Video Surveillance & Physical Security Industry Viewpoints
March 12th, 2024
Author: Kara Arroyo

4 Areas that Retail Security Professionals Can Impact Business Outcomes

Breaking Organizational Silos with Security Tech

In today’s rapidly evolving security landscape, security professionals in the retail industry are embracing dynamic investments that address the holistic needs of their companies. This shift is facilitated by changes in customer expectations and the emergence of advanced, multi-functional technologies that enable organizations to anticipate and address challenges proactively. However, securing the necessary budget for these advanced technologies, especially when cost cutting is en vogue and the ROI of security investments is not always concrete, is no easy task. That’s where video analytics comes in. By integrating video analytics into existing security infrastructures, retail security can increase asset protection and individual safety while also maximize the impact of their investments by delivering powerful data-backed intelligence that impacts the strategic decisions and revenue growth of the entire organization.

Advanced Analytics for Retail Security

Video analytics is a cost-effective way to leverage investments in video surveillance networks, because – in addition to driving positive customer experiences – it can be leveraged to improve safety, security, and asset protection. Video analysis empowers operators to investigate crime and other forms of shrinkage by reviewing video footage across multiple cameras in a matter of minutes. Operators can filter video to show people or objects that fit a certain description, allowing them to extract crucial details, gather evidence, and accelerate investigations.

Video analytics also enables managers and security staff to respond to events as they unfold in real-time. By configuring real-time alerts that trigger when pre-defined behaviors are detected, appropriate staff or operators can determine if response or intervention is necessary after evaluating the alert. For example, if an unidentified individual is detected entering an inventory area, security staff can be notified to assess the situation and respond as needed. Additionally, in the context of public safety, video analytics enhances situational awareness and response times by automatically detecting potential threats or unusual activities.

Benefits Beyond Security: A Cross-Organizational Asset

Although increased situational awareness and enhanced investigation capabilities are enough justification for security adoption, let’s explore 4 areas that retail security professionals can impact retail business outcomes so you can become a champion for change in your retail organization:

  1. Maximize Store Layout and Product Placement

Store managers are always looking for more insight into customer behavior to direct their efforts in every retail discipline. Therefore, understanding consumer behavior and navigation trends are critical to achieving sales objectives. Video analytics leveraged for security applications like post-event investigation and real-time alerting, can also visualize customer movement into easy-to-read business intelligence dashboards. Retailers can use this concrete data to strategically optimize store layouts, placement of advertising collateral, product location, and employee scheduling to increase conversion success.

For example, clothing and apparel store managers can use video analytics to map object interaction and dwell time at different displays to make informed merchandising decisions. Furthermore, if a particular campaign or promotion is not delivering the expected outcome, management can easily determine and test if relocation of advertising and merchandise would increase sales, or if the campaign is just not resonating with their target audience.

  1. Mitigate Crowding and Hotspots

Crowds and long queues negatively impact the customer experience and can compromise safety in some cases. Retail operations and security managers need to be aware of when, where, and how often crowds and queues form, so intelligent, proactive decisions can be made to mitigate them. Video analytics empower retailers to develop real-time crowding contingency plans based on patterns seen through visualized hotspots and traffic peak data.

Video analytics systems can also be configured to trigger alerts based on proximity and people counting filters. When pre-defined count and proximity thresholds are crossed, operators can be notified that an unsafe number of people is occupying a certain area. Finally, operators can respond in real-time to investigate the quantity and density of the crowd formation and act based on the established contingency plan.

  1. Manage Building Occupancy and Operations

Video analytics functionalities can be also by applied to retail building and store management. Video analytics reports can be generated to review occupancy trends, real time alerts can be triggered to control people count in stores, and occupancy counter tools can help retailers report – in real-time and in aggregate – store occupancy trends.

Occupancy statistics can also be used for intelligent maintenance. While maintenance workers traditionally follow a metered cleaning schedule, video analytics can generate and analyze traffic data over time so retail management can ensure maintenance is prioritized based on use. Video analytics also empowers retailers to respond to real-time maintenance needs. For instance, by configuring people-counting alerts maintenance teams can understand when a pre-defined threshold for people entering a restroom has been surpassed. Upon receiving an alert, maintenance staff can be deployed to clean the high-trafficked area even if it falls outside of the pre-determined schedule.

  1. Uncover Customer Demographic Trends

Video analytics also enables retail users to gather information about customer demographics, such as gender or whether visitors are children or adults. Merchandising, marketing, and advertising teams can use this data to ensure that their store offers items of interest for their target demographic, to understand which demographics aren’t being engaged, and to develop strategies that improve engagement with those audiences.

Champion Your Change

The versatility of video analytics extends beyond security to every area of a retail organization. By adopting a proactive approach to safety and security that can be aligned with organizational goals, security professionals elevate the value of security within their organizations and establish themselves as strategic partners in achieving business objectives. It’s time for you to become a champion for change in your retail organization.

Watch the Champions for Change webinar to learn more about driving cross-organizational value from your security investments: