Retail: Customer Behavior Tracking

Online stores like Amazon have long been able to take advantage of their digital platform’s analysis capabilities. Customer behavior can be analyzed in detail and the user experience can be optimized. The retail industry is also trying to optimize the experience of its customers and make it ideal. Until now, the tools to automatically capture the interaction of people with displayed items have been missing. Computer vision is now able to close this gap for the retail industry.

In combination with existing security cameras, algorithms can automatically evaluate video material and study customer behavior. For example, the current number of people in the store can be counted at any time, which is a useful application during the COVID-19 pandemic with its restrictions on the maximum number of visitors allowed in stores. But more interesting might be analyses on the individual level, such as the chosen route through the store and individual departments. This allows the design, structure, and placement of products to be optimized, traffic jams in well-visited departments to be avoided, and the customers’ overall user experience to be improved. Revolutionary is the ability to track the attention that individual shelves and products receive from customers. Specialized algorithms can detect the direction of people’s gaze and thus measure how long any given object is viewed by passers-by.

With the help of this technology, retailers now have the opportunity to catch up with online trading and to evaluate customer behavior within their stores in detail. This increases sales, minimizes the time spent in the store, and optimizes the distribution of customers within the store.