My first reaction when a PR pitch about a COVID-19 Store Traffic solution arrived by email today was pretty much: “Oh God, another one …”
Since the pandemic started, countless digital display and app solutions have come on the market, and a buyer or solutions provider would have to sort through a pile of them to find the right one.
SMB clients also have to find the money, at a time when everyone but groceries and cannabis dispensaries seems to be hurting. I just don’t see a lot of small businesses spending much money, even when they are challenged by store capacity and access control requirements.
BUT … I dutifully opened the email and was pleased to see a Toronto-based tech company has come up with a very cagey, low-cost solution that pairs a simple smartphone app with a printed cardboard box, a Bluetooth sensor and a couple of cheap LED light arrays in red and green. It needs a smartphone-style power cable, but given most SMB stores open like regular doors, a nearby plug or extension cord does the job.
Rather than $100s or $1,000s for a full digital signage solution, like portable sidewalk digital sandwich boards, the TraffikFlo sign costs $89 Canadian, which is like $67 USD.
You sync the unit to a phone, add some stickers to the box, apply it to a window or glass door, and you’re done.
The solution was cooked up by WXM. In its press release:
“We are living in extraordinary times and businesses of all sizes are having to adapt in order to remain relevant and profitable,” said Damian Wright, Founder of WXM Tech. “With changing regulations being the new norm for businesses and customers, TraffikFlo was created to help store owners manage and adapt their capacities to help maintain the safety of both their staff and customers.
#TraffikFlo is proudly designed in Canada and follows North American rules, regulations and standard practices. Ostrich Algorithm was the brand design and brand name partner. The sign is FCC approved and further testing has been carried out to assure its safety. The product is now available for sale and will begin shipping to customers the first week of August.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.