EXCLUSIVE: Why smart retailers are using intelligent video solutions

Retail and intelligent video solutions

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Intelligent video solutions offer new ways for retailers to cost-effectively protect employees, customers and profits, says Kevin Darnell, Senior Business Development Manager at Hanwha Vision America.

Retail security

One of the biggest threats to retailers across the US is losing inventory from theft, fraud or error.

The retail industry loses billions of dollars annually to inventory loss, with analysts estimating the annual number to be around $100 billion.

This has pushed many smart retailers to make an important investment in intelligent video surveillance solutions to help protect their assets, employees and remain profitable.

The main benefits of implementing an intelligent video surveillance system for retailers includecreating a seamless checkout experience for shoppers, helping to identify shoplifters and reveal what was stolen, with data analytics assisting retailers in flagging shoplifters and preventing recurring incidents.

Retailers can use deep learning models, image processing, edge hardware and AI-powered cameras to help improve store operations and improve efficiency.

Video surveillance can also improve shopper engagement based on their behavior.

Retailers need specialty surveillance solutions that blend seamlessly with a store’s aesthetics for discreet monitoring of key areas without missing critical information while generating real-time visual evidence of theft or fraud.

New AI technology has added the power of people-counting, body temperature detection, object detection, license plate recognition, behavioral observations and any number of actionable business functions.

These new video solutions are addressing the industry’s need for scalable and cost-effective surveillance solutions that can help organizations monitor their stores and detect suspicious activity – ultimately preventing theft.

Over the years, we have seen a growing shift in the retail industry away from traditional on-premise servers and NVRs towards cloud-based solutions.

Retailers can now deploy self-contained systems while fully realizing the potential of edge storage, multi-camera recording, remote access and on-premise security system management.

It’s important for retailers to easily customize and grow their surveillance systems based on their specific needs.

Intelligent video surveillance and AI technology also helps retailers be proactive when it comes to in-store shrinkage.

Maximize store layouts and shopper behaviors

Retail success is based on getting shoppers into the store, keeping them there and making the most out of their visit, ultimately leading to a purchase.

The sales floor must be properly and efficiently laid out, with every inch of that valuable real estate used to guide customers to the prime merchandise.

Operators can use intelligent video surveillance to enhance customer service by comparing traffic patterns against staffing levels, monitor customer service issues, improve employee time management and analyze customer traffic patterns to ensure merchandise is visible and properly displayed.

Retailers large and small are looking for effective ways to enhance overall store efficiency.

This includes monitoring store traffic volume and customer shopping patterns to reduce checkout times, placing merchandise for optimal visibility and allocating staff appropriately.

All of this can be accomplished by deploying the right intelligent video surveillance solution.

From the checkout lines, entrances, exits and aisles to stock rooms, staff areas, loading docks and parking lots, retailers can actively deter crime or any suspicious activity by letting everyone entering the store know the entire retail space is being recorded and monitored.

If the store becomes too crowded, staff can be alerted to open more registers, which helps reduce the number of people checking out at each station.

This reduces long check-out lines or customer service wait times and ensures in-store staff are properly positioned to assist customers – all to create a welcoming public shopping environment designed to increase sales.

Intelligent video surveillance for every application

New surveillance technology allows specialty cameras to be customized for every area within a retail operation: entrances and exits; parking garages; loading zones; or any other area where suspicious activity may occur.

Public viewing monitors can assist in actively deterring retail crime and scalable IP video management and NVR solutions let retailers view forensic evidence from anywhere with an internet connection.

Cameras with industry-leading low-light performance and wide dynamic range capabilities can monitor and capture large areas.

Durable vandal-resistant dome and bullet-style cameras can be equipped with loitering detection analytics and license plate recognition technology tracks and logs vehicles entering and exiting retail premises.

Retailers can view two areas with a single dual-head, multi-sensor camera installation, complemented by onboard queue management analytics customized to alert managers and staff to long lines.

Retailers can easily and discreetly view an entire store floor with a single high-resolution fisheye camera or follow specific areas with micro-PTZ cameras.

Compact dome cameras maintain a store’s aesthetics, while license-free video and audio analytics easily monitors activity in multiple areas.

Intelligent video surveillance solutions that offer people counting and queue monitoring technology can provide valuable information about activity within a particular store.

It also helps retailers put safety measures in place to help control customer occupancy so there are not too many people in the store at the same time.  

The right intelligent video surveillance solutions are scalable to fit the needs of any operation and easily allow for growth.

One sample retail scenario is placing a primary camera over the register in a retail location, with another camera positioned towards the front door.

The user can build from there with cameras at various positions that can include the rear entrance, delivery entrance or employee break area.

As a retail store grows and expands to multiple locations, it’s important to have a video surveillance system in place that can grow along with it.

If a franchise has three or four locations, they can now connect together and have a unified platform to view everything with remote access.

Enhance the shopper experience

Whether customers visit a store in-person or online, delivering a positive shopping experience is the key factor in determining not only if they make a purchase or not, but if they return to that brand over the long term.

At the end of the day, it’s all about providing the best possible environment for customers and employees.

Retailers that make the investment in intelligent video solutions will reap the benefits of customer loyalty and satisfaction.

It’s critical for retailers to ensure that shoppers have a positive experience in their store.

Future-proof technology for retailers

Retailers today are challenged to do more with less and they require more effective loss prevention and asset protection solutions.

Intelligent video surveillance options that combine image quality, performance and analytics will meet retailers’ needs for safety, security and shrink management while delivering new insights into every aspect of a retail operation.

By implementing the right intelligent video surveillance technology, retailers are truly empowering their staff and creating a safer environment for all; helping stores save money, manage assets, reduce risk and deter crime.

This article was originally published in the September edition of Security Journal Americas. To read your FREE digital edition, click here.

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