A new software package can track and evaluate the movement of customers through car dealerships, its maker, a firm called PeopleCount, claims.

Benefits include the ability to monitor the number of people entering a dealership against orders taken, and analyse peaks and troughs of activity in the sales, service and parts department.

The system’s ability to track prospect activity across multiple sites is aid to make it particular valuable to dealer principals, zone and brand managers who want to monitor the results of promotional campaigns on a local, regional or national basis.

PeopleCount also offers the facility to track vehicle movements through the use of optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which automatically reads a car’s number plate and relates this information to details held within the dealer’s customer database. Information gathered through OCR technology can then be used to analyse a number of activities, such as the utilisation of demonstrator cars, including road tests and vehicle downtime.

The system is said to have already been proven by ‘High Street’ retailers and at retail motor industry sites.

Small sensors connected to a computer measure the movement of customers and staff, sending data to PeopleCount via wireless GSM connection. Once installed, the system is claimed to be “totally discreet”, requiring no intervention from the owner.

Once the supplier has processed the data, it is customised to the customer’s requirements and supplied via a secure website which can be accessed from any computer.

PeopleCount commercial director John Nicoll said: “With increased internet access, most prospective customers entering a dealership are very well researched and informed. Our technology provides tangible, real-time information that assists both motor retailers and manufacturers to understand and react to their pre-sale activity cycle in a highly competitive marketplace.”