Academia-led report calls for retailers to adopt more strategic use of video analytics
05 August 2020
AUTHORED BY Emeritus Professor Adrian Beck of the University of Leicester, a new report commissioned by the ECR Retail Loss Group calls for retailers to leverage video analytics more strategically in order to control costs, improve operations and increase profitability.
Supported by an independent research grant from business-focused solutions developer Genetec, the report offers practical advice for retailers on extracting maximum value from their video surveillance systems.
Entitled Reviewing the Use of Video Technologies in Retail, the report has been produced in the wake of in-depth interviews and site visits with representatives from 22 retailers* based in the US and Europe. These include some of the largest retailers in the world, with collective sales of over $1 trillion. That’s equivalent to approximately 12% of the total US and European retail market.
The report summarises the ways in which video systems in general, and video analytics in particular, are being deployed across retail businesses, including their use by legal teams for Health and Safety compliance and monitoring slip, trip and fall incidents. It also covers business intelligence applications such as improving customer service through better staff response times and product availability, generating heat maps and customer dwell times, people counting and queue monitoring, delivery alerts and improving pick accuracy.
Given the need to extract value from across today’s retail organisation, a key recommendation of the research is the appointment of a video ‘Tsar’ with overall responsibility for the strategic oversight of video systems deployed across a given business.
Adrian Beck explained: “While video technologies have been used in some form or other in retailing for over 40 years, the research found few examples of retailers where its role, purpose and capability to contribute to business success was clearly articulated. Video analytics is a technology with a broad-ranging and rapidly evolving capability, but what seems clear from this research is the need for explicit leadership, greater application across retail functions, the improved integration of video technologies with existing systems and better alignment of video system design with organisational objectives.”
Scott Draher, vice-president for asset protection and safety at Lowes, added: “Over the years, video has become an even more indispensable tool for the whole business, not just the security team. This landmark report provides an essential guide to asset protection and loss prevention leaders on how to proactively manage video and the data it creates. It not only promotes ways of applying critical thinking to the use of video analytics, but most importantly clears the path on ways they can start to shape a company-wide approach that enshrines video as more than just a tool for security, but an asset for the whole company.”
Rob Borsch, practice leader for banking and retail at Genetec, concluded: “With multiple and disconnected retail buying units and departments all voicing different data needs, technology providers have historically responded with siloed custom solutions that add cost and effort, while reducing return on investment and scalability. By adopting a more holistic approach driven by a centralised vision and direction, all stakeholders can become aware of available solution capabilities, like tailored dashboards for each department, to help drive better engagement and return on investment. This has to be a key focus for retail moving forward.”
To download the report visit https://ecr-shrink-group.com/page/the-use-of-video-cctv-in-retail
*The retailers and companies that agreed to contribute to this research and have their name disclosed are Abercrombie and Fitch, adidas, Axis, Big Y, Boots UK, Carrefour, Co-op, Five Below, Genetec, JD Sports, John Lewis & Partners, Lowes, Marks & Spencer, Meijer, Morrisons, Next, Primark, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Travis Perkins Group, Walmart and Zebra