An Interview with Ben Terry, Head of Location Planning at Dixons Carphone
The SmartStreetSensor Project
We spoke with Ben to find out why Dixons Carphone decided to join the SmartStreetSensor Project, what they believe the benefits will be and why they would encourage other retail occupiers to do the same.
Why did you join the project?
The partnership between LDC and UCL, using smart footfall devices, is a fresh approach in analysing the level of pedestrian based traffic in the towns and cities of our country. We are delighted to be a part of this retail study and have provided a number of locations across the UK in which our store portfolio can host the sensor devices to gain detailed results by time and day.
Furthermore, the long term scope of this project will no doubt prove crucial in better understanding the health of our high streets, the impacts of developments as well as the opportunities for retailers in a town or city.
How will you plan to use the data?
The feeds of smart information will sit hand-in-hand with our own internal footfall data – counts of customers that physically enter a store – providing an enhancement to our own location based knowledge. This will also afford us additional benchmarking against our Carphone Warehouse and Currys-PCWorld estate.
What benefits do you see for Dixons Carphone for being part of the project?
These are not just footfall counters. Instead, the collation of results from these devices across a multitude of retail centres will provide valuable insight by micro-location. Whether expansive to a shopping thoroughfare as a whole or distinct to pitch-point on one side of a street, the aggregation and dissemination of results will provide supportive and advantageous information on potential customers – right outside our store fronts.
The benefits of the SmartStreetSensor project really are twofold; direct access to ongoing, consistent, store-level information and the long term academic research which will no doubt prove vital in assessing the fundamental shifts in how consumers engage with high streets.