Re-Establishing Trust in Retail

Most retailers have reopened their doors after a long lockdown period, but it’s far from business as usual. COVID-19 has dramatically changed the retail experience – for management, employees and consumers.

Social Distancing AI Suite: Retail Use Case

The Challenge

The biggest challenge has been re-establishing trust among employees and customers that stores are safe environments in which to work and shop. In fact, Mercer, an HR consulting firm, recently polled 735 U.S. employers and found that more than 35 percent have experienced worker absenteeism due to fear of getting sick.

From the consumer side, a recent survey by McKinsey & Company found that 73% of U.S. consumers say they are not participating in a “‘normal’ level of out-of-home activity.” The same survey found that consumers are “actively looking for use of masks and physical barriers when deciding where to shop in-store.”

Store owners and leadership teams face more than the new trust challenge; they are now also responsible for following more regulatory requirements than ever. In addition to existing industry regulations, such as PCI-DSS, there are newly issued COVID-19 prevention guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to consider.

Adding to this challenge, capacity limitations are causing lines to form outside of stores, and managers need to make sure CDC guidelines are being followed there as well.  

Retailers that can effectively respond to these challenges can create trust across all key stakeholders that it is safe to go back to business as usual. But, is it possible to reopen and stay open safely, without having to hire more resources to enforce these new CDC requirements? The answer is yes – with the right technology.

The Pro-Vigil Solution

Pro-Vigil’s Social Distancing AI Suite enables retailers to use artificial intelligence (AI)-driven video monitoring technology to promote compliance with COVID-19 control and prevention guidelines. With AI, Pro-Vigil’s remote video surveillance system can analyze digital video data to identify areas where CDC guidelines are not being effectively implemented. This gives managers the intelligence they need to adapt store layout and policies to reduce opportunities for the virus to spread. Specifically, Pro-Vigil’s cameras can help with three common CDC guidelines: 

  1. Social distance monitoring – Pro-Vigil’s cameras can be programmed to measure the space around employees and customers to detect where people tend to cluster. This can give store owners intelligence on “choke points” in the store, so they can take preventive action by implementing new traffic patterns or moving merchandise.
  1. Occupancy management – Pro-Vigil’s advanced video technology can automatically count store occupants, which can help retailers maintain occupancy control.  
  1. Face mask detection – Pro-Vigil’s integrated object recognition can detect the use of face masks and face shields. This can help management identify how strictly mask policies are being followed, so they can determine if they need to post more signs or take other corrective action.  

Beyond meeting CDC guidelines, having this technology in place enables retailers to demonstrate their commitment to safety and restore trust among employees and customers.

Results At Your Fingertips

Pro-Vigil’s Social Distancing AI Suite makes it easy for retailers to get the information they need, so they can reopen and stay open with confidence. The system delivers CDC compliance information through a daily scorecard, which shows exactly how a store is doing in regards to following social distancing, occupancy and face mask guidelines.

If a problem area is detected, retailers can drill down to learn more about the issue – where it’s happening, at what time of day and who is involved, for example.

As an added bonus, retailers can publish their daily scorecard results to further build confidence with employees and customers. For example, signs promoting 99% compliance with mask-wearing, or publicizing how the store layout has been optimized for social distancing. The daily scorecard provides an easy and efficient way for retailers to make employees and customers feel safe in the store, while also giving a subtle reminder for people to continue following CDC guidelines.

And, of course, retailers will also benefit from Pro-Vigil’s industry leading security monitoring and crime deterrence capabilities. To learn more about the Pro-Vigil Social Distancing AI Suite, go to Pro-Vigil or contact us today.

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