The technology for measuring foot traffic trends in brick-and-mortar stores has improved since then, but not by much. And it has been far eclipsed by online retailers, which can easily use software, such as Google Analytics, to get detailed reports about their visitors??? every click.
Now a formidable pair???John Smith???s grandson Will Smith, and Google Analytics co-creator Scott Crosby???are leading a startup that aims to bring the rigor of metrics for websites to the physical world, starting with retail stores. By picking up on the unique mobile device IDs that smartphones give off when they recognize a store???s Wi-Fi network, the company???s software can gauge typically difficult-to-track statistics, such as the percentage of passersby who enter a store, the average length of time they spend inside, and the frequency of repeat visits.