Opening a new retail store is an exciting prospect for any business owner—especially in the emerging cannabis market where customers are eager to purchase safe, legal product, while enjoying an in-store shopping experience.
Video surveillance is one technology that’s a must-have for retail dispensaries. Not only is it mandated in many jurisdictions, including all U.S. states where recreational cannabis can be legally sold, it’s also critical to ensuring the security of employees, customers, and merchandise. An intelligent video solution should also deliver loss prevention and operational tools to provide the dispensary with a competitive advantage.
Using an intelligent video solution to assess and improve customer service in a retail dispensary is one of the most effective applications for many operators.
By combining surveillance video with analytics like people counting, queue length monitoring, or dwell time, operators can generate reports with charts and graphs to see how long customers waited in line, determine which marketing or educational displays generated the most attention, and identify when people are leaving the store without making a purchase.
Owners can set up automated reports that include snapshot images from different areas of their store—or multiple stores—so they can check for empty shelves, proper signage, and opening and closing times.
This information helps owners quickly identify areas for improvement in their retail dispensaries. It enables them to gauge the success of promotional displays, compare customer service and conversion trends in one or multiple locations, and identify where employee training is needed. Ultimately, it helps owners pinpoint adjustments necessary to improve sales using the surveillance video they are already collecting for security and compliance.
Video integrated with point-of-sale transaction data can also help retail dispensary owners cut losses, significantly. It enables them to set up software alerts triggered by unusual transactions—such as voids over a set amount or suspect employee discounts—and investigate incidents faster by tying receipt data to recorded video.
Owners can use their video system to run searches on a wide variety of data, including employee number, transaction date and time, and more, across multiple locations simultaneously.
In stores where RFID tags are used to track cannabis products and merchandise, tying that data to intelligent video can deliver several benefits.
An integrated solution enables retail owners to search on any data contained in the RFID tag’s electronic product code, such as the type of item or product serial number.
This search capability is invaluable when merchandise goes missing. Not only can owners use the video solution to pinpoint the last known location of the item, they can also retrieve the recorded video to see how—and where—the item went missing. Perhaps the merchandise went out the back door or through the storefront in a shoplifter’s pocket.
The powerful combination of RFID tracking and recorded video makes it easier to solve the mystery of disappearing items. It provides strong evidence that can be used to recoup losses or be shared with law enforcement if a crime is committed.
Intelligent video provides retail dispensary owners with a unique view of their business, especially when used in combination with other types of data. It can help with compliance, inventory tracking, loss prevention, customer service, and more.
For owners already investing in video surveillance systems for security, moving to a more advanced solution that can provide practical business insights is worth considering as part of a smart return on investment strategy.
Jeff Corrall is responsible for strategic partnerships and integrations at March Networks, a world leader in the delivery of video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions for the cannabis industry.
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