15 Oct Shop talk
Trevor Sinden, director of sales, Middle East & Africa at March Networks looks at how intelligent video is helping retailers during COVID-19
As retailers face the ‘new normal’ of COVID-19, many are adjusting to new ways of doing business. For some retail loss prevention managers this means watching establishments from home on their laptop or mobile device; others, including those in operations, have shifted their focus to new health and safety procedures to keep employees and customers safe. Now, more than ever, intelligent IP video surveillance can be of use across many areas of a retail establishment. Video can not only uncover a wealth of information about a business, but it can also help retailers enhance security and compliance, as well as overall profitability, at this critical time.
Here are three ways intelligent IP video surveillance can help retailers during the pandemic:
Many retailers are facing financial pressure due to COVID-19, so loss prevention practices are more important than ever. With a video system with remote auditing capabilities, retailers can see video images from all of their retail locations at-a-glance on their smartphone or tablet, and zero in on any suspicious activity. Intelligent video can also help reduce shrink by alerting retailers to suspicious transactions. Systems can be configured to send out alerts if too many voids or discounts take place.
Returns could also signal an issue, especially as many retailers have stopped offering physical in-store returns or exchanges in order to reduce contact with employees and the amount of people coming inside the stores. With March Networks’ Searchlight solution integrating point-of-sale (POS) transaction data with video, if an unusual return occurs, an alert can trigger and then corresponding video can be viewed to investigate what took place.
One of the biggest challenges retailers are facing from the pandemic is the introduction of new health and safety measures. Frequent sanitization of high-touch surfaces is mandatory. Wiping down POS stations and counter surfaces is a must. Intelligent video can allow you to check in on your employees to ensure compliance with these and other rules. Specifically, with the March Networks Health Compliance Solution, retailers can protect their employees and customers during COVID-19 with real-time alerts on potential compliance violations. Built upon our Searchlight video-based business intelligence platform, this solution helps retailers meet new health and safety regulations by monitoring and measuring store occupancy in real-time, rapidly detecting individuals who may have elevated body temperatures, and ensuring compliance with new cleaning and sanitization procedures.
Shopping has changed for consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With shopping trips occurring less frequently, stockpiling certain goods has become the new norm, often leaving shelves bare. A video surveillance system with integrated radio-frequency identification (RFID) and POS transaction data allows retailers to see which products are selling more than others. For example, any product tagged with an RFID tag can be captured on video and then later searched for by product type, Electronic Product Code or serial number. Retailers can match that data with corresponding video to see how the product entered or left the store, helping identify patterns and pinpoint suspicious activity.
It is clear that COVID-19 has drastically changed the way retailers have to operate, but it doesn’t have to be all negative news for the retail industry. While retailers may need to limit the number of customers in their stores for the foreseeable future, if they can continue to offer the best customer service in a well-maintained, sanitary store, it will go a long way. March Networks’ intelligent IP video surveillance can help retailers adjust and perfect these new business practices, while also continuing to maintain strong loss prevention and physical security requirements.