The consumer shopping experience has always been at the forefront of the minds of businesses. But in today’s current health crisis, the safety of customers and employees should absolutely be placed above all else. And for the past several months, we have seen businesses quickly adjusting to the “new normal” the best they can. Social distancing guidelines have been put into place. Visitors are being required to wear masks when they enter a facility. Partitions are being used to separate employees from customers in checkout lines and in-between customers in restaurant booths.
Of course, enforcing rules certainly come with challenges. For example, just because taped arrows line a floor does not mean shoppers always follow them. They may also congregate too close together in checkout lines instead of keeping six feet apart. And employees may forget to regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
Network surveillance solutions based on sight, sound, and analytics can help businesses better enforce guidelines and enable them to obtain key insights into consumer behavior.
Take AXIS Queue Monitoring, for example. Instead of stretching staff thin by asking them to remind customers to keep their distance, businesses can accomplish this with a network audio system that includes network cameras embedded with queue monitoring analytics. When an event triggers the camera, the solution could be prompted to say, “Please remember to stay six feet apart until the customer in front of you has completed his or her transaction.”
Of course, reducing the amount of people in facilities can also prevent bottlenecks from occurring. Businesses can manage occupancy levels by utilizing AXIS Occupancy Estimator, which allows for a user-defined occupancy threshold. Coupled with network cameras, this type of analytics application can provide real-time data on how many people are present at a single time. From there, the network solution can display the information as a percentage on a monitor, and when the facility’s occupancy reaches a certain threshold it can prompt any number of events to happen, such as a red light turning on or a message appearing at the entrance, or a specific audio clip to play.
But network surveillance solutions can go beyond helping businesses assist customers within their facility. Many retailers and restaurants are also offering curbside pickup and their usual delivery options. Network technology can be used to alert employees that their food or item is ready for delivery or that a customer is at the front door or in his or her car waiting for pickup.
A license plate recognition solution can help in this situation. This type of analytics application can capture a license plate in real-time, compare it to a pre-defined list, and generate an alert when the customer arrives in front of the store for pickup. From there, the IP audio system can alert the person outside with a pre-defined message which might say, “Thank you for shopping with us. Your order will be out in a minute. Please open your trunk.”
How businesses operate today is obviously much different from the way they operated just several months ago. But they should not have to adjust to these new changes alone. Network surveillance technology can help businesses continue to meet customer demand, adhere to health regulations, and provide the same great service their customers have come to know and love.