Transparent Shopper: Latest Development in Retail
When Security Systems Become Business Enabler
With the development of intelligent video analytics on cameras and NVRs, retailers can make use of data which is provided by the system. In recent years, security systems were a cost driver, but now they add value to the buying potential. The systems become a business enabler.
Retailers know that long checkout lines turn away customers, but an intelligent video system that analyzes checkout lines can help to plan staffing levels and customer service provision as well as provide a long-queue alert in real time so the store manager can redeploy staff to the registers. Both capabilities reduce the chance of customers being lost because of queues.
While in recent years the installation of security cameras was a cost factor that lowered the margins in the retail business, modern and intelligent video systems now play a significant role in business process optimization and enable new chances for retail business operators when they fight online shopping. The market is craving for new solutions. Retailers who don’t utilize the possibilities of intelligent systems fall short. Some security brands are forearmed to offer solutions for the retail business. Vanderbilt Industries for example: Their integrated access control and video management solution ACT365 is a good example. Clients can download an app on their smartphone. In case of an early-morning delivery, the store manager can identify the courier through a live video feed and then remotely open the doors of the loading bay to allow the delivery to be made. The manager can monitor all of this remotely and once the delivery is finished, they can close the loading bay door and it will automatically rearm.
Dealing With a Lot of Data
More data leads to more material and hence more potential. Unused it is a waste of time and money. With the rapid software development, retailers have to overcome these challenges. Traditional retailers are put on the spot to give answers so they can compete in the industry. According to Nvidia, more than half of Amazon’s sales are achieved by their recommendations pages. The direct utilization of customer behavior drives more business.
Hence, getting to know the customers becomes inevitable.
The best way to start here is people counting in retail stores and creating heat maps that show the traffic in a shop during opening hours. There are a lot of video-based solutions on the market that differ in their accuracy. Vivotek for example offers a 3D people counting solution that is a good tool for business optimization through precise counting analytics. With accurate real-time data, users can estimate in-store traffic, enhance staff management, evaluate the effectiveness of promotions and marketing events, and more.
Hanwha Techwin approaches the retail market via their management software Smart Security Manager Enterprise and places the system at the heart of retail solutions. The software combines data from EPOS with heat mapping and people counting analytics captured with on-board Wisenet Open Platform cameras, to indicate the reasons why a store is performing better or worse than others in a chain. As well as comparing the conversion ratio of customer visits to sales, the data captured by the people counting application can assist marketing personnel to evaluate the success of in-store promotions and identify busy areas of a store, by the hour or day of the week.
Panasonic takes on this challenge, too. Its business analytics identifies customers on the premises and drawing from that visual information, retailers can assess their gender, their age, their approved access level or even their likelihood to buy products or services. Furthermore, they deepen their level of detail by matching gathered information with heat mapping, which monitors the movement of individuals, groups or large crowds of people throughout the premises, looking at where customers went, how long they stayed in certain areas and where the greatest density of visitors was at any given time of day, month or year.
Their latest development is a digital signage solution. It integrates LinkRay technology, which uses LED light to transmit content to mobile devices, and turns digital signage displays, signboards and light sources into 1-2-1 marketing tools for smartphones. The signage also uses age and gender recognition to deliver targeted advertising specific to the viewer.
Talking about specific to the viewer: As an example of custom-built constructions that Eyevis often develops to comply with individual requirements, a so-called Mirror Display connects the characteristics of a mirror with a digital display in a unique way, and can find attention-grabbing application in retail or hotel environments. The mirror goes beyond reflecting the image of the user, it adds information into the real world which makes it an augmented reality display application.
Deep learning has already begun to be beneficial in different areas. In the field of natural language processing, the Amazon tool ‘Alexa’ is on the market. According to Nvidia, we will soon be able to ask a robot in the shop to answer questions. Autonomous Robotics is another field of deep learning. Distribution centers will profit immensely from speeding up re-distribution to stores etc.
With the accelerated analytics, real-time data streaming uncovers patterns to predict prices and simulate forecasts based on competitive public market data.▪