Retail properties

Canon unveils new consumer-tracking data analytics solution to help retailers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 6:50pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 11:00pm

Retail stores can improve revenue by using new consumer-behaviour tracking technology linked to cloud-based video analytics, according to a spokesman for the Japanese consumer electronics giant Canon.

Shunichi Morinaga, president and chief executive of Canon Hongkong, said increased sales revenue at physical retail shops is one benefit of the system which monitors consumers using real-time data analysis.

For example, one technology called a people counter can analyse roughly 1,600 customers in a specified area using surveillance video, which then converts the data into useful business metrics.

Another technology uses facial recognition to analyse a consumer’s age, gender, and ethnicity. This approach can help businesses to assess demographic distribution and develop consumer profiles.

Anther approach uses heat-mapping technology to enable shopping malls managers and real estate developers to track foot traffic. The tool can be used to identify popular areas and attain rent optimization or be used to better allocate resources.

For retail shops, a heat-mapping solution provides insight on peak shopping periods, and seasonality, enabling shop owner to improve manpower management and resource allocation.

Fast food chains can also use the technology to improve the consumer experience and reduce waiting times.

The data derived from the system can also be used to improve product displays and marketing campaigns.

The data is hosted on NTT Communications’ cloud and data centre infrastructure in Hong Kong. Clients can access the cloud through desktops and mobile devices.

When asked if the service would spark privacy concerns, a Canon spokesman said companies must define how they use the data and bear all legal responsibilities.

“The service aims to analyse general patterns,” said Philip Chan, Canon Hongkong’s director and general manager. “In terms of providing better service to customers, clients have to sort out arrangements with their customers.”

According to Technavio, the global video analytics market is expected to grow rapidly and will post a

compound annual growth rate of close to 34 per cent over the next few years.

A survey conducted by NTT Communications found that 94 per cent of retailers and manufacturers in Hong Kong, Singapore and China planned to adopt new technologies to boost competitiveness, with big data intelligence one of the critical enablers.