform, has enabled businesses to measure and calculate foot traffic and apply the data to enhance their operations. 

    If you’re looking to do the same, you first need to understand what customer foot traffic is, its use cases, and how to calculate it. 

    Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered on all fronts. So, keep reading to learn everything you need to know and get started!

    What Is Customer Foot Traffic Data?

    To understand what customer foot traffic data is, we need to learn what foot traffic is. By definition, foot traffic refers to the number of people physically visiting and moving around in a business facility (e.g., supermarket, restaurant, retail store, etc.). For street-based businesses, foot traffic is also referred to as pedestrian activity. 

    In either case, it is an essential performance metric that helps business owners and their teams (marketing, supply chain, sales, etc.) track their daily visitors’ strength in numbers and in-store behavior.

    In that context, customer foot traffic data is the data extracted, analyzed, and used by businesses to craft different strategies to increase visits, shopping times, spending, and returning frequency, among other things. It also helps in-store teams tweak their operations, make smarter decisions, and improve customer relationships. 

    Common Use Cases of Customer Foot Traffic Data

    Marketing Strategy Development

    The most common use case of customer foot traffic data is marketing strategy development. This data helps businesses better understand their visitors and customers and provides valuable insights they can use to create campaigns that increase their return on investment. 

    For instance, many retail stores offer discounts, freebies, and bundled product packages to increase the number of visits and sell poor-performing products. Similarly, restaurants offer better deals on the weekdays to entice more customers to eat at their facility. 

    Staffing Optimization

    Managing retail staffing is one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses, especially in large facilities. Ideally, there would be sufficient manpower on the floor to serve prospectus buyers. However, unlike volunteer services, businesses can’t apply a “the more, the merrier” approach and unnecessarily put too many staff on payroll. 

    Thus, customer foot traffic data is an excellent resource that can help businesses understand the highest, lowest, and average number of visitors or buyers in their location. Businesses use tracking tools to measure their traffic to iron out their staffing numbers and schedules. The traffic is measured based on time, store areas, and other factors.

    In-Store Product Placement

    Have you ever wondered why giant retail stores like Costco and Carrefour place consumer staples at the back of their stores and all their discretionary, more pricey items at the front? It’s to ensure that every part of their facility gets sufficient foot traffic so buyers can buy more products they come across on the way to their back. 

    In-store product placement is the process of strategically placing products in different parts of a location to maximize capacity and sales. The role foot traffic data plays in providing insights on which areas have the most frequent visits. This data helps them understand which products are performing the best and can help them optimize stocking and inventory management. 

    How to Measure Customer Foot Traffic 

    Measuring customer foot traffic has been a common struggle for most businesses since so many variables come into play. For instance, you first have to decide what you’re looking to achieve with the data collected. Are you looking to optimize product placement, increase marketing ROI, or learn more about your shoppers?

    Once you decide what you’re looking for, you can employ any of the common foot traffic measurement strategies below:

    Manual Counting

    Manual people counting is the oldest, simplest, and least expensive way to measure foot traffic. Many small brick-and-mortar stores manually count and record the number of users visiting their facility daily or during a specific period of the day. However, this method isn’t feasible for large stores since it’s prone to errors and is extremely labor-intensive. 

    Surveillance System

    Many modern facilities use motion-activated surveillance cameras with foot traffic counters to automate the counting process. However, the data collected is limited to the camera’s range or field of view. Depending on the size, businesses need to install multiple cameras to cover their spaces. 

    Thermal Sensors

    Thermal sensors are commonly found in public facilities, such as airports, malls, and museums. They’re typically installed on doorways to record human heat signatures. These devices aren’t used to identify visitors but to help businesses understand which areas of their facilities have the most traffic. 

    Mobile Tracking Devices

    Many modern footfall tracking software solutions use GPS monitoring to track the number of users entering a facility and their real-time locations. 


    WiFi routers show the number of users connected to a network in real-time. Therefore, many businesses offer free WiFi to count and analyze foot traffic in their facilities. However, not every shopper opts for free WiFi. Therefore, businesses understand this method may not offer the best results.

    Consumer foot traffic : an essential performance metric

    Consumer foot traffic data is now an essential performance metric that any business can leverage to improve visibility, sales, and revenue. However, even though there are several methods you can use to measure foot traffic, you still need a powerful solution to analyze the data. 

    ClicData is an advanced data management and reporting platform that can help you with customer foot traffic data. Its application spans various industries, such as retail, healthcare, hospitality, etc. Using it, you can transform any physical location into a digital ecosystem and generate actionable insights that help enhance customer experience and drive sales. 

    Get in touch with our team to learn more about this innovative solution.