With the exponential progress of electronic technology and machine learning computer vision algorithms, the price of retail analytics solutions becomes lower and lower.
However, the underlying cost of the sensors (cameras) and algorithms is still so high that only the most profitable and clairvoyant retailers use them.
It will always be the case that the real world analytics are much more expensive than the e-commerce ones.
In online stores, it is often enough to input a few lines of code at the bottom of your webpage, and voilà, you have a basic understanding of your users.
Compare this to the cost of installing cameras and wires inside the store and you can see why analytics in e-commerce is commonplace, while in retail it still isn't.
This does not mean that analytics in e-commerce is the best way to improve your overall profitability. In the current year, 2018, e-commerce still makes only 11.9% of all sales.
So, there is still a big prize to be won by optimizing your retail stores and providing the best-in-class shopper experience.
The modern full-suite retail analytics solutions usually cover most of the retail space to provide insight for the full shopper path.
To gain this insight cameras are placed all across the store.
With such a big coverage, opportunities arise in using the underlying installed system for purposes other than analytics.
In a study from 2011, Philips concluded that only 29% of all the campaigns run across all stores achieved total compliance.
There is often a disparity between the vision and the execution. It does not matter if the instructions were unclear, or if the employees are distracted. What is important is that this non-execution hurts the business.
Using StoreDNA's hardware already present in the store, it is possible to enable the compliance check module.
This module enables the client to see the state of a store through a privacy lens. The privacy lens ensures that all that the user sees are unmovable objects, fixtures and SKUs.
What is even more useful, the StoreDNA's platform has built-in alerting if there is a change with the store fixtures.
When such a change is detected, the user gets an alert to check the current situation and to act accordingly.
Forget checking in daily to see if everything is at the right place, if there is a change, the StoreDNA system will notify you.
Shoplifting costs the U.S. retail industry nearly $50 billion on a yearly basis.
It is a sad reality that some retailers went out of business because they could not deal with the losses incurred by shoplifters.
The CCTV cameras are a good start to solve this problem but they often cover only some parts of the store leaving the other parts fully vulnerable.
The other problem with CCTV cameras, which usually store their footage for a past period, is that once we spot there was a theft it is already too late and the shoplifter is long gone.
With full coverage of the store, the cameras used by StoreDNA to offer insights, are also used by theft detection algorithms which are able to detect a theft attempt and notify the staff in real time.
The staff is then able to look at the footage and if the theft attempt was accurately caught, the staff member can notify the law enforcement representatives.
In fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) there is a constant problem of shelf replenishment.
Some stores have solved this by completely eliminating the storage room. For instance, Lidl, a German discount retailer, is notorious for placing fully packaged boxes inside its stores.
Even though such practice makes their stores not so most pleasant to the eye, they are able to deliver much lower prices by keeping labour costs down.
When a retailer has advanced analytics hardware in-place it is possible to leverage views on the shelf to detect out-of-shelf items.
The detection mechanism notices the product is running low or is missing and the staff gets a real-time notification.
In this way, it is possible to optimize staff time and enable the shoppers to enjoy a perfectly tidy store.
Staff efficiency optimizing
NOTE: The use of this method is prohibited in certain countries because of privacy reasons. Before using it, please check with your legal team if you are allowed to use it.
Some retailers use the full camera feed to monitor their employees.
When there is an employee who might be hurting the business, the client is able to check the validity of that information in real time.
In the reality show "Undercover Boss", bosses of chain businesses go undercover in their own stores and interact with unknowing employees.
This is one way to check upon your employees, but when you already have the cameras (which can be thought of as monitoring devices) why not leverage that and do it from the comfort of your office chair?
Knowledge Base of previous store layouts, promotions and designs
Using a retail analytics system, it is possible to look at data for any date since the system was installed.
However, this is not the only information which can be retrieved. It is also possible to see the state of the store on that specific date.
If for example, a visual merchandiser wants to remember how the summer campaign of 2016 in the London store looked like, he can easily check that in the system.
Both the visual representation (images) and the effects of the campaign (insights obtained through analytics) help the merchandizer make the right decision.
The opportunities of having a complete view of your store are endless and they are becoming more and more present as we follow the path of omnipresent automation of the world.
StoreDNA hardware installations take less then a day in 80% of the cases and is delivered with warranty and high security.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and finally gain a clear view of your store.