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Surveillance goes beyond security in retail

Video surveillance systems can be used in a number of applications within the retail industry. While the tools can be extremely effective at enhancing security, it is not their sole purpose, as the technology can also be used to improve a customer's shopping experience.

By deploying surveillance cameras throughout a store, managers have the unique ability to monitor employee and customer behavior. As a result, decision-makers can adjust operations on the fly to keep clients happy and coming back for more, according to a report by New Scientist.

Video surveillance systems and analytic technologies eliminate the process of manually monitoring footage and jotting down notes to help a company enhance customer service and satisfaction. Since most people will simply leave a store if they have a bad experience, making real-time adjustments are important to keeping clients happy.

Surveillance cameras and advanced algorithms make the process of doing so much easier, as they produce important information on customer behavior, the news source said.

"The real challenge is in turning that data into something of value," retail intelligence expert Tim Denison said, according to New Scientist.

Using surveillance to keep customers coming back for more
By watching surveillance cameras in real time, managers can not only observe and prevent crime from taking place, they can also detect when customers are having trouble finding items or making a decision, New Scientist said.

"This could be extremely valuable in terms of how to judge when a customer needs help," said Patrick O'Brien of retail analysts Verdict Research, according to the news source. "In a busy shop it's difficult to know who it would be most productive to help next."

Additionally, by analyzing customer traffic behavior, executives can rearrange the store to make it easier for people to navigate aisles and find higher-selling products.

A separate report by Bolt Insurance said surveillance cameras in retail also make it easier for managers to detect when employees are doing something wrong, including stealing valuable items or mistreating customers.

While surveillance technologies hold a lot of security promises, they can also be used to generate recurring revenue by keeping loyal customers happy and making return visits. Without surveillance cameras, businesses may not be able to enhance client satisfaction as much, making them less competitive with rival retailers.

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