The unexpected arrival of the global pandemic has not only presented business owners a new set of challenges to deal with but also forced them to change their business strategies. Technology came to the rescue in this crucial time. Many retail stores were left scrambling to adopt innovative solutions that support business continuity, drive revenue, and generate new opportunities.
But as we begin to tiptoe down along the road of normality, it’s an opportune time to consider the power of CCTV video analytics. We discuss how making an investment in this smart security camera solution can help retail business owners to stay afloat during this time of crisis and beyond.
Intelligent video surveillance, also known as smart security cameras, take advantage of deep learning, artificial intelligence, and connectivity for the detection and analysis of images. These cameras are trained to analyse vast amounts of data generated by images and video of people, objects, and vehicles. They can ‘recognise’ and assess size, shape, speed, and directional information, making these smart IP cameras not just useful for security threats but improving sales and operations as well.
Many retailers are struggling financially due to the pandemic, and the purported increase in shoplifting seems to have made matters even worse. Experts say that factors such as unemployment, uncertainty, and financial pressure make people more likely to steal. Additionally, thieves are likely to take advantage of fewer employees on the floor (a result of staff cutbacks) to get away with shoplifting.
Video analytics provide security teams with actionable intelligence in real-time. The cameras detect the events that prove to be a precursor to any security incidents such as a person loitering around the store or someone moving at a certain speed. The system will then notify staff the minute suspicious activity (defined by the store owner) happens.
Positive COVID-19 cases in a retail business can cause operations to shut down temporarily. In such an event, business owners could lose a day’s worth of profits. Illness within the workplace can also reduce the workforce and impact productivity results. Smart video analytics can be harnessed as a preventative measure. Video technology such as full-body scanners and thermal imaging systems allow businesses to detect abnormal body temperatures to identify individuals with probable infection. To further reduce the chances of spread of infection, video analytics detect, monitor and analyse the mask-wearing and spatial patterns of shoppers, including whether they’re keeping safe distance from one another.
At a time when many people are hesitant to shop in-store, the need for retailers to demonstrate convenience to customers and prospects has never been more imperative. While the customer experience has always been a priority for retailers, now is the time to veer toward personalised in-store shopping as the primary way to improve engagement and loyalty.
With video analytics technology, retailers can track and analyse buying behavior of each buyer. The technology collects and analyses data to identify peak times, traffic patterns, and high occupancy zones. These analytics can further help business owners put staff where buying assistance is needed, thus reducing the waiting time for the customer.
Poor inventory management can cost a retailer tremendous amounts of time, money and, ultimately, its chances of success. To mitigate the negative effect of bad inventory on the business, video analytics can be integrated into the operational workflow. The technology detects not only missing products, but also low stock, wrong placement, wrong prices and other incidents that could reduce sales.
With the pandemic comes an unprecedented number of unknowns that can impact the profitability of retail businesses. Now is the time for business owners to apply the full force of video analytics provided by CCTV surveillance solutions to ascertain long-term operational efficiency while improving existing processes.