Traditional retail stores across the world are battling customers’ mind space and wallet share, with their younger cousins i.e. the online retail stores. Customer spending online is increasing exponentially, and many times at time at the expense of physical stores. Across the world, the decline of brick-and-mortar stores continues to make headlines while online retail is booming.
Interestingly seasoned retailers are not calling it “Quits” so soon. Of the many technologies retail stores are deploying to reinvent themselves, one of the most prominent is computer vision technology. Per a Tractica report, the market for computer vision technologies will grow from $5.7 billion in 2014 to $33.3 billion by 2019, representing a CAGR of 42%.
Big retailers masterstroke:
The future of retail is customer-centric and build around stellar experiences. The physical retail experience if made enjoyable, entertaining and seamless, the customers shall keep coming back, again and again.
Big daddies of retail like Walmart, Macy’s are forced to adapt to the recent changes in the market or die amid the e-commerce boom. And they are leaving no stone unturned.
Traditional retailers are learning and incorporating new ways to create a seamless immersive experience leveraging smart technologies to collect data and insights on both in-store and online shopping behavior. Integrating the insights with the backend, they are set to reap huge supply chain costs reduction benefits too.
Technology working hard behind the scenes:
Retailers today are working on leveraging display systems that are interactive and delight the customers, along with the computer vision technologies that have the ability to merge the benefits of digital content with the physical store. If leveraged well, the technology can deliver highly personalized product suggestions, driving stellar engagement and product upsell.
Robots, 3D vision cameras and RFID-sensing technologies can create mixed reality, immersive experiences in real-time, based on how the in-store customer is maneuvering through the store and the selections she is making.
By exploiting cloud technology, retailers get intelligent insights into store traffic, all in real-time. Leveraging computer vision-based technologies, a store can quickly gather essential data points on how customers interact with products and behave in-store, identifying key trends to help personalize each shopping experience. Smart cameras can gauge and seamlessly replenish stock and inventory supplies, notifying retailers ahead of potential stock-outs. Replenishing the stores’ shelves in a seamless way is sure to delight.
The customer does not want to queue up against the billing counter and leveraging the customer vision technology, retailers can extend a seamless billing experience. Amazon’s masterstroke, Amazon Go, does exactly that. Amazon in its brick and mortar stores leverages a combination of AI, sensor, and camera network-based systems, completely doing away with a formal checkout procedure.
Many start-ups have mushroomed offering great computer vision technology products and solutions in a box for retailers to plug in and play. While many analysts believe that falling chip prices, investments in automation and surveillance, and customer expectations are pro computer vision technologies adoption, ecosystem maturity, better image processing techniques, and a decrease in camera prices shall enable mainstream usage.