Unlocking new retail insights with scaled video analytics

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84.51 and Kroger experts advise retailers to use video analytics.

The lines between digital and physical stores are becoming increasingly blurred.

Consider grocery stores. As grocery retailers embrace technology to enhance brick-and-mortar shopping, video analytics is emerging as a transformational tool.

Scaled deployment of in-store video analytics leads to actionable shopper insights that can be utilized for personalizing experiences, optimizing merchandising strategies and streamlining store operations. For consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, video analytics unlock new opportunities to test and refine products and fuel smarter collaboration with grocery affiliates.

Retailers and CPGs are exploring exciting new applications of scaled video analytics solutions across their operations. When deployed responsibly, these technologies can provide unprecedented insights into the retail customer experience.

[Read more: Exclusive Q&A: Kroger's 84.51° data group examines customer loyalty trends]

Enhancing in-store experiences

Video analytics make it possible to understand how customers navigate stores in real time. It also provides the missing data element to direct human associates to the most critical tasks and needs in constantly changing store environments. Retailers can be alerted to long checkout lines, aisle spills and out-of-stocks as they happen. They can also analyze traffic patterns to optimize store layouts, product assortments and promotional displays.

By combining video analytics with other data sources like POS and inventory systems, store layout, time of day, marketing campaigns and more
, retailers can create a comprehensive view of the in-store experience. This enables rapid responses to customer pain points and a better understanding of which store strategies work.

Retailers will be able to ask questions such as, how do store displays impact sales and traffic congestion? What are the common components in department process execution that lead to increased sales? How often are we running out of carts for customers? Is the level of interaction between customers and associates driving sales?

Long-term improvements
Using historical data, retailers can also understand how customers’ experiences play into the role of retention, and in return utilize those learnings to drive impactful improvements. For instance, they can study the effect that time spent waiting on line may have on customer satisfaction and retention. Another big opportunity here is inventory accuracy improvement. Video analytics can give category managers greater insight into inventory turnover, driving better in-stock positions and fresher product.

New opportunities for CPG brands
For CPG brands, video analytics unlock similar opportunities to improve products and retail marketing programs. By analyzing customer interactions with product displays and packaging, CPGs can measure the impact of different designs and placements.

For instance, dwell time analysis can help indicate which products grab customer attention. Additionally, using video analytics to capture customer impressions provides the basis for understanding prime displays and shelf space.

Protecting customers and their data
While scaled video analytics enables next-generation retail insights, it also requires responsible data practices. Retailers must be transparent with customers about what data is being collected and how it is used.

Data should be aggregated and anonymized to protect customer privacy. And analytics programs must have strong cybersecurity protections to safeguard systems from breaches. To realize the full promise of these technologies, retailers must establish proper privacy safeguards and transparent data practices. When combined ethically, video analytics and digital transformation can take the grocery shopping experience to exciting new heights.

By putting customers first and ensuring responsible data practices, retailers and CPGs can unlock the powerful potential of scaled video analytics. The future looks bright for even deeper insights into the grocery shopping experience.

Andrew Cron is senior VP & chief scientist, 84.51° and Greg Noble is director, principal research engineer, The Kroger Co.

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