The India retail industry is one of the most dynamic industry and has undergone a disruption like never in the last few years! Retailers are striving to create experiences that go beyond a purchase. According to PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, data and analytics technologies are the key focus areas. We encounter life interactions merging with AI powered conversational interfaces and voice assistants. According to the report, the new operating model is customer centric, with data analytics at the heart of the decision-making process, enabled by appropriate tools.
Retail - tainment simply means providing visitors with differentiated experiences by analysing their behaviour and influence them to make a purchase. Innovation lies at the centre of this, which involves omni-channel capability (online platform), interactive desks, loyalty programmes, post purchase experience and payment and instalment solutions. But what if there was a way that retail stores had a solution to keep up with this analytic advantage? In other words, providing unique experiences with AI that combine practical solutions and technology. A retail store equipped with smart and intelligent retail solutions that can enhance customer experience, optimizes staff productivity and boosts in-store campaigns.
Retail intelligence at play
To illustrate retail intelligence with an example, let’s look at a customer’s journey in a typical retail store:
A fictional family of Myra (mother) and Sairah (daughter) enters the store on a relatively busy weekend, to buy a dress for her daughter’s birthday which is next week. While traveling to the children’s section, they cross the home section displaying a season sale, where she decides to pick up some cutlery for her home. While browsing in the children’s section, she is greeted by a shop assistant who helps her with the fitting requirements. At this opportune moment she sees an ad displaying a doll house. Myra approaches a nearby employee to see the doll house while she enjoys the background music.
To sum up, the ad did exactly what it was intended to do capture the attention of the intended audience—in this case, Myra.
Some of the retail intelligence at work here – Designing targeted messages based on customer demographics. Using retail analytical tools to estimate the Myra’s age and gender in this case, the store was able to display Ads that was relevant to her and age group. This influenced her to purchase. Also, to keep the family engaged there was background music in play.
Furthermore, to use Heat mapping tools to understand visitor trends and hot spots within the store. In this case, any sale/offer grabs her attention for impulse purchase. And this also helps, retail owners for staff planning to optimize their store operations.
Finally, Myra proceeds to the cash counter and approaches the queue. So, to reduce the waiting time, a staff open another counter to serve the customers efficiently. This creates smoother customer experience with chances of repeat visit. This can be applied to other store areas and make necessary resource planning to reduce the bottleneck that ultimately enhances customer experiences.
One solution for the entire retail process
The modern retailer must be responsive to the customer’s demand, have a robust stock awareness and offer a seamless shopping experience from the purchase to the delivery of the products. In order to keep up with the changing times, retail stores must integrate network video surveillance with video analytics to make for an ideal retail surveillance system. Recording footage that can be later reviewed, is a basic and prevalent function that is still necessary from a surveillance system. But what if a surveillance solution could do more—not only prevent losses but increase efficiency and ultimately boost the bottom line?
The benefits of a network-based system when deployed, provides visitor headcount to other aggregated insights across the store. For example, retailers are looking for intelligent technology solutions like interactive displays to assist customer queries, single out staff performance, prevent shoplifting and mitigate loss. In addition, video analytics can provide store occupancy rates, which will help store owners plan staffing levels through the day. The data collected can help determine the best timings for running marketing campaigns to drive consumers to the store. The real deal of the system would be the integrated network IP audio systems for a dynamically tailored in-store experience. Network speakers enable real-time announcements that can assist customers and move them along the journey to purchase. Furthermore, music can have a significant influence on a customer’s propensity to buy.
While video analytics has long been a staple of the security industry, advances in technology and leaps in imagination are taking it well beyond traditional safety and security applications. As users become more familiar with the technology, analytics are beginning to be used in some surprisingly clever ways. The greatest thing offered by customer insights is the potential to improve customer satisfaction over time. Thinking about a way to measure how satisfied your customers are is a good start. Ultimately, a happy customer is the ideal and best return that a business can have.
The article has been penned down by Sudhindra Holla, Director, Axis Communications, India & SAARC