Today, COVID-19 changed our lives and changed many habits; there are radical changes in the field of retail. With the increasing importance of maintaining social distance, different solutions were developed in the retail area. The most effective of the various solutions we mentioned in our previous article is social distancing software. Social distancing software briefly means counting with automated cameras. In this solution, cameras track customers with image processing (computer vision) technology and commit to the system. This solution gives the best result. The number of customers is precisely accurate. Also, these cameras provide customer trends, the most crowded days, even hours.
Using Technology against Covid-19
The importance of protecting the social distance from the coronavirus’s occurrence into our lives has brought with it that technology offers different solutions in this field. Retail analytics has been transformed by transforming itself, contributing to the maintenance of social distance, and providing significant benefits to prevent spread.
Social distancing software informs customers of the occupancy in a store and lets them know about the waiting times. This is an effective way to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Social distancing software allows retailers to precisely count and monitor the number of shoppers who are shopping at the same time. It ensures managers the information they need to keep staff and customers safe by providing social distancing through calculated data.
Managers can view predictions of expected store occupancy on hourly bases. They can use that information to better staff their stores in times of increased demand and inform customers in queues about their anticipated wait times. People counting software provides live readouts of these data points, so staffing and public calm are maintained.
There are different features offered by many different social distancing solutions. Some of these are very important to achieve social distancing. We listed six features that should be social distancing as follows:
1. People counting
It is essential to keep the number of people in stores to a specific limit to maintain social distance. In order to limit the number of customers in the store at the same time, the number of customers must be calculated and reported instantly at the entrance and exit. In case of exceeding the limits, the customer’s entry should be stopped, and the new customer should be allowed in when the customer leaves. Manual counting to count incoming and outgoing customers does not seem to be a sustainable solution. In order to minimize human errors and increase accuracy, people counting feature is significant.
Automated cameras at the entrances and exits of store precisely count the number of customers going in and out of your building. It gives you real-time occupancy data inside the store.
It is crucial to keep the number of customers in the store at a specific limit. In case of exceeding the number of customers, the store staff should be informed instantly. Also, a notification should be sent in a situation that would impair any social distance. In this way, the store authority can take precautions against this situation.
When the store occupancy reaches the designated threshold, store staff instantly get notified to control in and out for safety precautions. When customers stand close in the checkout area, the store manager/staff get notified to manage the situation.
If there is a maximum number of customers in the store, new coming customers need to wait until the optimal occupancy level is provided. While customers queue to enter the shop, an information panel shows how many people are currently in the store. Using warning signs, it informs the customers to either wait in a queue or enters the store. Also, it is reminded to keep social distance to customers.
This information can even be fed to apps so shoppers can know before they even venture to your store. So the store can integrate this data into a website or app to inform their customers.
4.Staff allocation/customer to staff ratio
It is essential to arrange personnel shifts in terms of employee health and store efficiency. The number of personnel per customer can be determined, and the shift order can be adjusted accordingly. Besides, according to changing customer behavior, the store’s peak hours are determined, and the personnel shifts can be determined subsequently.
Staff is an invaluable asset in a store. Therefore, determining employee shifts by analyzing changing customer behavior is very valuable. In this way, it is ensured that the employees do not spend unnecessary time in the store, and steps are taken to protect the employees.
5.Predict future traffic and occupancy
It is also essential to take measures according to this situation by analyzing the customer density in maintaining the social distance. When the number of customers is high, more attention must be taken to maintain social distance. The presence of social distancing software, which reveals trends by evaluating historical data and giving suggestions accordingly, is significant.
Also, managers can view predictions of expected store occupancy on an hourly bases. They can use that information to more reliable staff their stores in times of increased demand and inform shoppers in queues about their anticipated wait times. Social distancing software generates live readouts of these data points, so staffing and public calm are maintained. It allows your employees and visitors to plan their visits accordingly and avoid unnecessary queues.
6.Local occupancy in-store
To maintain social distancing, the number of customers should be followed in the departments, as well as calculating occupancy across the store. Customers should be warned if the social distance is not maintained. When necessary, store employees should be informed, and the social distance should be maintained.
In addition to these measures, some stores use floor markers to create a one-way movement to maintain low traffic and social distancing in stores’ departments. This method is useful, but it is not as effective as social distancing software.
Although current measurements improve the level of hygiene, social distancing software has the real potential to prevent the spread of the virus one step ahead. Playing a pivotal role in protecting the invaluable staff in-store and the shoppers, they encourage active social distancing, lower the chances of the virus spread, and offer a more pleasant shopping experience. Social distancing is one of the essential things that individuals can do to combat the coronavirus. Therefore, social distancing software may be viewed as a public good.
Did you check our retail analytics solution? You can start using Udentify that analyzes the customers’ behaviors at the brick and mortar shops. Udentify provides local conversion rate, head counting, heat maps, and order analysis. Thanks to the image processing technology, it can follow the customers anonymously, with which it gives meaning to the data that is gathered from the tracking by converting them to statistical models. It enables company managers to take data-oriented decisions by its management interface.