Retailers react to Covid-19: How you can lay the foundations for a smart future during the crisis.

The current Corona crisis has obliged retailers to take unusual measures to ensure the protection of employees and customers. With the A1 Digital People Counter, retailers are responding appropriately to these regulatory requirements while laying the foundations for a smart future.

Brick and mortar businesses were not spared from breaking strict regulations against the spread of Covid-19. The businesses necessary for daily needs face the challenge of taking measures to mitigate the pandemic without interrupting normal operation. Glass partitions in supermarkets, contactless payment, house deliveries and the now common “social distancing” were the focus of attention. Many of these measures can be dismantled after this crisis. But some also trigger a lasting change in how we define the customer experience at the POS and how we shop. 

Restart - what's happening? 

Due to the good results in parts of Europe and the continuous decline in new infections, the strict lock-down measures are now gradually being withdrawn. Therefore, the entire trade is already allowed to support the controlled re-start of our usual social life in the best possible way. In order to minimise the risk of a second wave, retailers, supermarkets and restaurants in particular are affected by strict precautionary measures, sometimes in the long term, to maintain the protection of employees and customers. Whether it be through the free handing out of protective masks in supermarkets, by steam cleaning clothes every time they have been tried on, or by reducing and disinfecting shopping trolleys to ensure a maximum number of people in a DIY store. Many of these security measures require a high input of resources and personnel - an additional burden and risk for employees. But the alternatives are already there, and especially in times of “social distancing” the best are often digital!  

Because our security counts - now and in the future. 

This is exactly where the Digital People Counter for Retail solution comes in, supporting store staff with the automated counting of incoming and outgoing people - without using sensitive, personal data. While staff concentrate on the core activities, a monitor shows everyone whether there is still enough space in the store and, if necessary, when they may be allowed to re-enter. 

This offers several advantages: 

  • Shop staff are relieved and can focus on core tasks 
  • Compliance with regulatory measures can be ensured and documented
  • Security personnel at the entrance are no longer needed 
  • Embedding data in website or app provides an improved customer experience and indicates whether now is a good time to shop 
  • Creating the foundation for more Retail Analytics solutions  
 
Know what's happening at the POS 

The digital People Counter solution developed by A1 Digital was developed with the aim of providing retailers with a plug-and-play solution that can provide immediate support to current challenges and at the same time lay the foundation for future added value.  

The People Counter, combined with machine learning applications, gives you information about your customers and how they interact with your POS: Who are your customers, how do they behave and how do they use the store space. Identify peak times, the length of stay in specific areas, the wait time spent in queues, and the flow of visitors. Receive notifications when self-defined triggers such as long queues or anomalies are exceeded. Adapt your business operations to actual usage and get the necessary decision-making bases – fact-based and in real-time.  

Because: Now is the time of digitisation! 

A look at the history books shows: Crises, in retrospect, mostly emerged as drivers of innovation and opened up new perspectives in unexpected areas. Especially in times of upheaval, it is therefore important to keep a “cool head” and to adapt as best as possible to the new, if unusual, conditions. After all, investments in short-term solutions are usually not successful even now. It is therefore much more important to keep an eye on the future, compare options and take into account trends that have been emerging for some time. For example, machine learning, smart retail, analytics at the POS and insights-based decisions have long since ceased to be buzzwords, but real-life creators whose foundations they can already lay today.