What does 'COVID secure' mean in retail stores?

May 31, 2020

The UK reopens June 15th

The UK government has issued its latest guidance on social distancing, with the aim of assisting employers to work safely in light of COVID-19.

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All non-essential retail stores in England will be allowed to re-open from 15 June, on the proviso they are “Covid secure”, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed.

Retailers are using the guidance to plan full and partial reopening of stores. Those who have continued to operate in physical spaces also benefit from the latest guidance as it enables them to make any further improvements to their arrangements.

So what does 'COVID secure' mean for your retail stores? This is something that retailers will have to decipher for themselves but existing security cameras and clever AI can reveal the answers.

Define your new max capacity

The first step is to define the number of customers that can reasonably follow 2m social distancing within the store and any outdoor selling areas. We are helping retailers visualise their stores and understand how they can adapt their space to accommodate social distancing. Heat-mapping of stores allows retailers to discover popular areas and paths and respond with appropriate measures to limit contact between shoppers.

Computer Vision is empowering existing security cameras to prevent overcrowding and traffic bottlenecks for queuing scenarios, and in waiting areas. Retailers can avoid overcrowding by monitoring mounting traffic as it forms.

Live occupancy reporting

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Retailers who were once focused on driving shoppers to their stores are now considering and faced with challenge of limiting the number of customers to theirs stores. This necessitates access to live data about queue lengths, store occupancy, and wait times; and we help retailers achieve this by integrating clever AI with with existing cameras. This data not only allows operations teams to manage queues in a safe manner but also can inspire marketers to create campaigns that capitalise on captive audiences waiting in line.

Manage traffic flow

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Through our experience of tracking movement within stores, we have discovered that approximately 80% of a shopper’s time in the store is spent moving from place to place, making traffic management an important part of any store reopening program. Retailers' existing security cameras can be used to measure how effective their traffic management measures are and zero-in on the factors that significantly impact compliance with new measures.

It is important to apply a data driven and iterative approach to providing a 'COVID secure' shopping experience. What data are you using to make these types of decisions? Are you currently leveraging all the data available to you?

To learn more about how you can leverage occupancy data, get in touch with us a hello@auravision.ai.