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Three Ways Video Analytics Will Improve Your Retail Profits

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In this article, we'll discuss the basics of video analytics and dive into three of the technology's most compelling use cases for retailers.

Retailers lose a staggering amount of money each year to theft. According to the Australia and New Zealand Retail Crime Survey, that collected data from over 9,000 stores with a combined annual turnover of AUD $95 billion in 2018, retailers in the ANZ region lost an estimated $3.37 billion due to theft annually.

Theft and retail loss prevention is a problem that businesses have faced for as long as goods have been on display and one that security professionals have long tried to stop. It's a constant cat and mouse problem. Criminals are always finding new ways to get around security and leave with their ill-gotten prizes and theft prevention has to work at a faster pace and cover more ground with each new iteration.

Luckily for anyone in the retail business, the private security industry is up to the task. In recent years, we've seen giant leaps in video security AI and practices that keep businesses safe. One significant development can be found in the market for video security solutions: video analytics. This technology turns ordinary security surveillance into a powerful loss prevention tool that helps to improve your bottom line and keeps boards and management teams happy.

What is Video Analytics?

We'll cover the concept of video analytics in-depth in our upcoming article on the subject. This first section will give you a quick introduction.

Video analytics refers to the ability of a software application to deliver insights about the contents of a video without the need for human input using AI technology. For example, it's the ability of a program to count the number of people who visit a store or track those who leave without stopping to pay.

Video analytics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to work its magic. Through processes like object detection - to detect objects that are left in or removed from a scene - and machine learning (ML), the software learns to recognise the shape and movement patterns of a human body or track your selected items as they move around a store.

It bears mentioning that these capabilities reduce the need for on-site physical security. The software does most of the heavy lifting so that security personnel can focus their time and energy on other aspects of the job.

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Video Analytics Use Cases for Retail

1. Theft Prevention

Retail security in shopping centres, malls, grocery stores, and other large locations suffer from a common problem. The bigger they are, the harder it is to track everything that's going on inside of them. The more cameras they install, the better their security coverage. However, it then becomes more challenging to manage.

For a video surveillance system to be of real use to an enterprise, it needs to do more than provide a record of events that have happened. The security system needs to provide your security teams with actionable intelligence in real-time. Video analytics will help on-site security personnel respond faster to incidents that occur. It will notify your staff the minute suspicious activity (defined by you) happens. For example, your team could get an alert when your video feed picks up a human form moving at a certain speed. Or your system could prioritise a live feed of high-risk areas when you have no employees nearby. The specific use cases under theft prevention are near-limitless. They're bound by the creativity of your security partners and what you've come to understand about your customers and their patterns.

2. Pattern Finding

It's worth mentioning that security video analytics can be of great help in studying the movement and behaviour patterns of the different types of people who enter your locations.

Ordinarily, you'd have to sift through hours of footage to identify at-risk areas and goods in your stores, understand how people navigate your aisles, and spot suspicious patterns to improve your policies. Instead of fast-forwarding through hours of data to find behaviour worth noting, you could save time by automatically searching for footage that features people.

With the object detection capabilities of video analytics, you could even run a program to tell you things like:

  1. How many people visit your store in a given time period?
  2. What hours of the day see the most activity?
  3. How different types of shoppers prefer to move around your locations?

Beyond the insights you could generate about your location's security, this automation makes it easier to understand the factors that drive your income. It's an investment that keeps on giving.

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3. Investigation

A lot of time in video security is spent investigating theft. Footage is used in order to recoup losses through insurance, root out bad actors among your employees, or simply get smarter for future cases. Again, this process tends to be manual, time-consuming, and ultimately prone to human error. Video content analysis gives security personnel an easier go of it through search and rule-checking.

Naturally, you wouldn't need footage of people browsing—the crucial moments are when visitors get close to your merchandise. Video analytics functions powered by AI can help investigators narrow their pool of searches to these crucial moments. Likewise, they can theoretically be trained to track unique visitors as they travel across your store, similar to how Instagram filters know where a face is on a screen via facial recognition.

The technology could also be used to classify different objects or people. If your employees have a specific uniform or feature that can be discerned by your software, you could hypothetically track idle time and cellphone usage (after all, time theft is still theft).

Conclusion

For medium and large retail organisations, video analytics is an indispensable tool worth multiples of its value in prevented losses. Modern security companies do the heavy lifting, understanding and operating these complex technological features in order to deliver faster response times, smarter insights, and more accurate investigations.

At JD Security, we specialise in delivering the most advanced technology to equip organisations against increasingly subtle threats. We employ veteran technicians, operators, and security professionals to bring the greatest possible value out of your security solutions. They're trained to keep your business safe and assist beyond the expected roles of security teams.

Contact us today to learn how video analytics can increase your profits.

Call us on 1300 556 334 or email sales@jdsecurity.com.au to learn more.

Customers in New Zealand call 0800 345 677 or email sales@jdsecurity.co.nz.

Speak to a Video Analytics Expert

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