Guest Column | January 13, 2014

Top Reasons Your Retail Customers Should Look At IP Surveillance

By Jim Malafronte, Vice President for Retail Practice, Verint Video and Situation Intelligence Solutions

It is a reality: retailers can expand their capabilities with the power of network solutions, while IT resellers can build long-term relationships by furnishing IP technologies that can integrate with other networked systems and devices. Combining networked systems enhances situation awareness, and customers experience stronger security and greater value.

Retail theft and fraud continue to have a significant impact on the retail industry. Along with exception-based reporting tools and strong employee training programs, video surveillance is a critical tool to help retailers manage loss proactively. IT resellers dedicated to arming retailers with intelligent technologies can help their customers reduce shrink while achieving a measurable return on investment.

Retail has traditionally relied on — and invested in — analog video devices. As those systems reach end-of-life, retail organizations look to transition to IP or hybrid systems. IT vendors are uniquely positioned to help their customers take advantage of the full value of these technologies, unlike traditional security integrators. IP video technologies deliver the platform and infrastructure to bring immediate and long-term value to the loss prevention and security teams, and also to operations, marketing, and merchandising departments.

There are numerous reasons to choose IP over traditional analog technology, including:

  • Real-time monitoring of video accessible from Web-enabled locations
  • Remote monitoring of multiple stores from a single site
  • Higher quality images
  • Long-term infrastructure and operational cost savings
  • Increased productivity
  • Integration with other network platforms

Retailers strive to gather data that defines the specific behaviors of their customers. IP surveillance and video analytics can be combined to help retail stores gain more awareness into buyer behavior. By incorporating video business intelligence (VBI), new levels of awareness can be achieved, and costs can be shared among multiple departments. Access to a VBI solution opens the door to new levels of data gathering. With VBI, retailers can monitor customer queues, gather data points on dwell times, implement people counting and analyze the effectiveness of marketing programs.

VBI not only benefits the retailer, but also the customer, who taps into a better shopping experience as staffing levels are optimized and checkout times are reduced. Most importantly for the retailer, VBI helps increase conversion rates and customer loyalty.

IP surveillance solutions allow retailers to leverage the network infrastructure to gather more intelligence from their camera systems. Loss prevention departments can expand their capabilities with the power of network solutions, which offer greater possibilities than traditional closed systems. By specifying IP-based surveillance, resellers help retailers enhance situational awareness and promote a holistic approach to shrink management.