Times are tough for retail businesses: for years, they have been suffering from competing e-commerce. At the same time, operating costs for rent and labor were rising. Recently, a worldwide pandemic has driven countless retailers to the edge of their existence.
•High costs of running retail outlets, including rents, business rates and labor costs;
• Low profitability caused by high costs, slow growth in sales, squeezed profit margins and heavy price competition;
• Rapid growth of online competition such that by 2018 online sales accounted for around 18.4% of total retail merchandise sales;
• Lack of preparation caused by low investment in stores and weak forward planning to meet the challenges of the new retailing.
Let's see how smart video technology can help make retailers’ life easier in each of these areas: Today, networked surveillance cameras can do more than just provide you with video data. Through specific apps running directly in the devices, cameras can analyze video footage. For example, to help you identify customer behavior patterns so you can optimize your in-store sales, based on real-time video data.
Browse our Application Store for the latest camera apps that help you improve sales and operations in your store. Below you get an idea of how they work and what they can do for your business today.
Customer experience is key to retaining loyal customers and attracting new customers. Retailers must make every visit an exciting event. No more searching for personal assistance, no more waiting at checkouts. And more: Retailers must create inspiring shopping experiences instead of having customers loitering between generic shelves.
Guide your customers through personalized shopping
Online marketplaces like Amazon know their customers and give them the feeling of being understood. You can do the same in your store if you manage to guide your customers based on their individual preferences, behaviors and demographics.
Video analytics technology helps you not only to monitor customers, but also interpret their behavior and automatically take appropriate action. Connected to other systems such as interactive displays and dynamic pricing on shelves, your camera system becomes a smart sales driver.
Example: tracking the entire buying journey inside your store
Smart IoT cameras equipped with AI technology automatically recognize visitors and provide them with anonymous IDs, that allows you tracking individual buying journeys inside your store from entering to checkout. You gain valuable insights into your customers' interests and new ideas on how to improve your sales floor.
Put your staff where buying assistance is needed
Bad experiences in your store, leads to your customers staying away. Tedious searching for assistance and long waiting times at checkouts are a no-go in retail. You can avoid both if you know in time when and where staff are needed in your store. Smart cameras equipped with video analytics can help you keep track and manage your team.
Example: Detect queues at checkouts, even before they occur
Video analytics recognizes where crowds form by interpreting Occupancy in critical areas. Surveillance cameras equipped with smart apps such as AI Retailcan also detect if many people are moving towards checkouts at the same time and automatically inform your staff to open additional checkouts in time. This way you avoid long waiting times and frustration.
Example: Counting visitors in your store and activate staff when needed
Smart cameras record in real-time how many individuals enter and leave your store. Knowing how many people are currently in your store, the system can notify you or even automatically inform employees.
Customer experience begins outside your store when potential customers walk past your storefront windows and discover items that grab their attention. You should start here to learn more about how people react to your offer. Smart video analytics helps you do this without your staff wasting their time sitting in front of video screens.
Example: Measure how long people spend at the front of your store
Guide customers to blind spots in your retail space
Smart cameras can see what the human eye misses. For example, they can recognize in which areas of your store many people move around and where not. Sales areas that do not attract customers are dead space and generate no profit. Smart video technology, such as RetailFlux Shopper Flow helps you get more of your sales floor.
Example: Use video analytics to detect and eliminate low traffic areas in your store.
This view from a surveillance camera shows that there is hardly any customer traffic in the rear right corner of the sales floor. This area generates costs without selling.
Studies foundthat retailers lose €900 Billion in sales due to store availability issues. Products that are not available cannot be sold. The challenge for retailers is to keep their shelves filled even at peak times. This often pushes staff to their limits. Surveillance cameras using AI-based object recognition can help identify and quickly fill gaps.
Example: Detect missing or misplaced merchandise automatically and in time
Video analytics can detect not only missing products, but also low stock, wrong placement, wrong prices and other incidents that could reduce sales. The range of applications extends from simple detection of missing or misplaced products to fully digitized inventory management as the following example shows.
Theft is the most prevalent form of revenue shrink that retailers experience globally. In Australia, for example, theft costs retailers billions each year. Averaging between1% - 3% of gross profit, theft significantly impacts the net profitability of retailers.
The list could be continued as there is a lot of room for smart IoT camera applications that help you make your business more successful and secure. So it's worth looking into new technology trends more deeply to find out how you can benefit from smart video analytics!
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Security & Safety Things brings you the latest AI apps that turn your surveillance cameras into business all-rounders. Browse our Application Store now to make your retail business more successful and secure with just a few clicks.