Computer vision in retail: Upcoming trends

Computer vision plays a significant role in the retail industry. To keep up with the competition, more and more companies are deciding to invest in this technology. In this way, retailers want to meet customer needs better and manage inventory more effectively. The global computer vision market size was valued at $9.45 billion in 2020. However, due to its revolutionary solutions, it is projected to reach $41.11 billion by 2030.[1]

This article covers six computer vision use cases in the retail sector that can help retail leaders improve their businesses. To learn more, dive into computer vision solutions.

What impact does computer vision have on retail?

Computer vision has many applications in the retail industry. It allows companies to improve customer service, which is one of the most important goals for retailers. It is a technology that:

  • Ensures full shelves
  • Eliminates long queues
  • Improves shopping
  • Provides self-service in stores
  • Optimizes shelf layout and product placement

Computer vision in retail can also be used to track in-store traffic and prevent theft. Barcode scanning is another CV use case. Thanks to this, customers can obtain information about the product they are interested in. Besides, this technology finds its application in clothing retail. Here, a virtual fitting room allows customers to try on clothes without having to change. As we can see, CV technology has a huge impact on the retail industry. Let’s take a look at the different applications of CV in this sector.

Computer vision applications in retail

INVENTORY MANAGEMENT

Inventory management is one of the most popular uses of computer vision. Information about the number of available products is important for both sellers and customers.

Sensor systems and smart cameras track stock levels as well as the number of products on the shelves in real time. With the automation of counting inventory cycles, store employees can focus more on customer service. The implementation of CV to optimize inventory allows them to minimize the risk of out-of-stock products. What’s more, full shelves increase the willingness of consumers to make purchases.

VIRTUAL MIRRORS

Virtual fitting rooms can greatly contribute to customer service in retail. In short, a virtual mirror is one in which the camera scans the human body to match the clothes. A majority of these mirrors are equipped with computer vision cameras and AR technology. This is why they can monitor and analyze visual patterns. With virtual mirroring, customers save a lot of time as they don’t have to wait in lines and actually try on the selected clothes.

This is a tool that builds the customer experience and supports customer service.

AUTOMATED STORES

We can observe the growing trend of customer service automation. Hence, retailers are increasingly using computer vision systems for automated checkout systems.

Already, in many stores, we can scan the purchased products ourselves without the help of a cashier. But let’s go a step further. Shops without checkouts? And although it is difficult to imagine stores without checkouts, it is quite possible in the future. Cameras and sensors in stores enable CV systems to track products, shelves, and customers accurately. When a customer exits the store, the CV system automatically charges them for the marked products.

Walk-out stores are believed to revolutionize the retail industry.

MOBILE APPS FOR SCANNING BARCODES

One of the advantages of buying products online is that the customer can read product reviews before making a purchase. The physical store can finally take advantage of online reviews and ratings through computer vision. Customers can install an application on their smartphones that reads product barcodes. In this way, they have access to information and reviews of the product they want to buy.

STORE LAYOUT

Retailers install computer cameras in stores to track customer movements. As a result, they are able to recognize repetitive behaviors and patterns. Thanks to this, they will know, for example, in which part of the store there is the most traffic, i.e., determine the so-called hot area. They will use this information to place the right products there. Effective placement of products on store shelves will increase retailers’ sales.

LOSS PREVENTION

The computer eye is another name for computer vision. That is why this technology is helpful in preventing losses due to theft in retail stores. CV systems observe customer behavior, thanks to which they are able to detect suspicious movements. What’s more, this technology also prevents employee theft. Cameras recognize each item on the cash register and relate it to a transaction.

Hence, CV helps companies quickly and positively reduce product loss and the associated loss of revenue.

Conclusion

Already, computer vision has huge applications in retail. It changes the customer experience and also optimizes various areas of retail operations. Investing in computer vision offers many benefits to businesses. Computer vision technology improves sales and increases customer satisfaction.


[1] https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/computer-vision-market-A12701#:~:text=The%20global%20computer%20vision%20market,around%20it%20just%20like%20humans.