Technological advancements in IP cameras as well as subsequent price reductions have led retailers to begin deploying IP solutions more readily. While retailers conventionally use IP systems for loss prevention purposes, IP technology can also be used for a host of applications in retail and, when leveraged properly, can guarantee retailers a strong return on investment (ROI).
This article identifies innovative ways—beyond video security—retailers can use IP cameras to maximize their IP technology investments:
Gain Customer Insights – IP systems can be integrated with other technologies, such as POS systems or crowd counting software, to provide data and video analytics that deliver operational improvements. Traditionally, store guests are counted through the POS terminal; however, this only captures those customers that actually make a purchase. Integrating IP cameras with crowd counting software allows retailers to capture all individuals who enter the store and glean insights from the observations, such as measuring how long customers dwell around a certain retail display and correlating sales.
Obtain Valuable Demographics — Advanced network recorders can go a step further and leverage facial recognition technology to help direct sales strategies based on demographic information. The integrated system is able to identify attributes of customers, such as relative age and gender, suggesting a whole new range of useful tools to identify customer patterns and enable targeted marketing strategies.
Improve Customer Experience — IP technology can identify and measure key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure that employee interactions on the floor provide an excellent experience for customers. KPIs also measure employee productivity by monitoring customer engagement strategies, which can be leveraged to identify employee sales strengths or identify where further training may be required.
Measure Customer Shopping Patterns — Live and recorded video from IP systems can provide insight into customer shopping habits and patterns. For example, this information can be leveraged to determine which retail displays grab customers’ attention, which staff will most likely engage customers, or how long customers will queue in checkout lines before becoming impatient, and even sound an alert to management when a check-out line is too long.
Monitor Compliance — While most retailers utilize video cameras for loss prevention functions, IP video technology can also monitor whether compliance standards are being met and ensure staff are following proper safety protocols and exhibiting appropriate behavior on the sales floor. IP cameras can also be used to monitor inventory and stock areas off the sales floor. IP video with analytics can provide a virtual trip wire to trigger an alarm when someone crosses a
designated border. Both sets of information can be leveraged to aid in operational improvements and workforce optimization.
IP cameras provide great adaptability for a variety of needs and can be installed in almost any location. By leveraging IP solutions for a variety uses, in addition to loss prevention, retailers and business owners can stay ahead of the game and immediately achieve a return on their investment.
How are you using IP cameras in your store? Let us know in the comments section below.