Today’s retail landscape is more competitive than ever. Whether you’re in specialty retail, or operating a quick service restaurant or c-store, you’re under tremendous pressure to attract new customers and achieve ambitious sales targets. At the same time, you’re tasked with reining in costs by reducing shrinkage and finding efficiencies in your staffing and other operational expenses.
If you’re like most retail managers, you don’t have a lot of time to spend in each of your locations, and you rely on your frontline staff to keep you up to speed on what’s happening on the ground.
Working together, you and your team can achieve some of your sales and operational objectives, but often things fall between the cracks. Maybe it’s a particular store that’s lagging behind in revenue and you don’t understand why. Or perhaps it’s a promotion that was effective in all but one location.
With the right kind of tools, you can now gain insight into all of these aspects of your business and more. Video solutions that have traditionally been used for loss prevention and security can now be used to gain powerful insights into what is going on in one or many locations. By deploying an IP video surveillance solution that combines your point-of-sale (POS) transaction data with business analytics, you can not only see what’s happening in your retail locations, but you can also improve your customer service, operations, marketing and more.
Security and Business Intelligence
A myriad of possibilities exist for retailers who want to use video and other data together with analytics to analyze and improve their business. Retail business intelligence solutions that integrate recorded video can yield the greatest return on investment because video captures virtually everything that happens within a store and delivers immediate, real-life context to the viewer.
Video is often overlooked as a source of big data. In itself, video can be used to remotely spot check any number of locations to understand how busy a store is, if it is being kept clean or if merchandise is displayed properly. When integrated with POS data and analytics, video can produce incredibly powerful video-based business intelligence that can add value to many different areas of your business, beyond just your loss prevention department.
Valuable Insights into Customer Behavior
Video-based business intelligence solutions shed light on your customers’ behaviors so you can tailor or even customize your staffing, operations and marketing for optimal results.
For example, a video people counting analytic determines how many customers are entering and exiting your stores. Integrating this information with your POS data provides conversion rates, so you can see how many shoppers actually purchased something from your store. Comparing this data across your organization, you can learn which of your stores are performing the best and which ones need improvement.
Build Customer Loyalty
Consumer expectations today are extremely high, and many shoppers report that retailers need to improve their in-store customer experience. Providing prompt service is one way to do this.
By using a queue length monitoring analytic, you can see how many customers are waiting in line and for how long. Analyzing this data over time enables you to improve your workforce planning so you’re never over or understaffing your stores.
In today’s fast-paced society, leaving a customer waiting in excess of five minutes can result in a lost sale. Studies show when a customer waits longer than 3 minutes, their perceived wait time actually multiplies with each passing minute. With video-based business intelligence, you can align your staffing to match your high-traffic times and improve your speed of service.
Maximize Your Marketing Dollars
Whether you have hundreds of retail locations or just a few, every dollar counts when it comes to your marketing budget. Being able to evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and product placements can pay huge dividends in the long-term.
With a video-based business intelligence solution that combines a dwell time analytic, you can learn how long a customer lingers in a particular area of your store, such as near a promotional display or end-cap. By comparing this information with other occupancy data from people counting, you can then assess how well your campaigns are performing and compare this across each of your locations.
With this valuable information, you can strategically locate your displays for maximum benefit.
Take Loss Prevention to the Next Level
Smarter marketing and improved customer service are crucial to your business’s success, but so is reducing shrink.
Unfortunately, studies show the No. 1 cause of retail shrink in the U.S. is employee theft.
Video-based business intelligence solutions like our new March Networks Searchlight software go beyond simple surveillance with advanced tools that enable you to root out theft and find shrink wherever it occurs in your organization. By integrating with either a local POS system or your central transaction server, Searchlight gives you the ability to see what’s happening at the POS terminals in one store or a group of stores.
You can search and sort transactions by employee, store or transaction type, compare employee or store performance and identify trends with intuitive dashboards that summarize complex results. With Searchlight, you can also create customized alerts to notify you of suspicious activity like transactions that exceed a certain amount or those that occur when no customer was present at the POS.
Because your surveillance video is incorporated, you can drill down and investigate each transaction with video to verify which employee was working, what time and day the transaction occurred, and any other relevant details.
A Total Retail Solution
As you can see, video-based business intelligence solutions can add significant value to your retail operation. And the best part of all is they can be incredibly easy to use. Be sure to thoroughly investigate your options and choose a solution with high-quality video, accurate analytics, and user-friendly dashboards. You’ll get the best results for your business when you and your staff can use easily use the software and take advantage of as many reporting tools as possible.
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