As shrinkage continues across the globe — ranging from 1-3 percent of retail sales globally according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan — retailers are looking for ways to combat the loss and increase profits.
One way that both big box and specialty retailers protect against crime is by using video surveillance, including analog and IP cameras, encoders and decoders, video management software and networked video recorders. However, today’s retailers are demanding a more comprehensive video security suite, one that leverages current infrastructure and can serve the entire organization: from security and loss prevention, to marketing, merchandising, customer care, operations, logistics and store planning.
Retailers Trying to Keep Pace
The retail industry is transforming from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to newer technology platforms such as online websites with e-commerce functionality. As a result, the remaining brick-and-mortar retailers have had to revisit their strategic priorities to focus on higher levels of customer experience, channel convergence plans and new marketing and merchandizing approaches.
In today’s highly competitive retail environment, traditional ways of measuring store performance and in-store activity do not provide the empirical accuracy or insights for optimizing security and operational effectiveness. As the competition to attract shoppers and enhance sales and profit margins intensifies, investing in technologies that provide retailers a competitive edge becomes essential.
One way of leveraging current video management systems and extracting intelligent data for all retail operations is with the availability of high-powered computing platforms along with advanced video content analysis algorithms. Using these video analytics and business intelligence platforms, retailers can leverage their current video surveillance infrastructure to derive intelligence, track and analyze customer traffic, monitor and manage staff, and ensure efficient product placement and store layouts.
These solutions extract accurate and holistic data about customer behavior patterns — beyond what traditional POS and people-counting technologies can provide. Specific insights from video business intelligence help retailers make more informed decisions to improve in-store marketing, increase operational efficiency, boost sales, raise customer satisfaction levels and improve the overall shopping experience.
Retail Security Technologies
Here are the major security-related platforms that retailers use to meet security and organizational goals. Let’s look at how intelligent video can enhance these technologies and impact a retailer’s bottom-line.
Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS): The most widely deployed technology to help prevent shoplifting at retail locations today, EAS uses tags that are adhered to merchandise to monitor their location. If an EAS tag remains on the article after exiting the store, the detection system sounds an alarm alerting staff to investigate. For high-value goods, wired alarm clips may be used instead of tags.
Video Surveillance: After EAS, video surveillance is the most popular form of retail security. Industry research firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts that video surveillance will continue to grow 6-8 percent over the next 8-10 years to help prevent vandalism and curb shoplifting. Most retailers are upgrading current video system infrastructures to enjoy the benefits of IP-based technology.
Analytics: Analytics-enabled applications are being adopted alongside video surveillance to help deliver insight into shopper behaviors. IP video technology coupled with an integrated suite of video analytics solutions can be the key to building business performance, with a higher return on investment and improved customer conversion rates. By leveraging video analytics in conjunction with a video management platform, retailers can better understand the answers to some of these questions: