The Power of Retail Security Systems in Supermarkets
Intelligent video analytics systems that are built into the latest generation of video surveillance cameras have transformed security in the retail industry.
Video analytics systems can provide retailers with invaluable business intelligence and customer data that help improve their retail security systems, make better use of their staff and resources, as well as increase turnover and profits as they have a better understanding of their customers’ behaviour.
In addition, the advances in the processing power of camera DSP chipsets have meant that intelligent video analytics can now help tackle the fight against shoplifting and other criminal activity.
Supporting the retail industry
At VCA Technology, we have provided enhanced retail security systems for several renowned retailers to help them improve their security, protect their staff, manage their inventory and deliver a better customer experience.
Find out how VCA Technology supported a major supermarket chain by improving its existing security system, enhancing its inventory management and optimising its shop floors.
A major supermarket chain wanted to improve its security cameras and find a solution for deterring and detecting theft and other criminal activity. Although the existing CCTV systems in the company’s nationwide network of stores were helping to reduce inventory shrinkage, they were now outdated and weren’t as efficient. The current security systems were unable to deliver the same high-quality images, as well as the wide range of operator-friendly features available with the latest generation of IP network video surveillance cameras elsewhere. The supermarket’s merchandising department also wanted to be able to observe customers’ behaviour and movement in-store, and the HR department wanted to ensure compliance with health & safety procedures, so it was time to upgrade the existing camera system.
Investing in retail AI
Investment in security has traditionally been perceived as a grudge purchase, and therefore, it’s not surprising that some security managers have always had to give a strong justification for an investment in new security systems. However, in this scenario, it’s possible to make a strong business case for either replacing or upgrading the existing cameras with intelligent video analytics. In addition to the benefits of providing security personnel with a powerful tool to minimise shrinkage, the contribution the cameras would make elsewhere could result in a return on investment which could potentially be measured in weeks.
Using artificial intelligence to meet objectives
VCA Technology’s intelligent video analytics software is equipped with a powerful and intuitive tracking engine that can be incorporated into existing systems. With minimal training, a supermarket’s management team can configure the software’s detection zones so that they can get the information and data they need. Whether it’s to gain insights into their customers’ behaviour to optimise the store efficiently, create product recommendations or understand where theft is likely so they can create smart shelves or place staff effectively.
The AI-powered solution is flexible for the store to use. Depending on the field of view, each camera can provide rich customer data and generate reports with supporting videos. This data gives multiple teams, such as security, HR, marketing and other operational departments, the information and customer feedback they need to achieve their objectives.
Providing a seamless shopping experience
VCA Technology’s intelligent machine learning video analytics can be programmed to provide an almost infinite level of detail on the behaviour of each customer from the moment they enter a store to when they leave. This data can provide invaluable insight, for example, into how much time customers spend in particular aisles or how long they have to queue to pay for items. As well as using this information to decide the best times and locations for promotions or special offers, it can also be used in real-time. For example, alerts can be automatically generated so that the store’s management can react to a sudden influx of customers by allocating extra staff to checkouts before the customers arrive to pay. Integration with EPOS data enables even deeper analysis, such as looking at typical routes through the store for customers who buy particular types of products. The data can then be used to inform the placement of in-store promotions to target these specific customer groups.
The business advantages of VCA Technology
As a result of installing VCA Technology intelligent video analytics at various locations around the store, the following business advantages are achievable.
Optimising the retail store
Heat maps can be generated to show busy areas of a store by hour or day of the week. This enables the supermarket’s merchandising department to work smarter by being able to identify where to locate in-store promotions or reposition the most popular items, as well as provide an analysis of which areas may need additional staffing.
Reports can be created to show how long each customer dwells in specific areas of a store. The criteria for each of these reports can easily be refined at any time, allowing the management to drill down in minute detail to establish specific patterns of customer behaviour. This invaluable information can be used, for example, to measure the success of a specific promotion.
Gathering video evidence
Data and video evidence can be captured to analyse how long customers have to queue to pay. This can assist with the effective deployment of staff so that the correct number of checkouts are open to ensure that customer goodwill is not lost by the excessive length of queues.
External camera domes are able to capture activity at the supermarket’s delivery area. This provides valuable logistical information, as well as identifying any potential thieves who have entered a restricted area. The camera domes can also be used to analyse vehicle movement to ensure the best and safest use of the supermarket’s car parking areas.
Choosing VCA Technology
A large number of businesses in the retail industry have adopted VCA Technology as their preferred intelligent video analytics provider and have integrated the software with their cameras and domes. Each manufacturer is able to offer the software in modular form so that users only pay for the appropriate level of functionality as and when it is required.
“The use of video surveillance cameras in a supermarket environment for security purposes could nowadays almost be considered a bonus rather than the main reason for investing in them,” said Kevin Waterhouse, Managing Director for VCA Technology.
The business advantage with the advanced technology of VCA Technology’s intelligent video analytics is compelling. Each supermarket group will have its own set of challenges, but common to all is likely to be a desire to fully understand why a particular store is performing better than others and if specific marketing activities or promotions have been effective. There is no doubt that VCA Technology’s intelligent video analytics is able to make a significant and profitable contribution to finding out the answer to these very important crucial questions.
Contact VCA Technology
If you’d like to know more about how we support the retail industry or your sector, then get in touch. VCA Technology has sales and support offices in Europe, Asia and the USA.
For more information on the cameras and domes which incorporate our intelligent video analytics please call: +44 (0)20 8335 9151 or use the contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.