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Retail Tech Deep-Dive: Meraki MV Smart Cameras

#Retail #Tech #DeepDive #Meraki #Smart #Cameras

Join us as we dive deeper into Cisco and Cisco partner technology deployed at the Cisco Store! We asked Shashank Nalla (Product Manager, Meraki MV Smart Cameras) to discuss how the cameras are used in the Cisco Store and the larger retail industry.

 


How do Meraki cameras improve a retailer and shopper’s in-store and/or virtual shopping experience? What problem are they solving?

MV Smart Cameras aren’t just cameras — they’re like a virtual assistant to make a shopper’s experience safe, easy, and tailored to them, and to help retailers around the world provide the best shopping experience possible. We see our smart cameras help in three ways:

  1. Deterring theft and bad actors: With real-time monitoring, high-quality video, and a variety of lens and mounting options, our cameras ensure that no corner goes undetected. Shoppers and retailers can feel safe knowing that every part of the store is being actively monitored.
  2. Optimizing the shopper experience: There’s a lot that goes into the entirety of a shopper’s experience, and it starts from the moment they walk in the door to the minute they purchase and leave. Our cameras offer real-time analytics and heat maps–that can easily be viewed within our dashboard–so retailers can analyze traffic patterns and optimize their store layouts. Retailers can figure out what flow works best or where they should place certain products for special promotions or sales. And let’s not forget about the check-out lines: with real-time insights, our cameras can help retailers understand and manage their queues to reduce crowding and wait times.
  3. Better personalized offering and marketing: Retailers not only want their customers to enjoy shopping in-store, but they also want to make sure they offer the products their customers actually want. By analyzing video recordings, retailers can better understand customer behavior such as dwell time, popular areas of the store, and conversion rates. They’ll get to know their customers’ preferences and tailor their offerings accordingly. But it doesn’t stop there. They can also better tailor their marketing to each specific customer through footage and snapshot analysis. For example, if a customer spends a lot of time in the electronics section, the retailer can send them promotions or recommendations related to electronics.

What would you like people to know about Meraki cameras when they see them in action at the Cisco Store Tech Lab?

Out of the box, they’re smart, powerful, and easy to use and manage. Beyond our high-quality video, sleek design, and AI capabilities, they’re all cloud-managed and easy to set up. Whether you’re putting up 1 camera or 100 cameras, our cameras are designed to get up and running fast. And with the power of cloud, you can quickly and easily see your footage in the Meraki dashboard. But what makes our cameras even more powerful is the ability to connect to our ecosystem of partners to build custom integrations around computer vision, physical access control, and more. It truly becomes whatever you want it to be.

How do you envision Meraki cameras being used in retail environments in the future?

We’re already seeing these trends, but we envision our cameras being used in 3 major ways:

  1. Customer analytics: Our cameras can capture a lot and, with more data, the more insights retailers can grab. We know how important it is for retailers to really know their customers and we know that the more personalized a shopping experience, the more likely it is that customers will make purchases. We see our cameras really helping to provide retailers with valuable information to create those personalized experiences. Analyzing demographics, dwell time, check-out lanes, foot traffic — this is all data that can provide retailers with a lot of insight into what goes on in their stores.
  2. Inventory management: Cameras don’t always have to be used for tracking people; they can and should be used to track physical assets. Utilizing a lot of the same monitoring, alerts, and analytics, we see our cameras being used to provide real-time visibility on shelves and warehouse inventory so they can alert when things are low or where things are moving to and from.
  3. Loss prevention: Cameras are key to providing a safe environment, especially in retail. We know our cameras will continue to be the core piece of store safety. High-quality video, 24/7 footage, video retention — these are all things that our cameras can provide and what we see retailers using every day to help prevent theft of all kinds.

What do you think will be a priority for shoppers in the next 5 years?

I think there are 4 main areas shoppers will care about:

  1. Convenience: Whether you’re shopping online or in-store, shoppers want it to be quick and easy to find and buy what they want.
  2. Personalization: Along the lines of convenience, I think shoppers will want to cut out the noise. It can feel overwhelming to wade through all the options, so providing them with a narrow scope that we know is within their preference will make an easier and better experience.
  3. Seamless experience across online and brick and mortar: A lot of shopping is done online nowadays, but brick and mortar stores still offer something online stores cannot: the ability to physically see, touch, and experience whatever it is you want to buy. But they must go together. Shoppers might go online first and then decide to stop by in-store, or maybe they stop by a store and then go check online if what they’re looking for isn’t in stock. That should all feel like it’s part of one journey. Not two different experiences.
  4. Value for their money: With rising costs, shoppers continue to look for the “best deal.” This doesn’t mean that they’re looking for cheap options. It means they’re doing their research on the best option they can afford.

Likewise, what do you think will be a priority for retailers in the next 5 years?

With the continued innovation around AI, we believe retailers will focus on providing smarter, more immersive shopper experiences while also continuing to optimize their operations, especially with the rising costs of theft and inventory. They may also be relying more on data and AI to optimize day-to-day operations and better understand customer behavior to enhance and personalize their experiences.

Interested in learning more about Meraki MV Smart Cameras? Visit our page or request a demo now.

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