In-store analytics is still quite young, but in demand: modern IP cameras and software can provide retailers with valuable data on store performance, assortment attractiveness and customer behavior.

Cameras in shops are primarily used for theft protection. But modern devices can do much more. In combination with intelligent software, they also enable detailed analyses of customer behavior – the so-called in-store analytics. This form of data collection and analysis starts even before the store: For example, the systems can examine license plates in the car park and thus provide a picture of the current catchment area. This is valuable knowledge for marketing planning.

Systems determine capture and conversion rate

The attractiveness of the shop window can also be examined. For this purpose, a camera is mounted in the shop window to determine the pedestrian frequency. A second camera at the store entrance measures visitor frequency. For this purpose, Dilax has launched evaluation software on the market that provides important indicators for the retailer: “Among the performance indicators, the focus should be on two strategic parameters – namely the capture rate and the conversion rate,” says Carolina Hinrichsen, Head of Sales at Dilax.

Important information for ideal control of customer route

It continues in the shop: The technology counts the customers on the sales area – from this the conversion rate can be determined and targeted measures can be taken to improve the frequency-buy ratio. Cameras track customers’ routes, provide heat maps of the individual zones in the store and thus provide a picture of the number and length of stay of customers in individual shop areas. On this basis, customer routes can be better controlled or action zones can be ideally placed.

Peoplecounter von Axis

Positive field tests

In-store analytics with IP cameras is still a rather new technology, which can be seen at trade fairs such as EuroCIS or EuroShop. Providers such as Axis, the global leader in network video, are involved in lighthouse projects. For example, a jewelry and accessories store equipped with Axis IP cameras examined the redecoration and re-positioning of certain products. For this purpose, the predefined presentation area was recorded in fast motion for two days before and after the event. The evaluation showed a significant improvement in the conversion rate. Modern cameras make it possible. Step by step, they replace photoelectric sensors, radar or laser technology, which can often only measure the frequency: “New investments now relate almost exclusively to camera technology,” observes Ralph Siegfried, Consultant Business Development Retail at Axis Communications GmbH.

Important tools for the stationary trade

The stationary trade can even go one step further in the direction of personalization. With the perfect interplay of software and hardware, it has instruments in his hands to compensate for disadvantages compared to the competition from the Internet. This enables it to track the customer’s itineraries through its stores with an exact focus on shelves and products. In addition, it is possible to address consumers in real time via video clip or mobile phone message who are in a certain place and are viewing a certain product.

Customers accept surveillance systems

According to experts at the EHI Retail Institute, there is no reason to worry about customers rejecting cameras in the store. According to this, almost 84 percent of the consumers surveyed are neutral towards such monitoring systems. Almost 12 percent even consider their use to be positive or very positive. “Customers are increasingly recognizing that such systems also serve their own security,” says EHI expert Marco Atzberger.


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Image: Axis