VenueSim is a spin-out from De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester, UK. It has developed a unique software proposition that can model customer behaviour using Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Areas where the modelling of consumer behaviour is now possible are in large venues such as shopping centres, transport termini and event arenas. Our software moves from basic forecasting tool to an operational planning tool.
Being able to assess where consumers go once they enter a large venue such as a shopping centre and knowing on average how long they remain in certain areas, allows users of the system to more accurately assess how to plan the layout and retail tenant mix of those areas.
In shopping centres knowing the time spent in certain areas allows rent levels to be adjusted to reflect dwell time and passing trade, etc.
The VenueSim products are based on a SaaS (Software as a Service) principle. Its unique proposition is that it only uses information that is currently held on the client site and no additional hardware is required. As a result the developed model is unique to that venue site and is able to accurately forecast consumer movement based on currently available data.
In airports, the VenueSim Q-Alert product is a unique software analysis and reporting tool that allows airport operators to forecast (weeks and months in advance) the flows of passengers through their airports and identify which factors will most affect these flows.
The area that this has most impact is the security zone where flow is most noticeably affected. By predicting when passengers will arrive at security an airport is able to optimise the security resources required to meet this demand and get passengers into the departure lounge as efficiently as possible. This in turn improves customer service and helps to maintain security SLAs.
Retail is the major profit generator at most airports around the world as airlines drive down the landing fees to cater for cheaper air travel. However the increased queues at the security gate has slowed the flow of passengers and significantly reduced the dwell time (time spent) in the departure lounge.
As retail spend is directly proportional to dwell time the result is a marked reduction in the level of retail revenues and therefore profit generated. It has been estimated that airports lose 34p profit for every 10 minutes that a passenger spends queuing in the security area. An airport therefore has the opportunity to generate between £80k and £170k extra profit per annum for every 1 minute reduction in the time spent queuing in security depending on the size of the airport.
VenueSim is currently working with East Midlands Airport to predict future trends and improve the passenger’s journey through security.