Video surveillance has historically been used to monitor for loss prevention. That is a basic and prevalent function that is still necessary; thorough coverage of your store is crucial. But what if a surveillance solution could do more—to not only prevent losses but increase efficiency and ultimately boost the bottom line? You can with the use of intelligent solutions that take advantage of the latest in analytics technology.
how stores are losing their edge
There are several factors causing retailers to lose in-store foot traffic and sales, including online shopping, lack of merchandise and poor customer service. Retailers invest heavily in surveillance for loss prevention in an effort to protect their stores and assets. While this can dramatically reduce losses resulting from theft, a lack of consideration still remains for the most important asset: the customer. The secret to a successful, healthy store is in the customer’s experience. How can providing first class service to the customer benefit the store?
With the convenience of online shopping, retailers are seeing less and less foot traffic. A customer needs a reason to go into a store over shopping online That reason is the in-store experience. The majority of a store’s relationship with the customer is dictated by what the latter experiences within the store’s walls, which is something that is often in the retailer’s control.
According to research from the Harvard Business Review, the best way to improve a customer’s experience is by simply making it easier to shop. This comes down to two things: prompt service and a personalized in-store experience. Essentially, to have the convenience and ease of online shopping while maintaining the benefits of an in-person experience are the most ideal conditions in a customer’s shopping journey.
Retail intelligence from a single smart solution enhances customer experience, optimizes staff productivity and boosts in-store campaigns.
To provide the best service possible, you must start “listening” to your store because there is a lot it can tell you. By answering some of the following questions, you’ll gain insight into how to better optimize your store:
- How many people walked into the store?
- Once they are in the store, where do they go?
- How can I proactively manage queue lengths and response times to enhance customer experience?
What is my in-store customer conversion rate?
The answers to these questions can help you eliminate inefficiencies while tailoring your store to each visiting individual.
one solution, multiple purposes
Let’s take a closer look at various technologies that comprise the solution:
People counter: counts in real time the number of people passing under the camera and in what direction.
Queue monitor: tracks how many people are standing in a predefined area (e.g. a queue) and the level of activity within that area. It also triggers real-time push alerts if the queue is too long.
Demographic identifier: counts male and female visitors and provides an age estimate. It can also be used to trigger digital signage messages based on age/gender.
Occupancy estimator: provides data about store occupancy, such as average visit time and number of visitors, which allows for appropriate staffing levels. It’s also capable of sending alerts based on predefined occupancy parameters.
Network audio solutions: provides in-store background music and enables live and scheduled announcements.
Heat maps: enables quick identification of hot spots, dead areas and bottlenecks to visualize traffic patterns over time as well as in real-time.
Digital signage: enables targeted marketing messages to visitors based on age and gender when integrated, for example, with AXIS Demographic Identifier.
The individual components of this intelligent solution coalesce into one platform to enhance customers’ in-store experience. Fundamental statistics that most stores have may provide information on current sales and transactions, however they do not provide insight into efficiencies and inefficiencies.