Businesses have started leveraging retail software solutions
to achieve many goals, from optimizing inventories to ensuring an incomparable shopping experience for their customers. Here are the uses of image recognition that are gaining momentum among retailers today.
According to a Stanford study
, manual audits in retail proved to be time-consuming and inaccurate. An error rate may reach as high as 20%. Image recognition technology helps standardize audits to get consistent and accurate data.
The information interpreted by image recognition software can help track sales trends, too. Tapping into the data on how well different brands and SKUs are selling, retailers may boost the sales of priority SKUs by placing them closer to the buyer.
The way products are merchandised profoundly influences buying decisions. Image recognition helps ensure that the arrangement of goods on the shelf matches the planogram.
Object recognition algorithms scan a supermarket stall, detect the products, and classify them by a manufacturer, a brand, or an SKU. The solution compares the obtained results to a reference planogram and notifies retailers about mismatches, if any.
Detecting empty shelves
According to a study conducted by IHL Group, the worldwide retail industry misses out on $984 billion in sales due to products being out-of-stock.
Image recognition helps retailers prevent losing money and customers. When an SKU is missing on the shelf, image recognition software notifies the staff of the need to replenish.
Self-checkout systems and stores
A self-checkout system allows customers to place their purchases in front of the camera without having to comply with the line-of-sight rule (the way barcodes do) and immediately proceed with the payment. According to numerous studies, customers find self-checkout options more convenient, fast, and enjoyable.
A more advanced take on self-checkout is a cashierless store. In such advanced stores
, an image recognition system takes in the data from CCTV cameras or the cameras embedded into a shopping cart to recognize the purchases and automatically charge the customer. The payment in such cases may be handled via a mobile app, a self-service kiosk, or even by scanning one's palm at a store gate.
Retail AR applications
Product image recognition pairs well with augmented reality technology solutions
, too, enabling real-time marketing and making online shopping more convenient and engaging.
The combination of techs brings all kinds of interactive experiences to life — from visualizing product catalogs (Ikea
) to providing additional information on merchandised products (IBM Research
) to enticing customers to pop inside a store (IBM Hugo Boss