Retailers have been hit hard during the COVID-19 crisis. Retail businesses with physical locations will face increasing competition as they work to evolve with a shifting marketplace following the rise of online shopping and click-and-collect options since the pandemic began. As part of this evolution, retail managers are discovering added capabilities from their existing IP CCTV systems which can offer a variety of video analytic functionality to help them during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This shift may well hold the key for many retail businesses with physical locations as they seek to coexist with online retailers. As of 2019 around 81% of the UK retail market was generated from physical locations. However, businesses which do not offer online retail options may need to adapt the way they operate their brick and mortar stores to cope with the increasing demand from online retail consumers. Particularly since the COVID-19 outbreak began as the online retail market grew by around 200%. When we compare high-street to online retail, factors such as safety and security will bring about further implications for the sector. Changing the way people shop in-store, to make them more secure for customers, will be vital.

People Counting, Social Distancing Detection, Queue Management

Technology will undoubtedly play a role in counteracting the concerns over safety. Video Management Systems (VMS) could well be pivotal in creating a viable solution for retail stores with features such as people counting, social distancing detection, queue management and monitoring of sanitising stations.

With video analytic and AI software, retailers have the ability to track the number of customers in their store at any one time. The system provides real-time video analysis, to help retailers avoid overcrowding or bottlenecking.

Video management systems can also provide access control by notifying customers through a ‘traffic-light’ system. This has the added benefit of protecting staff by removing the requirement of placing someone at the entrance.

Another feature of the system includes social distancing detection when can detect when shoppers overstep the prescribed safe distance, for example when viewing products. The detection can trigger an alarm or alert a staff member to remind customers to stay at a safe distance.

To ensure social distancing rules are adhered to, many retailers are using clearly defined routes around their store. However, these routes will only keep people safe as long as they’re being used properly. A Video Management System is capable of detecting when anyone moves away from the route and alert them or staff to the issue.

Added Advantages for Retailers

Queue management is not only an essential part of keeping shoppers safe during the ongoing pandemic, it’s also a great investment for the post-COVID-19 world. VMS can help retail managers operate a more efficient store by notifying them or their staff when queues begin to form.

“The lines between the physical shopping experience and the benefits of the digital world are converging rapidly out of necessity, creating an entirely new retail experience based on safety and convenience,” said Jeremy Scott, National Sales Manager.

A VMS can provide more detailed information and data to assist retailers in reducing frustration for shoppers. It can identify peak periods of the day to ensure staff are deployed in the right areas at the right times.

Want to Know More?

For more information about our security system installations speak to the SPS team today on 01482 226 570 or fill out our simple form (here) and select which security installation you are interested in.