In today’s retail climate, hardly a day goes by without news of another legacy-brand retailer announcing store closings or financial restructuring. In fact, nearly 7,000 store closing announcements occurred in 2017, setting a new record. With the public’s embrace of online shopping, this trend will likely continue and perhaps accelerate.
The analysis of store video is a way retailers can understand customer shopping behavior and store logistics to help gain a sales edge. While video surveillance is important for store safety and loss prevention, it can also be used to improve customer service, operations, and store performance.
Here are some ways video analysis can be used to do just that.
Monitor Store Traffic and Check-Out Lines to Plan for Adequate Staffing
Who likes to wait in line to check out? Likely no one, and it’s not good for business either. Customers who have to wait to check out are more likely to take their next shopping experience to a different store or go online.
Store video offers the ability to monitor customer traffic and check-out times. Analysis can help managers ensure that the store is adequately staffed and enough registers are open during heavy shopping times. When analysis shows lighter store traffic, scheduling fewer associates can help control payroll costs.
Observe Customer Behavior to Optimize Sales Opportunities
Cameras may also be used to observe, in real time, when and where customers need the assistance of a sales associate. Video can show when a customer is searching for a salesperson for help or “showrooming” — using a smartphone to compare online offerings against what is in the store. A salesperson can then be deployed to give the customer some assistance, answer questions, and hopefully make the sale then and there.
If the sale isn’t made, the video footage can be reviewed to observe the salesperson’s body language and behavior toward the customer. If the associate needs more training, the video can be used as a tool to help the associate better understand how to close a sale.
Examine the Store Layout to Improve Customer Flow
Video analysis is helpful for store planning as well, including the flow of customers and whether a store layout helps them build their orders then check out efficiently. Observing how customers navigate the store can point the way to changes and improvements with the potential to increase the size of customer orders.
Use Video Analysis to Keep Your Doors Open
Consider the customer experience as an aspect of surveillance video usage that goes hand-in-hand with loss prevention and security. It is one more tool that can help give your customer service the edge that will bring today’s online-savvy shoppers through your doors, and keep them coming back.