Hadrian Technology is advising retailers to prioritise security in their stores as CCTV systems can now not only offer surveillance but also give valuable insights into shopper behaviour – as well as debunk fraudulent ‘slips and trips’ claims. The company recommends that retailers stop seeing CCTV systems as an added cost, as they often underestimate how useful – and potentially profitable – they can be.
Gary Trotter, general manager at Hadrian Technology, urges retailers to be aware of multi-million pound legal claims as well as petty theft: “Incidents such as slips and trips can be very costly and time-consuming for senior staff if a customer or employee makes a claim. Having an up-to-date, high quality security system in place, means that footage can be checked easily and if the image is clear enough to ascertain whether the claim is fraudulent, lengthy proceedings and costs can be avoided.
“We often recommend that retailers invest in High Definition Serial Digital Interface (HD-SDI) cameras, which generate a much higher quality image than traditional analogue CCTV, and also cuts down on costs and disruption as they can be installed using existing cables. These systems tend to pay for themselves within a few months.
“CCTV systems can be linked to mobile devices, so accredited personnel can access footage from home, on holiday, while off-site or visiting another store.”
Another way for retailers to maximise their security systems is by using video analytics.
Gary said: “The introduction of video analytics – software that analyses recorded footage to produce useful data and customer insights – enables retailers to track customers, find out which displays have the most impact on dwell time, and look at popular walking patterns. This can help them to decide how and where to present goods in order to increase footfall and spend.”
The software can also provide real-time updates across all branches of a particular store or franchise, giving managers access to data that will allow them to plan staffing levels to match customer traffic. Having more staff members on hand at peak trading hours, for example, will improve service and reduce customer dissatisfaction.
Gary continued: “Traffic counts on the number of people in each part of the store can also prove useful. Heat map analytics can show ‘hot zones’ – areas with the most customer activity – can help retailers to plan in-store promotions, and ‘cold zones’ can help determine how a change of layout could improve traffic flow.”
One benefit that may not immediately spring to mind when considering a surveillance system is the potential to cut queues. Gary explained: “An integrated network video intelligence platform can give real-time alerts when a queue exceeds a pre-defined length. Staff can then immediately open more tills, free up more of the team or replenish stock, leading to a better shopping experience for customers.”
Gary concludes: “Having a good quality security system in place can have far more of an impact than simply reducing shoplifting incidents. The measurable data it can produce can help to increase sales and customer insight, delivering a high return on investment, not to mention the ability to discredit fraudulent insurance claims.”