Merchant Innovation

Placemeter’s Sensor Maps Retail Foot Traffic

If eCommerce websites are taking extensive measures, ranging from hiring social scientists to monitoring cursor positions, to track user activity, can brick-and-mortar stores be that far behind? Not really.

While brick-and-mortar stores are equipping themselves with beacons on the inside, a new technology is promising to track potential customers for them on the outside. Placemeter, a New York City-based “urban intelligence” company, is now offering sensors that can be placed behind displays to track foot traffic outside retail stores.


The data collected and processed by the sensors gets sent to Placemeter’s cloud services over Wi-Fi or an EDGE network, where it can be extracted by the merchant and applied to restrategize marketing efforts. It can also be plugged into a third-party software using Placemeter’s API, which the company just opened up for developers.

The move to sensor technology is a deviation from Placemeter’s previous product that utilized IP cameras for tracking purposes.

“At just $90, our sensor is less expensive by design than traditional security cameras or any other urban intelligence measurement tool, and now our free 90-day trial allows anyone to get started without a big upfront investment,” said COO and Cofounder Florent Peyre in a statement. “Placemeter’s mission is to help build stronger businesses, efficient cities and innovative neighborhoods worldwide — starting by quantifying the movement of modern cities at scale. With our new free tier, it’s never been easier to access the urban intelligence data you need.”


Placemeter’s Sensor Technology


Now having moved onto offering a much more sophisticated product, the company is making sure that its functionalities don’t come at the cost of complexity.

The 0.75-inch thick and 5.5-inch tall sensor has been designed as a plug-and-play device that comes with a 90-day money back guarantee, the company said.

“Since we launched our urban intelligence platform in June, we’ve been developing this sensor for any customer who wants to collect data on pedestrian and vehicular movement right away, without the need for a complicated installation process often requiring IT support,” said Alexandre Winter, Placemeter CEO and founder.

The launch of the device comes at a time when mom-and-pop stores, and even big box retailers, are struggling to keep up with their foot traffic. According to a PYMNTS Twitter poll, 71 percent of consumers did their holiday shopping online last weekend.


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