For retail stores, the holiday season is their busiest and most important time of the year. In fact, holiday shopping accounted for 19.5% of total annual retail income in 2020. If businesses don’t strategize a business plan for the holidays, they might miss out on making their most profits for the year. But with Ifovea, retail stores can use video analytics to uncover business insights that will enable them to develop a successful plan this holiday season.
Measure Foot Traffic
Foot traffic is an important metric for retail stores to track, but even more so during the holiday season. Knowing how many people are entering your store is the key to increasing the foot traffic and your sales. For example, you can measure the foot traffic to analyze the results of a recent promotion or ad campaign. If your foot traffic has decreased, you’ll know that you need to change your strategy to entice more customers in. Additionally, knowing when the store gets busy can help you adjust staff schedules to ensure that there are the right number of staff members to handle the predicted customer increase. Doing this ensures that your busy store is maintained but also reduces overstaffing costs. This is especially useful during the holiday season when retail stores get busier and hire additional staff.
The most common way for measuring foot traffic involves manually counting each visitor which is tedious and time-consuming. With Ifovea, all counting is done automatically and is actually more accurate than other people counting software. Other counting software uses a line-crossing algorithm which means that it will count anything that comes in view of the camera. As a result, the count may be inaccurate due to people being counted twice or non-human items being counted. Ifovea’s counting is more accurate because it utilizes object detection and tracking. The object detection feature recognizes people to only count them and the tracking feature prevents double-counting.
One issue that many retail stores face during the holiday season is overcrowding due to the influx of customers doing last minute gift shopping or planning for elaborate family meals. Even though more shoppers are to be expected, it’s important that stores try to keep overcrowding to a minimum in order to maintain a pleasant shopping experience for their customers. When stores become too crowded, the customers may be put off and decide to cut their shopping trip short. Not only that, a crowded store may lead to more theft as the employees will be too distracted to keep an eye out for shoplifters.
On Ifovea, users can turn on the Heat Maps feature which will visually show which areas of the store receive the most foot traffic throughout the day. By identifying where overcrowding tends to occur, store managers can then take steps to minimize it. For example, they can revise the placement of products and displays or make sure to station more staff members in those areas to assist the customers.
Reduce Theft & Shrinkage
During the holiday season, it’s common for retail theft to spike. Shoplifters know that the stores will be more busy and that all of the employees and customers will be too distracted to pay attention to them. The holidays are also when organized retail crime rings strike the most often in order to get highly-sought after items that they can sell online for a premium.
A CCTV system on its own is already a good deterrent, but using Ifovea in conjunction can catch even more instances of theft and lighten the workload for loss prevention teams. Ifovea uses artificial intelligence to learn normal patterns of behavior and can automatically detect suspicious behavior like when someone has been loitering around a specific area for too long or is carrying a weapon. Once suspicious activity has been detected, Ifovea will send an alert to the user who can then take immediate action. Additionally, Ifovea users can use the face recognition function to automatically detect known shoplifters or members of organized retail crime rings when they enter the store.
Analyze Customer Path & Product Interaction
Even though retail stores get more busy during the holidays, the increased traffic is not a guarantee for increased sales. A lot of variables can affect the customer’s purchase decision so it’s important for retail stores to analyze what drives consumer purchases, and Ifovea can help with that. Although sales reports do help, they only show how often an item was purchased. They do not tell the whole story, like how often the item was picked up, looked at, put back, etc. Ifovea allows retail stores to keep track of specific items which can reveal more information on the product’s performance and customer interest.
Ifovea can also track the customer’s path and how they move throughout the store. Customer path is important to analyze because it can reveal if a product is performing poorly because it’s in a unseen area or if it’s the actual product itself. Additionally, knowing where customers are more likely to go can help retail stores decide where to place specific products to optimize sales or where to display promotional ads to capture the most attention.
The holiday season is the most important time for retail stores to make their biggest sales of the year. Using Ifovea can help you develop a successful plan by uncovering important business insights. If you’re interested in using Ifovea to prepare for the coming months, give us a call or email us at [email protected]!