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Today’s shoppers have less time than ever to get their grocery shopping done, and they expect a fast and easy purchasing experience. How does one keep waiting times to a minimum, and react quickly to growing checkout lines? Intelligent queue detection technology could be the answer.

Waiting to pay is a huge problem for retailers and shoppers alike. Customers who find themselves in a seemingly endless line may grow intensely frustrated, to the point that they abandon the store.

Queue detection technology

Queue detection technology uses cameras to count the number of people in a line

In fact, a recent study from Forrester Research and Digimarc stated that long lines are one of the main reasons for shopping abandonment. To avoid wasting time, more than half of shoppers will spend less money in a store, or even walk away entirely.

To tackle this problem, many forward-thinking retailers are using queue detection technology to keep track of lines in real time during the checkout process. Queue detection technology uses cameras to count the number of people in a line, to a predetermined threshold. Once the threshold of customers has been reached, and if more customers are continuing to wait, the system alerts store management to open new checkouts.

Key investment opportunity

Given the importance that customers place on a fast checkout process, reducing wait times is a key investment opportunity. Retailers that boost checkout efficiency can not only please their existing customers, but also entice new customers who may have avoided shopping there previously.

Customers may also spend more money if checkout is faster. In a study by Oracle, 94% of respondents stated that they buy food and beverages at sporting events – and 58% of these respondents said they would spend even more money if they didn’t have to wait in lines. What’s more, over time, queue detection technology can enable managers to improve the operational efficiency of a store. Armed with new insight into the typical throughput of customers at different times, managers can scale staffing levels up and down accordingly.

High definition cameras

Hikvision’s queue detection technology is purpose-built to offer cutting-edge flow analysis to retail outlets

Hikvision’s queue detection technology is purpose-built to offer cutting-edge flow analysis to retail outlets, including supermarkets, exhibition halls, chain stores and any situation where waiting to pay is required.

Embedded into our high definition cameras, and powered by Deep Learning algorithms, this easy-to-use technology is highly accurate at counting people, and can even recognise different individuals and their specific dwell time. Store management can set thresholds for the maximum number of people in an area – be it the checkout, or elsewhere – as well as for the longest stay duration of a single person. Once a threshold is exceeded, the system will immediately alert managers so they can take appropriate action.

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