Wireless retail is a unique sales environment. Because of the long sales cycle – consumers wait their contracts out, research their options or await the next great device – customer service and customer experience are paramount. And because the U.S. wireless market is essentially saturated, priorities shift from customer acquisition to customer loyalty.
As a result, wireless retailers must take stock of their sales, service and operations to ensure they are surpassing the competition’s offerings. Carriers are recommending they invest in customer loyalty initiatives, business intelligence, secret shopping and other data capture initiatives. Beyond the standard sales metrics and KPIs, there is a need for increased visibility into daily store operations, staff behaviors and task execution.
This is where video surveillance comes in. Analyzing wireless retail metrics and cross-referencing them against what’s happening in-store is a proven way to reinforce productive behavior, as well as identify and address counterproductive behavior. It’s a means of seeing the real life story behind the numbers.
Moving Beyond Traditional Video Surveillance
Advanced video surveillance analysis allows the retailer to identify things like:
Which promotions bring customers to the store
Which displays are most attractive, which are the best conversation starters between customers and staff
How salespeople effectively upsell, or how they miss opportunities to do so
Inefficient sales, customer service or operational tendencies
Risk areas for theft
The key of course is not to simply capture the video and watch it, but rather to make sense of it. This is where the terms “advanced” and “analysis” come in. Video surveillance must be connected to business intelligence from point of sale (POS) and performance data to allow managers to uncover trends, draw the necessary conclusions, take action and achieve company goals.
The Video + Business Intelligence Technology Paradigm
The following is a scenario in which a wireless retailer can leverage the benefits of video-driven business intelligence (video-driven BI) technology:
The wireless retailer’s existing cameras and a DVR (or those provided by the video-driven BI vendor) capture video and audio footage.
The vendor’s video-driven BI platform links with business data from the retailer’s POS system – like iQmetrix’s RQ Retail Management system, for example – and provides additional insight into other business data (e.g. motion detection) for specific areas of a store.
The wireless retailer monitors reports for specific types of transactions or activities, and then drills down to view the specific video footage behind the transaction or activity to inform business decisions around improving the customer experience, increasing sales, streamlining operations, reducing theft and improving employee training.
More sophisticated platforms allow the retailer to view recorded video (or even live video, if desired) via the web – on computers and mobile devices -- so there’s no need to burn DVDs, email large video files, or visit individual stores to watch footage.
Increasing Profits for Wireless Retailers
Together, video surveillance and BI data can be used to increase profits related to:
Exception-based reporting: Identify any type of transaction. For example, if the goal is to increase attachment rates, reports can show clusters of transactions in which no accessories were sold, allowing a manager to sort and view transactions by top and bottom performers, and address poor performers as needed.
Invoice search: See and hear footage of specific invoice numbers. For example, if a particular invoice needs further investigation, a manager can simply type in the invoice number to see and hear footage of that precise transaction.
Motion search: View video over a given period with motion in specific areas of a store. For example, if handsets were stolen, a manager can access video from the day the theft occurred and highlight the area of the store where the theft took place. The platform will then zero in on a sequence of clips that include motion in that area of the store – allowing the manager to quickly identify suspicious activity related to the theft.
Allan writes and edits iQmetrix.com content and oversees the company’s social media strategy. A journalism grad, Allan is interested in mass media, advertising, and intersections between content and mobile technology… and sports.