In the past, video surveillance in retail was all about reducing shoplifting and shrinkage, and keeping customers and staff safe. The latest generation of intelligent video solutions offer all of these things – but they can also help retailers understand customers’ needs, allowing retailers to deliver consistently great experiences and improve their commercial success.
There’s no doubt, online shopping is extremely fast, easy and convenient. That means bricks and mortar stores have to do more than ever to attract shoppers and keep them coming back.
To add the value that isn’t available online, retailers need to deliver exciting, fulfilling and – critically – personalised in-store experience for every single shopper.
The only question is, how?
“The customer experience is more important than ever as retailers are striving to differentiate themselves in a challenging and crowded market. Consequently, experience per square foot will be the new retail metric to measure success.”
The good news for retailers is that latest-generation video, Deep Learning, and data analytics technologies can help to deliver the outstanding experiences today’s shoppers want and expect. Used in the right way, these technologies can help retailers to optimise everything from their store layout, to merchandising and even their in-store security strategy.
Key features of intelligent video and Deep learning that help to enhance customer experiences and improve commercial outcomes for retailers include:
- People counting
Using an accurate people-counting camera, such as Hikvision’s Dual-Lens DeepinView People Counting Camera, stores can understand customers’ shopping patterns. This allows managers to ramp up staffing during peak times, ensuring that customers get the support and service they need, and reducing customers’ waiting time at the checkout.
- Facial recognition
Loyal VIP customers are enormously valuable to retailers, but service staff cannot always identify them immediately. Intelligent facial recognition cameras, however, can provide unique opportunities that were previously unavailable. When customers choose to participate in VIP programs, marketing promotions or other incentives, facial recognition technology will give retailers accurate tools to identify VIPs and loyal customers so staff can provide the right kind of service at the right time. Equally, facial recognition cameras can be used to identify ‘unwanted’ individuals on a list of interest, and to alert security teams of potential threats in real time.
- Heat mapping
Heat mapping, which is a feature of the latest-generation of Hikvision Fisheye cameras, allows retailers to understand which areas of the store most customers are attracted to and how much time they typically spend there. This helps retailers to understand the ratio of ‘lookers’ to ‘buyers’, and to locate the most popular products in the ‘hottest’ areas of the store.
- Queue detection
Long waiting times have a major negative impact on the customer experience – with a risk that customers will give up and revenues will be lost. Queue detection solutions, which are built into Hikvision cameras, help retailers monitor queues in real time and open new checkouts if lines get too long – ensuring that customers can always pay quickly and easily.
- Point of Sale (PoS) integration
Sometimes, sales are lower than expected and it’s difficult to understand why. To overcome this challenge, retailers can overlay data from intelligent video cameras with PoS data. This provides key insights, such as promotions not being visible enough to customers, or goods being positioned in ‘cold’ areas of the store, for example – allowing retailers to take action and maximise their conversion.
Case Study: Smart retail solution gives Dutch shopping centres a business edge
The Schalwijk Shopping Centre in Haarlem in the Netherlands is using Hikvision DeepinView People Counting cameras (iDS-2CD6820F/C) to better understand peak times. With 97% people counting accuracy, the centre has been able to ensure appropriate staffing levels throughout the day, optimise centre and store layouts, and enhance the experience for visitors. Visitor data is also being used to attract new, high-value retail stores to the centre – ensuring an even more successful future.