Why Your Cannabis Business Needs In-Store Traffic Monitoring

In a digital world, many companies have forgotten the value of tracking what happens in the real world. Not every business can sell products over the internet. Some, like the cannabis industry, operate a hands-on, in-person retail business, and the industry continues to grow. It has proven quite resilient over the last 12 months.

Cannabis Market

In Canada, sales have grown to $2.6 million (Canadian) in 2020 from less than a million in 2018 when recreational cannabis use was legalized. In the United States, the medical and recreational use market rose 46% in 2020 to $17.5 billion (US). Only 14 states allow recreational and medical use of cannabis. As the industry expands, competition will increase, making it critical that early adopters position themselves as the vendor of choice for cannabis users.

Competitive Advantage

The business basics of a better product at a lower price works unless price wars start. Then, lowering the price can be dangerous. As the cannabis market matures, prices will eventually reach an equilibrium where competitive pricing models will need differentiation to sustain growth. Separating a business from its competition should begin before the doors open. If stores wait until differentiation is required to increase sales, it may be too little too late for it to work.

Customer Experience

In the last five years, the buying experience rather than price has become the differentiating factor in retail sales. Consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service if they have a positive shopping experience. If they have a poor experience, customers are likely to walk away. Almost half of all consumers will stop buying a brand after two bad experiences.

For companies to deliver a strong customer experience, they need to understand their customers. One way to learn about customers is to monitor their behaviour during the shopping experience.

Traffic Monitoring

Tracking who is in the store and for how long can tell you a lot about your customer. Add a little more information, such as the number of window shoppers and repeat customers, and you have data that can be used to make business decisions.

Statway offers a simple solution for collecting crucial information. The device uses video and Wi-Fi technologies to count individuals entering and exiting the store. It does not require access to a network. This third-generation device can do the following:

Proximity Counting

Smartphones are never silent. They are always sending out signals looking for networks. The Statcam component in the device operates as a Wi-Fi hotspot. That means, it can detect Wi-Fi signals coming from a smartphone.

The device records the MAC address of each phone and approximates a location based on the phone’s signal strength. With that information, the system can determine where the individual is located that has the specific smartphone.

Repeat Customers

Using the MAC address, data can be compared to determine if the individual is a repeat customer. The solution can even determine if the individual frequents more than one store location based on the address. The MAC address refers to a media access control number that identifies a device to communication networks. It is a unique identifier that ensures that the information is being sent to the correct device.

New Customers

Statway applies an advanced algorithm to Multilayer Background Subtraction Based on Color and Texture techniques that count individual people.  This latest algorithm uses both colour and texture patterns to identify an individual, making for superior accuracy.

No personal information is recorded when counting foot traffic using a smartphone. The individual is tracked using the associated MAC address. This method removes the need for identifying information. How long a customer is in your store can be determined by the timestamp of the individual entering and exiting the store.

Data-Driven Decisions

With this traffic-based information, businesses can learn the following:

  • Discover peak traffic periods. Knowing when the most customers are likely to enter your store, you can adjust personnel to ensure customers are not waiting. You can reduce staff during low traffic times.
  • Improve operations. Adjusting staffing and inventory to match peak traffic times can improve productivity and customer experiences. You can reduce labour costs caused by overstaffing.
  • Assess marketing effectiveness. Determine the effectiveness of a marketing campaign by the increase in foot traffic. Whether the campaign is emails, direct mail, or promotions, you should realize an uptick in traffic if the marketing has had an impact.
  • Compare locations. If your business has multiple stores, you can compare the traffic among the stores. It can highlight discrepancies in-store performance.
  • Determine conversion rate. Calculate the conversion rate by comparing the number of individuals in the store versus the number of purchases.

Deploying a standalone video and Wi-Fi counter lets companies take advantage of the growing market to build a reputation for superb customer experience at a minimal cost.

The Technology

Statway uses a stand-alone device positioned at the store entrance. From this position, it uses video and Wi-Fi counters to track individuals entering and exiting a store. It can also detect individuals walking by, but not entering, the store using its Wi-Fi counting technology.

No personal data is recorded from the smartphone. Only the MAC address is stored, and that is encrypted using a secret key that is not known by either the vendor or the retailer. Counts are based on a unique identifier that is generated for each MAC value.

The Statway device does not require a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with a cell phone. It can operate independently of any internal network, making for simple installation and operation.

EB Solutions

EB Solutions provides a range of IT services and solutions tailored to the cannabis industry. As a company, EB Solutions has trained professionals that can help with the following:

  • Seed-to-sale software
  • Point-of-sale Systems
  • Video Surveillance
  • Data Security

As a managed IT services provider, we can make sure your infrastructure is reliable and resilient. Contact us for more information on our services and the Statway solution.

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