With the wireless industry showing signs of continued growth in sales, forward-thinking wireless dealers are looking for ways to capture more market share and build a solid foundation for profitable growth. At the same time, in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage, wireless retail carriers are recommending their dealers invest in customer loyalty, business intelligence, secret shopping and other in-store data gathering initiatives. At the heart of these efforts is the need for increased visibility into daily store operations across various retail functions and multiple stores.

Yet even with an overwhelming amount of data about its stores, the average multisite wireless dealer still lacks visibility into daily store operations and key indicators of top line sales growth – such as average basket size and conversion rate. To maximize growth, dealers must be able to quickly and intelligently adjust strategies and policies related to consumer and employee behavior based on these metrics. To accomplish this, wireless dealers need the real life story behind the numbers. They need to instantly see what is happening in the store and quickly respond with confidence.

Moving Beyond Traditional Video Surveillance

From gaining a better understanding of what promotions bring consumers to the store and how store associates successfully upsell customers, to decreasing theft, streamlining operations, and improving customer service, wireless dealers know that traditional video surveillance helps them see and understand what is working and what is not in each store. But, smart wireless dealers also know that simply collecting volumes of video and audio footage is not enough to help increase store traffic, achieve higher basket size, and grow revenue.

To truly leverage video technology to improve profitability, it must be tied with business intelligence from point of sale and other business data to allow managers to efficiently drill down to the exact story behind the data. This approach, often called video-based business intelligence, allows managers to efficiently uncover trends and opportunities for improvements that inform their business decisions.

The Video Surveillance + Business Intelligence Technology Paradigm

Here’s how this video + business intelligence paradigm works in today’s more advanced video-based business intelligence technology:

  1. Cameras and a DVR capture video and audio footage.
  2. A video-based business intelligence platform links with data from the wireless dealer’s point of sale system, such as iQmetrix (RQ4) and provides additional insight into the video.
  3. The wireless dealer monitors reports for specific types of transactions or activities, and then drills down to view the specific video footage behind a transaction or activity.
  4. The wireless dealer then has access to information that informs business decisions around improving the customer experience, increasing sales, streamlining operations, reducing theft, and improving employee training.
  5. More sophisticated platforms allow the wireless dealer to access the recorded video (or even live video, if desired) from anywhere via the Internet – from computers and mobile devices — so there is no need to burn DVDs, email large video files, or visit individual stores to watch footage.

Increasing Profits for Wireless Dealers

This alignment of video with business data technology can be used in a variety of ways and for a wide range of purposes that ultimately help to increase profits, including:

  • Exception-based reporting — to identify any type of transaction. For example, if the goal is to increase attachment rates, reports can instantly show clusters of transactions in which no accessories were sold, allowing a manager to sort and view transactions by top and bottom performers, and then further train or terminate poor performers as needed.
  • Invoice search – to see and hear footage of specific invoice numbers. For example, if a particular invoice needs further investigation, a manager can simply type in the invoice number to see and hear footage of the corresponding transaction.
  • Motion search – to view video in a given period with motion in specific areas of a store. For example, if some handsets were stolen, a manager can access video from the day the theft occurred and highlight the area of the store that housed the missing handsets. The platform will then show only a sequence of clips that include motion in that area of the store – allowing the manager to quickly identify suspicious activity related to the theft.

In my next article on this topic, I’ll review how wireless retailers can use video-based business intelligence as a new (and more effective) alternative to virtual secret shopping for gaining feedback on employee performance and the customer experience.