Report calls for retailers to adopt analytics

Posted On 18 Aug 2020
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A new report authored by Emeritus Professor Adrian Beck of the University of Leicester is calling for retailers to leverage video analytics more strategically, to control costs, improve operations and increase profitability. Commissioned by the ECR Retail Loss Group and supported by an independent research grant from Genetec, the report offers practical advice for retailers on extracting maximum value from their video surveillance systems.

The report, ‘Reviewing the use of video technologies in retail’ is drawn from in-depth interviews and site visits with representatives from 22 retailers based in the US and Europe. 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 the 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 the business.

Adrian Beck, Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester and author of the report commented: “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, improved integration of video technologies with existing systems, and better alignment of video system design with organisational objectives.”

Download the report here