Wednesday , 21 August 2019

People counting for increased retail success

Counting people who enter malls or stores can help you improve customer experiences and boost your revenues

Counting people who enter your mall or store throughout the day can help you to improve your operations in a number of ways. It becomes possible, for example, to precisely increase the number of staff during busy times to improve service on the shop floor, and to reduce staff during quieter times to increase your operating efficiency. You can also more accurately predict demand over the coming days, weeks and months and accurately plan your future activities based on right-sized staffing and inventory.

However, the task of accurately counting customers over an extended period of time is a difficult one, particularly as legacy camera technologies are not always up to the task.

Counting for health and safety

People counting provides valuable insights across a range of industries and use cases. It can help ensure crowd safety in high-trafficflow areas such as stadia, for example, as well as ensuring that the number of people entering clubs, exhibition halls and other locations does not exceed fire safety guidelines.

Historical ‘single-lens’ people counting challenges

In the past, retailers often attempted to count people in store using single lens cameras. These often mistook people for other objects, leading to inaccurate counts and misleading information about who has visited the store and what they do there.

One major problem with single lens cameras is that they have no 3D perspective, which makes it impossible to understand how tall an object or person is. The problem can be exacerbated when there’s a change in light conditions, and even shadows have contributed to inaccurate people counts in some cases.

Getting an accurate count with dual-lens cameras

The next-generation dual-lens cameras can record and process two images of a person concurrently, allowing a 3D image to be created. It is possible to accurately record a person’s height and shape and identifying him/her positively as a human being, rather than an object or shadow.

Delivering even more customer value with AI and ML

The best dual-lens cameras are also equipped with Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies that allow cameras to ‘learn’ over time. It becomes possible, for example, to gain new insights into customer preferences based on their demographics and in-store behaviours, leading to more effective merchandising decisions.

Covering security requirements with the same smart camera

The other major benefit of smart people counting cameras is that they can double as security protection for your mall or store. This means that you can look after your customers and your assets, and accurately count people coming into the store – all with a single investment. With only one set of cameras, you can make significant savings on installation, energy consumption, maintenance and support – while also getting the very best in surveillance and smart retail insights.

Hikvision’s people counting cameras deliver major benefits. First, they offer extremely high accuracy, with a dual-lens configuration that provides 3D imaging to distinguish people from inanimate objects and shadows. The cameras also incorporate Deep Learning algorithms that can be continuously trained and improved with new data sets to count people more preciously.

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