8 Ways To Use Data Analytics to Improve Product Placement

Traditionally, the role of video surveillance in retail was primarily, and nearly exclusively in security. Since the rapid maturation of IP, video, and analytic technologies– that has changed dramatically. The increase in functionality and accessibility has proven to be a real boon to the retail industry and retailers are finding a multitude of beneficial uses for video surveillance analytics, one of the most powerful is in product placement and planning.

Use Video Surveillance Analytics and THRIVE

Retail business owners know the importance of proper product placement. In fact, product placement can make or break a business, retain or lose customers, and solidify relationships with product brands who want to see partners move merchandise. Until recently, businesses relied on current trends, historical sales trends, seasonal shopping patterns, and good old instinct to determine inventory levels and product placement. This, of course, could result in anything from a big win to a devastating fail. Today, video surveillance analytics provides retailers with a wealth of information that changes everything.

Small Changes Can Yield Reward

You’ve seen it. Small, seemingly negligible changes in product placement can reap huge gains. A shoe department of a large chain store saw as much when it was performing poorly. Data analytics revealed that the benches were too close to the wall for shoppers to try on shoes. Simply moving the benches allowed the department to perform far better. Without data analytics,  the store could have missed the problem altogether.

8 Ways To Use Data Analytics to Improve Product Placement

Using heat maps and dwell times can provide an enormous amount of information for improving product placement. Here are some examples.

  • Use popular products to shoppers toward lesser popular products.
  • Uncover flow and ease of movement. It is easy to unintentionally funnel traffic in a specific direction.
  • Measure the effectiveness of special promotions and displays.
  • Use flow of traffic and buyer habits to place products more efficiently.
  • Use heat mapping to direct shoppers to promotions.
  • Gather information to improve flow of traffic and make navigation intuitive.
  • Run A/B displays to discover what truly appeals to customers.
  • Analyze customer behavior to increase their  Units Per Transaction (UPT) rates

Once you know what works, it is easy to develop a repeatable plan for success. The ability to see real-time retail analytics also provides the opportunity to make changes immediately if something isn’t working which can save a campaign. Overall, video analytics give retailers the ability to analyze store traffic and product and merchandising success and use that information to make decisions that better fit the customer, and the business.

About S-TRON

Headquartered in Melville, New York, S-Tron is a national security systems integrator with local, professional service and installation. We serve the restaurant, hospitality, grocery, convenience store, and retail industries.

3 Critical Tips For Better Grocery Store Security

Grocery store owners want to run a business that is profitable, as well as one that it safe for both customers and employees. By nature, however, the retail grocery environment comes with its own set of unique risks. Grocery and convenience stores generate billions in revenue, employ millions of employees, sees an endless stream of customers and houses billions in products. All of these traits make it a vulnerable environment. Here are some critical tips for better grocery store security.

Understand Your Risks

Security is a huge challenge for most grocery stores. It is fast-moving, public, and filled with visual barriers. Crimes such as robbery, burglary, vandalism, and violence are growing increasingly common. Unfortunately, no store no matter the size or location is vulnerable. Understand your risks. Have a security evaluation of your facility,  and talk to local law enforcement about crimes common in the area. Talk to other businesses and find out what they face as security challenges and gather as much data as possible.

Develop a Security Management Plan

Don’t just call the security company and have them put up security cameras and access control systems and stop there. Have a systematic plan for your security that meets the needs you have discovered by investigating your risks further. Think about various scenarios and develop a security management plan for at least the most common or serious problems such as theft and violence. Once you have the plan and tools in place, make sure each employee knows the plan and can respond in an emergency.

Install the Right Electronic Security Solutions

A proper video surveillance and CCTV system is the most effective weapon in the grocery store owner’s arsenal but how well it serves them depends on getting the right system, and the right components in the right places. It is a complex science with endless variables, and something is best done by a professional. Here are some points to keep in mind as you consider grocery store security technologies.

  • Install wide viewing cameras on the ceiling and in corners to get a sweeping view of the area.
  • Opt into night vision security cameras for parking lots, loading areas, and around the outside of the building.
  • Cover POS and other sensitive areas with video surveillance.
  • Install at least one pan-tilt-zoom camera to have the best possible view and control.
  • Choose a smart security system that provides remote viewing and control.

Owning or operating a grocery or convenience store is challenging but the right security system can address many of those challenges. S-Tron helps retail businesses across the nation with a proven, time-tested for delivery, installation, and support.

ABOUT S-TRON

S-TRON offers an innovative suite of video surveillance products and professional installation for regional and national chains.  S-TRON is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies.

Established in 1995 and headquartered in Melville, NY, we have served thousands of retail locations across the country with best in class equipment installations and ongoing service, maintenance, and support. Our brand promise: “Service Excellence”.

Retail CCTV Business Analytics Matter. Here’s Why.

Over the last decade, the retail industry has experienced a transformation. As consumers spent more dollars shopping over the internet, traditional brick and mortar stores had to reevaluate their strategies and direct their focus on customer experience, store operations, and improved efficiencies in addition to loss prevention. It is a subtle shift with giant implications.
Traditionally, retailers have used CCTV and video surveillance primarily for physical security and loss prevention. Now, with the availability of high-powered computing platforms and advanced analytic algorithms CCTV and video surveillance help retailers make informed decisions that provide a competitive edge.

What Else Can Business Intelligence Do?
Loss prevention is a huge part of retail video surveillance, but retailers can get much more out of their investment—business intelligence. Business intelligence provides the insights retailers need to enhance sales and profit margins that affect the overall bottom-line.

Enhanced Customer Experience

Until recently, retailers had to rely on learning customer shopping trends through loyalty cards and POS transactions. While it did provide information on end-result shopping trends, it did not provide information about demographics, in-store behavior, or customer experience. Business analytics show how long customers spent in the store, what displays made the most impact, how long they waited in line, and whether or not the experience was positive. Knowing these things can help a retailer make better decisions in the moment and adjust strategies in real time.

Better Performance

Leveraging business intelligence provides key performance metrics so retailers can identify trends, or problems. They can also use the data to help compensate and incentivize performance.

Optimize the Workforce

One of the biggest costs in retail is staff. Staffing is also one of the most difficult aspects to manage. Overstaffing increases operational costs and understaffing can mean poor operations, dissatisfied customers, and ultimately- lost sales. By having a full view, and detailed analytics, business owners and managers can monitor shopper traffic and customer behavior to make better operational decisions for scheduling and staffing needs.

More Effective Merchandizing

Whether it is the right product, wrong placement or an altogether flop of a product, video business intelligence gives retailers an immediate understanding of customer behavior. The right information provided in the right time can make a dramatic improvement in sales.

Better Store Layouts

Comprehensive data about in-store movement patterns quickly reveal areas of bottleneck, hot spots, and areas that are infrequently visited. With this information, retailers can modify the store layout to better accommodate the shopper and drive shoppers through the store and to areas they might not have otherwise visited.

Today’s retail environment is competitive and leaves little room for error. Business analytics help retailers meet customer needs by zeroing in on customer experience and convenience—and drive sales. S-TRON specializes in retail loss prevention, CCTV and business intelligence and understands the needs of the retail business.

Why Should a Business Owner Opt in to Professional CCTV Systems vs Big Box DIY?

The integration of security technology into the business landscape has grown so quickly that it has become commonplace. Whereas once business owners debated whether or not to use security cameras and wondered if it could have a negative impact on their business, now CCTV security camera systems have become standard security equipment for businesses of any size in every industry. With the wide availability of DIY security options, the new question becomes, “Why should a business owner choose professionally installed CCTV systems over a DIY option?” There are some important answers.

There is a Difference in Equipment Offerings

Just like with any technology, there is a wide range of prices, quality, features, and operability between any given product type. Those differences are not necessarily apparent at first glance but become so while in practical use. There is a vast difference in security camera CCTV systems made for the professional market from those made for the commercial consumer market. Those differences can be critical when it is time to capture a crime on video and use the images in court.

Placement is a Science

Camera placement is tough. It takes an understanding of how to capture images in any given space as well as a vast knowledge of the capabilities of many different brands and types of cameras. I a commercial and business environment, it is essential to cover as much space as possible and use the correct cameras to cover critical areas, such as POS.

CCTV Systems are not One-size-Fits-All

Every business facility has a unique layout and orientation with different lighting issues. It is impossible to meet all of the needs and requirements of a business with a general DIY system or without a high level of knowledge and specificity.

They Must be Installed, and Integrated

Every CCTV surveillance system must be installed and should be integrated with the rest of your security and automation system. This means understanding system requirements, compatibility and capability issues—all of which impact the system wide functionality.

DIY Does Not mean Budget Friendly

One of the main reasons businesses consider a DIY system is price, thinking that the initial cost is much lower. In some cases, this can be true—initially. Keeping in mind the difference in equipment quality, DIY systems might have a lower initial cost in equipment, but that’s where it stops. The true cost comes in the time and effort involved in installation, integration, maintenance and all too soon, replacement. Even worse, poor quality images or not having covered an area where a crime occurred can also end up being quite costly in court.
Big box does not mean big savings or quality. When it comes to something as important as commercial security, it saves time and money doing it right the first time. S-TRON is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies, serving specialized needs with just as specialized solutions.

Retail Loss Prevention: 5 Ways to Maximize CCTV Systems

Retail theft, whether it is due to shoplifting or employee theft, is one of the biggest factors negatively impacting the profitability of any retail establishment. No matter how secure a store may be, there are always ways to improve security. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that you are maximizing your video surveillance and CCTV system to its full effectiveness.

A retail video surveillance and CCTV system is an essential part of any loss prevention strategy. Here are a few simple but critical ways you can maximize your system and reduce theft.

Prioritize Your Cameras

Most facilities do not have a surveillance system that covers every inch of the facility. There are many common reasons for this, including unique and challenging store lay out, physical obstructions, and budgetary issues. Take a close and critical look at the business layout and processes and prioritize what needs to be covered, then implement the security camera coverage accordingly.

Position Your Cameras Wisely

Often, a business owner will have an idea of the area that needs to be covered, but fails to consider the conditions under which it would be recording as well as the capabilities of the camera. Video surveillance camera placement is not just about the optimal angle, it is also about optimally using the camera’s features and capabilities within the given environment.

Maximize Your CCTV System with the Right Cameras

Consider the true needs of each area of coverage, and then match the type of camera to the need. In many cases, a facility does not need more cameras. It just needs the right kind for the application, whether you need to cover POS in fine detail or a way to better capture images over a wider space in challenging lighting.

Consider a CCTV System Upgrade

If you have had your CCTV system a while, consider investigating what options are available today. As security technology advances quickly, upgrading can have significant value to the business in many ways, in addition to loss prevention. The cost of upgrades is minimal compared to the added value.

Integrate Business Data with Video Surveillance

One of the most valuable ways to maximize your CCTV system is to integrate it with business intelligence. The insights provide a more in-depth view of the business so that you can stop loss, reduce shrinkage and improve processes. The insights you gain are immediate and actionable and the results are powerful.

Installing, upgrading, or integrating your retail CCTV system can foster profitability and peace of mind. Established in 1995 and headquartered in Melville, NY, S-TRON serves thousands of retail locations with distinction.

Are You Using Security Technologies Just for Loss Prevention?

If you are using security technologies just to protect the business from loss or intrusion, you might want to think again. Asset protection (AP) and loss prevention (LP) are both critical to the retail environment but using security technologies to just address these things can cripple a business that could and should be thriving.

Security Technologies and the Silo Effect

The silo effect, where one application, technology solution, or department sands alone to deliver on their one task or purpose can get a job done; but it never becomes the vehicle of success. The success of today’s business is taking a 360-degree view of the business with no preconceived ideas and addressing those needs across the whole, rather than in segments.
In the retail environment, companies have been struggling to overcome service and data silos for decades. It is recognized as one of the most significant barriers to delivering a consistent end-to-end customer experience. And the problem isn’t going anywhere until businesses get a true outside-in view of the business and understand why customers react the way they do, and where processes need to be improved. Fortunately, there is a powerful solution in retail security and video surveillance solutions.

All of Your Tools for Collaboration

Security, merchandising, operations, management, and marketing are all enhanced with one suite of tools—that of security electronics. By integrating transaction data with other things such as traffic count, loss prevention video, heat mapping, directional analytics, and dwell times—all of your employees and process can work together and leverage common knowledge for collective success.

On the Shoulder of Giants

Every department has expert knowledge of their department, but that knowledge can greatly improve the processes in other departments. Security technologies can gain insights from all departments and help you use that across the entire business.
For example, heat mapping and loss prevention security video can show a department why they have unusually high loss, or unusually low sales. Both could be a simple fix such as moving a display to create a sightline or increased customer visibility. A business could learn that sales are lost because of long lines, or that loss increases when employees are tied up at the register and be able to address both problems with a better queuing system. Real time retail video surveillance footage can reveal problems with processes and productivity which could be addressed with better training and increased management awareness.

Educating Vendors

Having a wealth of definitive data also helps educate vendors. Hot and cold data, for example, is useful in showing vendors where their products perform best within the store—which helps improve vendor relation and increases sales.
The retail market is one in which video surveillance and other security technologies can deliver significant and tangible return on investment. As a national electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies, S-Tron brings together a highly skilled and experienced team with in-depth understanding of security technologies and how to leverage them beyond security.

With over 20 years of uncompromising quality, S-Tron’s singular goal is client satisfaction.

Eyewitness Testimony is Important, But Surveillance Camera Footage is Critical

Eyewitness testimony has always played an important role in solving crimes and heavily relied upon by law enforcement and the court system. Law enforcement processes the information in hopes of attaining enough information to find and convict the criminal. In court, juries tend to see eyewitness testimony as a reliable and place a lot of weight on that person’s ability to relay information about the event, as well as the perpetrators. However, just how reliable and accurate is eyewitness testimony? New studies shed light on the psychological factors related to eyewitness testimony, and give good reasons why surveillance camera footage is critical.

Research Uncovers Why Memory is Spotty

People tend to think of memory as their own video surveillance camera with a rewind button that allows them to perfectly recall the details of any event. That’s not anywhere close to how memory works, however. Research has actually found that recall is affected by many factors, including stress, fear, and selective attention. Since crimes are highly stress and fear and inducing, it impacts the details witnesses can recall later.

For example, if a weapon is used during a crime event, witnesses are much more likely to be able to describe the weapon in detail than able to describe details of the perpetrator’s face. This is because the mind places more importance on the weapon and the attention is automatically drawn there. This is not very helpful in reconstructing events, or finding and convicting criminals but without access to video surveillance footage, it’s all we might have.

Surveillance Camera Footage is Critical

There is no doubt that video surveillance systems play an important role in retail, restaurant, grocery and convenience store security. Individual recollections are easily influenced by personal beliefs and expectations, cultural influences and stereotyping as well as other psychological processes. Video surveillance systems serve as the backbone of criminal cases and is the one unbiased witness to events.

You Have to Get Right, Though

In the world of video surveillance systems, choice, application, and placement matters. Camera and surveillance technology is complex and there are many features and options that play an important role in just how effective your system is for you.

One simple example is how your choice in types of cameras and placement impact things the surveillance camera’s image quality, ability to handle low light or darkness and variances in light within a given area. The wrong types of cameras and placement might mean restrictions in the field of view, lighting additions, or inability to use tilt and zoom to capture suspicious activity.

Headquartered in Melville, New York, S-Tron is a national security systems integrator with local, professional service and installation.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Video Surveillance System for Retail

As a retail establishment owner, it is easy to come to the quick conclusion that you will need a video surveillance system. The problem is knowing what you need and which options work best in your environment. To help figure this out, there are some things to consider when choosing a video surveillance system that will help you ask the right questions, and end up with a perfectly suited system.

What Do You Want the Video Surveillance System For?

That might seem like an oversimplified question, but defining your goal will help you choose the right components and not get lost in a sea of really amazing technologies that all seem like must-haves. List your goals, and prioritize them. Is it safety and security, loss prevention, to help minimize risks such as false injury claims? Perhaps you’d like it to help improve processes and productivity. Whatever your goals, define them.

 

What Areas of Your Retail Establishment Do You Want and Need Covered

It might be that you want every square inch of the property covered with surveillance, or you may only need certain areas covered. Determining what areas you want to be covered and prioritizing the list will help in choosing how many and what kinds of cameras later.

Attach a Retail Security Goal to a Specific Area

The areas of a business are used differently from backroom to the floor. That means each area is likely to have a different security objective. The spaces also vary in size, set-up and lighting. All of these things will play an important role in choosing surveillance system components. For example, a wide area might need a pan-tilt-zoom camera , and a storage area might be better suited for a bullet camera. Your goal might be to reduce loss at the register so using a DVR to record transactions could be an option.

What Surveillance Options Do You Need?

The bells and whistles available in security technologies and video surveillance systems is incredible. You will have options such as infrared technology, waterproof, dustproof, vandal resistant, tilt, zoom, remote monitoring, field of view, low or high resolution, and much more. You will not need every option in every location and determining your real needs can help you manage costs.

How Many Cameras Do You Need?

By knowing your goals, defining the area and purpose, and determining the need for each area you can determine how many cameras you need. A larger area does not necessarily mean a larger number of cameras. Choosing the right cameras can actually reduce the number you need. For example, depending on what you need to see, a pan-tilt-zoom camera that covers an expansive area might reduce the number of fixed cameras you need.

S-Tron is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies. Specializing in an industry means we keep current on every trend, changes, challenges, and advances so we can address your specialized and unique needs.

7 Benefits of Restaurant Security Cameras

Restaurants make for very successful businesses, but with that success comes plenty of opportunity for crime. Some of those may come to mind immediately, like employee theft. Others may not be as obvious. There are many ways for employees, customers, and even intruders to commit crimes, however, and restaurant security cameras have a very important role in preventing them.

Restaurants Face Unique Security Challenges

Restaurants face a large range of security challenges on a daily basis, such as a high employee turnover rates, a constantly changing customer base, theft, and more. Restaurant security camera and CCTV systems can help reduce the losses commonly associated with owning and running a restaurant.

Top Advantages of Restaurant Security Cameras

Hospitality establishments make up the largest segment of the retail industry and because of this, a run a greater risk of crime and loss. It is easy to assume that security cameras will enhance safety, but there are many additional benefits for the hospitality and restaurant industry. Here are the top advantages of implementing a security camera system in your restaurant establishment.

1 Prevent Employee Theft of Product

Theft of product can happen in countless creative ways, and it is nearly impossible to spot all of it in the moment. Security cameras can deter theft, but also allow you the information you need to spot it and correct the problem. Employees are less likely to steal and you are more likely to catch it if they do.

2  Reduce Fraudulent Lawsuits

Restaurants are also a frequent target of false injury claims because they are busy and setting the scene with spills is fairly easy. A professionally installed security camera system will cover areas of vulnerability, while crisp HD camera images will make sure that your evidence stands up in court.

3 Prevent Overpouring

It can be tempting to overpour when doing so can result in higher tips. The best way to combat this problem is by always having an eye on the tables and bar.

4 Aiding In Customer Disputes

Fights are common in crowded restaurants, especially ones with bars. Restaurant security cameras can help reduce fights, and in the event of violence, help police identify the responsible parties.

5 Curb Sexual Harassment Issues

The number of sexual harassment claims reported to the Equal Opportunity Commission has reached nearly 10,00 cases annually, the number of events are likely much higher. The monetary benefits paid each year as a result of sexual harassment claims is in excess of $43 million. In addition to being motivated by a concern for the wellbeing of employees, using surveillance cameras can help curb the incidence, and provide evidence so you can formulate a response.

6  Boost Productivity

Studies show that security cameras in the workplace can help boost productivity significantly. Not  only does it motivate employees, it means management can spend less time monitoring and more time doing other more beneficial tasks.

7 Reduce Workplace Violence

In 2011, 17 percent of fatal work injuries were the result of  workplace violence. That’s about 780 fatal work injuries a year. Surveillance in the workplace discourages acts of violence and aids law enforcement in solving crime.

There are many considerations around implementing restaurant security cameras. S-Tron is expert in deploying a variety of tool and technologies to help secure the restaurant industry.

 

Critical Reasons Your Retail Business Needs End-to-End Security

A recent industry study noted that most businesses (nearly 60%) monitor less than half of their valuable assets with video surveillance systems. This statistic does not include how many businesses thoroughly and effectively safeguard other aspects of the business, such as POI, entrances, and exits, or the overall business. This means that critical aspects of most businesses are left under or unprotected.

How Businesses Fail

In addition to under-utilizing security cameras and CCTV, responders to the survey reveal another problem—a failure to utilize analytics. Fewer than half actively monitor footage or use it to gain important business insights. The majority of users only store the footage and review it if a crime is suspected. Additionally, businesses fail to upkeep and upgrade security equipment frequently enough, resulting in incompatible technologies and low-quality images, among other issues.

Sharp Images Matter

Just having a video surveillance system is not good enough. The system must be able to provide quality images to be of ultimate advantage. Sharp images are necessary for identifying crime and those who commit them as well as in gaining important business insights that can help improve things like customer service and profitability.

Analytics Are Priceless

When most think of video surveillance and CCTV, they think of it in relation to deterring or spotting crime. However, these systems can also provide incredible insights on how the business works, or doesn’t. By tapping into that information, a business owner can spot issues in productivity, quality control, or traffic flow.

End-to-end Solutions Improve Security

Even better than security cameras and CCTV alone, when paired with intrusion detection and access control systems security and other advantages are multiplied exponentially. Together, problems are identified sooner and an emergency response initiated much more quickly.

Better Solutions Put Time on Your Side

Surveillance, security, and access control integrated systems put time on your side. While surveillance systems can spot someone committing a crime or in a restricted area, it still takes someone to see it to initiate a response. When paired with access control, you can be alerted to activity and initiate a response immediately.

End-to-end Solutions Improve the Cost Model for Security

Investing in security is important and businesses want to get the most out of their system as possible. Having and end-to-end solution makes that possible.  For example, having quality cameras means you can cover more area effectively which allows you to delegate funds toward access control solutions. Together these reduce loss more significantly than one or the other alone.

S-TRON Security Electronics is an electronic security integrator for national and regional retail and hospitality companies. For more information, call us today.