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Retail & IVA: Guidance for Evolving Needs

by Benchmark

As the restrictions which have been in place since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic are being eased, many retailers are having to cope with the challenges of strict hygiene and safety restrictions. The current need to manage social distancing and compulsory face coverings for employees and customers is set to continue, and epidemiologists believe social distancing will remain an important part of the fight against the virus for some time to come.

The regulations and restrictions raise a number of questions for many retailers. How can they make sure a store is not overcrowded? Which areas of a store are most frequented and when? How do they know if the minimum distance between people is being respected? How can they determine if all customers entering the store are wearing a face mask? How can they address customers in case of violations?

Many retailers are unaware that video software technologies can not only be used to create a secure environment for employees and customers in the current situation, but can also support the provision of a safe shopping experience despite the regulations. The technology can also increase efficiency and sales, both now and in the future. The solutions which help retailers comply with the coronavirus regulations can provide insights into customers’ buying behaviours after the pandemic.

The benefits of advanced video solutions are manifold, and include (but are not limited to) people counting for occupancy and flow control, access control and automated control of doors, the detection of masks and facial coverings to aide operators when viewing busy scenes, detection of occupancy density to help implement measures aimed at maintaining social distancing, heat mapping to identify areas within a store where people might congregate or where bottle-necks occur, management of one-way customer routes including the use of discrete doors for entry and exit, queue management to ensure the flow of customers is maintained, and the use of notifications and announcements to remind visitors of the requirements and inform them about in-store changes to meet the evolving regulations.

To assist in delivering guidance for retailers, Milestone Systems has created an eBook titled, ‘Video Technology in Retail: 9 ways video technology can help retailers comply with coronavirus rules while optimising the shopping experience’. The free-of-charge book includes an explanation of how video technology can be deployed to meet retail needs in creating COVID-Secure sites, and provides tips on how best to implement the technologies for the best results.

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