Retailers must continually adapt to gain a competitive edge, satisfy customers, and increase their bottom line. Some retail objectives are evergreen and fundamental: improve customer service, understand customer demographics, optimize store layout, and reduce inventory losses. Increasingly, the most agile retail stores are applying best-in-class technologies that complement, rather than replace, their existing resources to achieve a better ROI from their current systems.
Because most retail stores already use video surveillance (CCTV) cameras, retailers have optimized this investment by implementing video content analytics software to fully leverage the data that lies in the footage captured by their video cameras.
Video content analytics software is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to process video to identify and classify objects in the video footage, such as people, vehicles, and other items, and then index them. This enables operators to quickly and easily search live and recorded video, filter and alert on content based on identifying criteria, such as gender, size, color, speed, path, direction, and dwell duration. Intelligent video surveillance makes video not only searchable and actionable, but quantifiable. By aggregating video data over time, video content analytics provides business intelligence that critically helps management understand trends, make decisions, and develop strategies that increase conversion rates and improve the customer experience.
Video analysis helps management teams stay on top of situations like frustrating long queues at checkout, or traffic jams in the parking lot by detecting when pre-defined object and people-counting thresholds are met and alerting operators to these and other pre-determined behaviors in real-time. Managers can then make quick and informed decisions to quell the queues, such as deploying additional counter clerks, redirecting customers to other checkout areas or making long-term renovation plans to prevent future issues.
With optional face re-identification, systems can recognize individuals as anonymous, unique visitor identities, and analyze aggregate and unique guest traffic. This functionality enables users to differentiate between recognized employees and anonymous guests, as well as pull reports and draw conclusions based on visitor counts that exclude staff, so retailers can measure unique visit duration and site navigation and quantify repeat and bounced visitor traffic.
When it comes to designing store layout, it’s extremely important to understand visitor traffic patterns and problem hotspots within a store. Dashboard visualizations answer questions such as, how do visitors typically navigate the store? Which displays and advertisements attract the most attention? During which hours is there increased traffic at the checkout? How do revenues and sales statistics compare to visitor traffic patterns?
Such data points help retailers make intelligent decisions about placing products or displays. Data-driven heat maps and trend reports empower purchasing and marketing staff with product popularity insights, and help store designers see common paths and traffic bottlenecks.
While visitor patterns and metrics are invaluable to individual stores, their value is compounded for large scale retailers with multiple branches of varying sizes. Flexible intelligent video surveillance architectures enable retail chains – from pharmacy and grocery to fashion sectors – to aggregate demographic, footfall and navigation, unique traffic and other key performance indicators across stores to identify visitor preference and employee engagement patterns, develop regional or localized strategies, and more. Alone or combined with other data reporting tools, such as POS or inventory analysis, this business intelligence can become a critical driver of revenue growth, brand loyalty and continued strategic decision-making.
Retailers constantly seek ways to improve customer service, marketing, merchandising, and security. By investing in video intelligence software, they can get more value out of their video surveillance systems. They benefit by being able to gather significant business intelligence from their video footage, that would otherwise go untapped. With real-time information and long-term data from video content analysis, retailers are empowered to respond more quickly, make better decisions, and develop more effective strategies that drive customer satisfaction and store revenues.