Collect, Analyze and Integrate Foot Traffic Data through an API

Analyze the performance of any retail location and integrate the foot traffic data to any third-party app via API.

Collect, Analyze and Integrate Foot Traffic Data through an API

Choosing the Right Foot Traffic Data Interface

Foot traffic data, which provides visibility into where people go in the real world, has become the offline equivalent of website traffic analytics. Using anonymous location data from mobile devices, professionals across industries can gain unprecedented insight into brick-and-mortar consumer behavior: the stores people visit, the restaurants they like, and how long they spend at different locations. These insights can be harnessed by retailers, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, investors, and others to optimize every stage of running their businesses.

For many professionals, the best way to obtain foot traffic data is through a location intelligence platform that provides an accessible and easy-to-use User Interface (UI). But for others, a foot traffic API (Application Programming Interface) is the better choice. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options, and discuss some of the considerations that go into choosing the right foot traffic data solution.

What is a Foot Traffic API?

Foot traffic APIs can be contrasted with foot traffic UIs. Foot traffic UIs allow users – including those with little to no technical know-how – to view, manipulate, and analyze relevant data on the location intelligence provider’s own platform. 

With foot traffic UIs, professionals can create location analytics reports regarding specific chains or POIs, run analyses using additional datasets provided by the platform, and create visualizations that make it easy to derive insights from the data. 

Foot traffic UIs let users easily conduct complex analyses 

A foot traffic API, on the other hand, lets users integrate foot traffic data into their own business intelligence applications. The data can then be programmatically combined with sales and other types of first-party data to obtain enhanced insights, facilitate custom reporting, and better support business decisions. 

Advantages of a Location Intelligence Platform UI

Location analytics platforms with built-in UIs offer users some distinct advantages, including: 

  • User-friendly interface: A user-friendly, intuitive UI allows even non-technical users, or companies that don’t have in-house analytics teams, to easily conduct sophisticated analyses. 
  • Layering of multiple geospatial datasets: Good location intelligence platforms provide users with a range of geospatial datasets that can be easily layered on top of their foot traffic analytics. By combining visitation data with information on local traffic infrastructure, property development plans, crime statistics, demographic and psychographic trends, and more, users can generate insights that cannot be derived from foot traffic alone. 
  • Mapping visualizations: Well-constructed location intelligence platforms also allow users to easily create heat maps and other graphic visualizations of consumer visitation patterns. 
  • Advanced analytics tools: Some foot traffic analytics platforms also provide users with advanced analytics tools that let them analyze large quantities of data with the push of a button, to instantly produce actionable insights at scale. 
Location intelligence platforms user interfaces can facilitate mapping and visualization of visitation patterns

Advantages of a Foot Traffic API

For companies that employ professional analytics or data science teams with the requisite technical expertise, a foot traffic API can offer an integrated foot traffic analytics experience. Some of these include:

  • Seamless integration: An API lets users incorporate foot traffic data into their existing platforms, combining it with their first party data to conduct comprehensive analyses. The data can be included in the company’s own executive dashboard or even displayed on customer-facing websites to highlight successful venues. 
  • Customizability: With an API, analytics professionals can create custom reports and visualizations in the formats best suited to their organization’s needs. 
  • Scale and efficiency: Foot traffic UIs often allow users to generate only a limited number of reports at once. Using an API, executives can simultaneously access data for a large number of entities, making it easy to collect and process information at scale. Periodic reporting can also be automated, saving time and reducing the risk of human error.

Indeed, for many companies, a solution that combines the utility and capabilities of a platform’s own user interface with the added benefits of an API offers them the best of both worlds.

Foot Traffic APIs in Action: Some Examples

A few examples can help illustrate the potential benefits of using a foot traffic data API across industries:

  • Investors and finance firms can use a foot traffic API to integrate data on physical visitation patterns into the platforms they use to analyze investment opportunities, mitigate risks, and predict return on investment. Many finance companies rely on proprietary predictive algorithms to inform decision making – and adding foot traffic data to the plethora of other metrics they feed into their systems can significantly enhance their analyses. An API also allows investors to conduct bulk analyses of hundreds of locations at once, in order to hone in on the best opportunities.
  • Retailers can use a foot traffic API to quickly gather foot traffic data for a large quantity of chains and stores in potential new markets, to facilitate site selection. Store owners and managers can also leverage an API to combine foot traffic data with the first-party sales and inventory data they employ to conduct routine business intelligence (BI) analyses. Incorporating all the relevant inputs into one platform can enhance analysis of conversion rates, by measuring correlations between physical visitation patterns and sales or shifts in inventory. Integrating online and offline traffic metrics can allow retailers to see the full picture of their customer marketing funnel and have better visibility into the customer journey and the different ways customers interact with their brand. Do online campaigns drive physical visits? Is increased foot traffic correlated with a rise in online sales? Incorporating foot traffic data into BI platforms together with proprietary sales and inventory data can also help retailers better measure the impact of advertising campaigns, uncover bottlenecks in their sales funnels, and more.
  • For many CPG companies, the ability to analyze foot traffic data at scale by simultaneously extracting visitation data for a large number of stores and chains is key to conducting their massive operations. Using a foot traffic API allows CPG companies to integrate large quantities of foot traffic data into their existing framework, monitor the performance of their retail partners and the behavior of their consumers, and hone in on the right markets for their products. 

The Foot Traffic API Solution

In addition to its user-friendly and highly accessible user interface, offers a foot traffic API add-on that allows companies to extract Placer's rich location intelligence data for use in any internal or third-party application. With Placer’s foot traffic API, analysts and developers can enrich, filter, or combine foot traffic analytics with proprietary data to create custom dashboards, facilitate internal reporting, and more. 

To find out more about’s location intelligence solution, check out our Guides section.

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