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GPS Indicates Consumer Foot Traffic Up Near Stores

With more regions opening up business again, here is a compilation of some ways Orange County firms have harnessed tech to adapt, learn, and power through the pandemic.

Shoppers Return

Marketing research firm MFour Mobile Research Inc. in Irvine uses GPS tracking to show consumers may be venturing back toward retail stores on foot, despite the current devastating sales landscape.

MFour sees a rebound of foot traffic in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Dallas and the greater Los Angeles region, including Orange County.

“We think this is valuable information to share with the county as businesses are on the cusp of reopening again, people are starting to move,” MFour Marketing Vice President Catherine Gutierrez told the Business Journal. “Where there is movement, there will be spending.”

Consumers give MFour permission to track where they go via GPS, and they get paid for their survey and data participation. Foot traffic shows that people are either heading back to stores, engaging in curbside pickup practices, or just passing near stores, indicating shoppers are increasingly interested in going back inside to start buying from retail outlets again.

Gaming Help

Gaming products maker Razer in Irvine is reaching out to homebound fans to keep them happy.

The company’s retail staffers in the San Francisco and Las Vegas stores are streaming every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday on Razer’s Twitch channel, chatting, providing product support, playing some games and doing giveaways of equipment. Razer says “we have seen opportunities and growth” in light of the situation.

Fellow gaming company Blizzard Entertainment Inc. in Irvine has also reported strong growth from stay-at-home consumers in recent months.

Graduations

The online variety is the only kind available these days, for example the California State University-Fullerton’s Virtual Commencement Celebration 2020 on June 13; see page 1 for more on CSUF’s plans for next year.

Ingram Virtual

Ingram Micro Inc. is running its “Cloud Summit: The Digital Sessions” in an online format from June 15 to 19. The event will feature top Ingram Micro Cloud and CloudBlue executives sharing their views on the future of the cloud and new ways to achieve business growth during these “unprecedent times” among other matters. The company’s website says “digital content is a strategic part of our business plan moving forward.”

Crowd Tracking

Crowd-tracking company CrowdVision Inc., in Anaheim, says thermal detection to screen people for elevated body temperatures is being added to its product mix, which is used to watch over large groups of people at airports and other venues.

Elevated body temperatures and fever have been used as an early gauge to see whether someone may be suffering from COVID-19. “Airports, train stations, casinos, stadiums, shopping malls and other busy venues must now adjust to a new reality of monitoring and managing social distancing as a mission critical activity to promote public safety,” according to CrowdVision, which resulted from the recent merger of Anaheim’s iinside with a U.K. company of the same name.

Fender Guitars

Fender, originally founded in Fullerton and one of several iconic guitar companies with its roots in OC, is offering new users three months of free lessons on Fender Play, an online learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele.

Fender says 750,000 people have signed up for the free instruction. It’s designed to further share the power and beneficial effects of music as people are still spending more time at home.

Kevin Costelloe
Kevin Costelloe
Tech reporter at Orange County Business Journal
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