Long gone are the days of selling POS systems by themselves. The pressure is on, as born-in-the-cloud POS applications have flooded the market, removing resellers from the equation, and giving merchants low-cost alternatives to the traditional systems you’ve been selling for years. Many of the low-cost alternatives remove a trusted advisor from the equation and provide little in the way of value beyond the software.
To compete today, it’s imperative that you provide additional value by offering holistic thinking and strategies concerning not just the POS, but technologies than can positively impact the entire operation. One technology especially complementary to POS is video surveillance.
By integrating IP cameras and video management software with the POS system, your merchants can gain access to a wealth of data useful in improving their bottom line.
Consider the following IP video applications that go beyond typically surveillance:
- Monitoring slip and falls—Retailers, grocery stores, and to a lesser extent restaurants deal with slip and fall claims all the time. In some cases, the injury isn’t accidental. By monitoring slip and falls, your customers can potentially avoid lawsuits and maybe even reduce insurance claims.
- Identify loss at the POS—It’s a reality that some cashiers steal by offering “sweetheart” (markdown) deals to friends/accomplices, voiding transactions and pocketing money, and nabbing refunds. POS reporting can identify trends in such behavior, but integrating IP video cameras takes surveillance to a new level. It’s possible to select events in the POS system, such as a markdown, and have the system automatically pull up the corresponding video from the event.
- Improve training and inventory—Not every void, refund, and markdown is the result of an employee trying to steal. Oftentimes, employees struggle with operating the POS correctly. It’s also possible that SKUs aren’t entered into the database, forcing employees to enter a miscellaneous SKU. By marrying video footage with the POS transactional data, it’s easy for retailers to see exactly what’s happening with each employee, and identify training issues or fix inventory problems.
- Improve marketing—using readily available video analytics, it’s possible to count customers, track how people move through a store, and see where they dwell the most. This data can be used to adequately staff for busy times and days, place certain stock in high-visibility areas, and more. Cutting-edge analytics allows cameras to identify the gender and age of customers. This data can be married with a digital signage solution to push gender- and age-specific promotions to customers passing by.
These applications are just the tip of the iceberg. The combination of POS and video surveillance can do some amazing things for your customers. However, there’s a trend worth pointing out. All the above applications require you to have in-depth conversations with your customers about their challenges and needs. While it might seem like more work for you, it’s exactly the approach you need to reinforce your value and beat the competition.