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Facit Data Systems

Why retailers are choosing video tech to help guide business decisions

Woman paying for an item at a checkout.
Why retailers are choosing video tech: video technology has been a part of the retail environment for many years from using video formats to understand and alleviate security risks to monitoring crowds and analysing the consumer journey in brand spaces.

We have now moved into an era where AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning will look to transform the retail industry by bringing significant new learning opportunities to help improve retail insight and offer the customer a better overall in-store experience.

Until the recent 2020 ECR report was launched there has been little analysis about why the number of business cases for video technologies in retail is growing so rapidly.

How is video technology currently being used?

While consumer security and safety are leading reasons behind video technology investment, the recent report by ECR Retail Loss Group found that more business-centric motives have emerged including:

Internal security

Commonly the focus of attention has always been on the threat from external security factors, such as shop thieves, but numerous research studies have also highlighted the threat that can also come from within. Choosing not to have capable video tech in store could mean that theft will emerge not just externally but also internally, potentially from employees.


One benefit of utilising video tech is to help with limiting health and safety incidents. In the UK, it is said that over 11,000 retailer employees a year are involved in slips and trips resulting in a serious incident, costing in the region of £5.2 billion a year. So, implementing reliable and accurate video tech will help teams to be aware when health and safety issues arise. At Facit we will soon be introducing a Trip and Fall feature, so retailers can use this tool to be aware of where these types of potential hazards may occur, like a wet floor.

Enhancing customer experience

If your main objective is to improve your customer experience, there are many methods that you can implement to ensure that your store is operating efficiently. A feature within our own Facit software suite can send alerts to team members to notify them that customer footfall is on the rise so you can predict and plan your stores activity that day, such as increasing product stock and improving shelf availability, expanding staff levels at the check-out or potentially change your entrance and exits to enhance customer flow for example.

At Facit we take time to strategise with our clients to ensure that their goals are achievable, and objectives are met. For instance, using alerts to improve customer experience is a wonderful way to ensure your shoppers expectations are met. Not only can this lead to improved customer satisfaction but you are more likely to see ROI improve, such as increased revenue and customer advocacy. If you have specific objectives in mind and are happy to share with us your ROI results we can work with you to find tailored methodologies to identify how successful our smart analytics tools are working for your business.

Customers queuing outside a shop.

The challenges of using video technology

Establishing your objectives from the outset

Lacking a strategy or failing to set clear objectives could see several future challenges, so it’s incredibly important to ensure that you have set your primary objective.

Ask yourself what type of retail business you are. Are you large, small, luxury, value, or digital? Are you trying to prevent crime in-store or is your main priority to place greater emphasis on consumer interactions, such as how quickly they are assisted by staff? Do you need to better understand customer flow to manage your product placement or are you more concerned about your employee’s satisfaction? Every business will have different goals and focuses so it’s important to define those, and you may have multiple, as you approach finding video technology support. These factors will be important when you consider what expected changes you wish to see as a result of making this investment.

Making Sense of the Data

If you are a smaller retail team with high-value products such as Apple, you may look to use video tech to implement features such as motion triggers to alert employees of specific movements close to expensive stock. You may have recently seen in the press that Apple were targeted by armed thieves who successfully raided several products. Could this have been prevented if the correct video tech and alerts were implemented so staff could be better prepared to act?

Equally, if you have a store with lower value products and plenty of staff, then your focus may be around making sure that consumers can find what they need easily and that queues are kept to a minimum. In this case a stock monitoring feature will help to notify you of popular products to help eradicate consumer dissatisfaction and queue alerts can help keep staff aware of check out numbers.

As previously mentioned, your security threats may come internally, it was recently documented that a Warner Bros studio worker stole £37,000 worth of Harry Potter merchandise to sell over eBay! Former employee Adam Hill took more than 1,000 items, including wands, ties, badges and key rings from the studio’s stockroom over a four-month period. [Independent 2020].

Facit’s Smart Analytics software offers technology that can be bespoke and configurated based on your business individual needs, so we can make sure we prevent such issues arising.

Managing alerts

We are aware of several major retail outlets that have come across issues when setting alerts and finding that they do not have the staff to cope with the number of alerts set to reduce queue times. A specific well known, large retailer even disclosed to us that their expansive stores often have low ceilings so their camera’s struggle to view far enough meaning they have struggled to find the right queue management tool.

Alerts can also be used more intuitively, so for example, if you are a business who is already aware of your customers journey through the store time, you could set up predictions using AI technology that will alert staff internally when the system senses there may be a build up of activity at the check out. With the correct video tech you can become proactive with your data by preparing in advance to have the tills open if required. This type of system would need to be reviewed regularly however to keep up with changing consumer behaviour.


Within this blog we have discussed just a few ways you can use Smart Analytics to enhance the ROI for your business and guide your business decisions. There are lot more features identified in the ECR report.

You will need to decide once you have the data – how will you use it? How do you want your staff to respond? Take the time to really analyse your customers wants and needs from your staff and balance this with what resource you currently have available.

This initial planning stage, before you dive into investing into Smart Analytics software will help feed into making sure your strategy and objectives comes to fruition.

If you’d like to learn more about the products and services we offer, please view our Smart Analytics product page or get in touch with us to arrange a free demo.