How Retailers are Using Actionable Video Intelligence

September 28, 2022
By Keith Aubele, CPP, LPP

There is a confluence of trends happening in the video surveillance space. Artificial intelligence, analytics, machine learning, video compression technology and bandwidth management are just a few technologies that have recently had a profound impact on the capabilities of the traditional video surveillance system.

Because of this, surveillance systems today are now smarter, faster and multi-dimensional when compared with systems from just a few short years ago. It’s safe to say that video surveillance has shifted from being an after-the-fact tool supportive of investigative purposes, such as to identify a bank robber, to a transformative, dynamic solution that enables real-time information and decision making.

Known as actionable video intelligence, this ability to gather information and then use that information to make decisions in real-time is changing the way surveillance systems are being used. For retailers, this information is beneficial because it can have a significant impact on business operations, enabling retailers to quickly pivot to address a problem or to improve performance.

Here are three ways actionable video intelligence is benefitting the retail sector:

Critical, real-time alerts

As organized crime and incidents of active shooter events increase, retailers need to be able to quickly respond to a problem as it unfolds. It’s no longer enough to have a surveillance system in place that can be used to positively identify a shoplifter. Today retailers need to deploy action-ready technologies that can easily integrate into a video management system. This could include gunshot detection technology, that can “hear” when a person fires a gun and enable specific security measures to immediately go into place, or facial detection technology that can identify a known shoplifter and then alert a specific surveillance camera to closely monitor that individual.

Deep-dive investigative data

Analytical information gathered from surveillance can help loss prevention professionals identify issues that may be larger than initially thought. For example, analytical data tied to a point-of-sales system could indicate that a specific cashier’s drawer is short on a regular basis. That information could then be used to tell the surveillance system to follow that employee throughout the store to identify other potential problems, such as whether that employee could be tied to other instances of missing merchandise, or to an organized crime ring.

Enhance the bottom line

Knowledge is power and this is true across all markets, especially in the retail sector. Knowing which merchandise displays perform better by monitoring customer movement or using dwell time technology to identify locations where customers spend more time can provide information that can foster a positive change. Store managers can use this data when making a decision to change a display or to relocate a product to a different part of the store, all of which are actionable tasks that could improve the bottom line.

Actionable video intelligence has quickly become a priority for retailers who need to make informed decisions, whether to increase security and safety, reduce shrink or improve the bottom line. Having the ability to build a future-proof, data-rich security platform requires a video management system that is not only robust, but is designed to be completely open to connect innovative and targeted prevention tools resulting in decreased in risk, customer and employee safety improvement and a reduction in loss.

Keith Aubele

With 18+ years at Walmart, Keith was the Director of Loss Prevention responsible for the Supercenter Division and Grocery operations  and was awarded for consistent shrink/security/safety impact as well as strong team building, people development, process improvement and innovation. He is a steering committee member of the ASIS Asset Protection Council, and the former Chairman. He holds a Certified Protection Professional from ASIS International & Loss Prevention Professional (LPP) Certification from Missouri Southern State University. Keith has a BS in Criminology & AS in Law Enforcement from Missouri Southern, and he holds a Masters Degree in Business from Troy University. Keith is a United States Air Force & Law Enforcement Veteran. He resides in Niantic Connecticut and serves on several non-profit boards.

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