Capitalising on your investment in video surveillance means more than simply resting secure in the knowledge that there are IP cameras to catch criminal activity. Like smartphones and tablets, IP cameras are getting smarter and nowadays deliver a host of complementary functions beyond being a crime deterrent and post-crime investigations tool.
The most important business benefits unlocked from more intelligent video surveillance includes heat mapping and queue management. The former involves high resolution camera systems recording videos from networked surveillance cameras and then use software to assist store management in visualising customer traffic patterns over time as well as in real time. The foot traffic is displayed in colours, for example, green in heavy traffic, red for little to no traffic and amber for average traffic.
This technique allows retailers to easily identify store hot spots, which are areas that get the highest amount of foot traffic from customers, as well as the unpopular dead areas, and bottlenecks that hold customers up – all of which could lead to prospective sales losses. This enables management to quickly determine the display areas that are doing well as well as those that need to be updated or changed out to pull in more potential buyers.
The other significant benefit of intelligent video surveillance is queue management, which refers to the use of video analytics to monitor and evaluate customer flow patterns throughout the store. This is handy for various aspects including more effective point-of-sales management, which also entails cashier performance.
In addition, intelligent surveillance unlocks a myriad of additional benefits including:
* Enabling companies to get to know their customers (racial make-up, which products are more popular with men, age groupings of the buyers).
* Alerting management if the number of trolleys and/or baskets available for customers is sufficient for the number of buyers in store. In such a case the system is also able to alert management to abandoned trolleys in store.
* Alerting management to customer walkout figures i.e. if 10 000 customers walked into the store but there were only 7500 ring-ups. Using the surveillance analytics and looking at details such as foot traffic and queuing time at cashiers, the floor manager would be in a much better position to deal with the factors behind customer walkout.
At the end of the day, intelligent surveillance provides store managers with a wealth of analytics that enables them to get the most value out of their stands, promotional materials and teller points. It helps them cut down on customer waiting times, which will translate into additional sales as well as more buyers returning to the store as a result of the shopping convenience that snappily moving queues affords them.
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