The health crisis has had a hard impact on the retail sector. Up to 67,500 establishments, 15% of those that existed in Spain, have had to close their doors in the midst of a pandemic. The financial situation is complicated and stands as one of the main challenges for the present and the future, along with the competition, the management of multiple devices, the decision-making based on data, the need for modernization and the birth of the digital client .

Stores cannot turn their back on online commerce, since ours is the fourth European country that purchases the most online. At the same time, pure players are launching into physical stores. This makes up a particularly complex market.

Only technology can help companies transform to survive and succeed in the new normal, and beyond.

To talk about challenges and solutions for retailers , NetMedia Group has brought together Adán Bastos , Key Account Manager of Milestone Systems, and Álvaro Travesí , Account Manager at Nutanix. Both star in the webinar «Retail: New era in Multisites management» , where they share their opinions on how to analyze information directly in stores and keep critical systems always active to infrastructures with multiple sites.

Milestone and video surveillance

One of the main problems faced by trade «is the unknown loss» , that is, «the difference between theoretical stocks and actual stocks», explains Adán Bastos, Key Milestone Systems Account Manager, either for «external or customer theft, internal or employee theft» or «administrative or inventory errors» .

This «represents 0.8% of the total sales of all Spanish businesses» and «represents an impact of 1800 million euros per year for companies» , according to estimates provided by Milestone.

«Another problem that seriously plagues commerce is the current situation of COVID» and the need to «guarantee safe spaces for employees and customers.» Stores are also affected by «the 22% growth» that «online sales» are registering .

As it is, «improving the customer experience at the point of sale seems a key factor.» Adán Bastos explains that companies must «understand in depth who» their «customer is, what they are looking for, when they come and how often, where they put their attention and why they return.» And here the new technologies show their weapons.

The retail can benefit from the «on-site complaints protocol» to «manage electronic complaints in the event of catching the offender during the theft and being able to retain him». The idea is to come to a “quick trial”, in which “video recordings take on more importance”.

«On the other hand,» continues Bastos, «image-based analytics» improve knowledge about «the situation in the sales rooms.» There are «analytics that help reduce losses» derived from customer theft. «It is an analysis programmed to detect the patterns and behaviors used by thieves, so that they can generate an alert through the employees’ mobile phones at the moment they detect a theft situation.» Additionally, a “neural network component” self-trains the system and adapts it to the business.

You can also fight against employee malpractice with a “system to synchronize the cash ticket with the transaction images, so that we can do semantic searches to locate a certain transaction ”. Semantic rules can be designed for alarms in the “video clip shape”, something “very useful in situations where the barcode” of the “product being charged does not match the product that actually goes through the checkout”. < / p>

Regarding the analytics that allow to increase sales , those of «behavior» and «customer classification» stand out based on their gender, age, clothing, presence of shopping bags, etc. This technology «does not identify people, it simply establishes patterns,» says Adán Bastos. «You can also count the number of people in the establishment» and «determine customer hours.» Another detail that he provides is «the most used route» within the establishment. The permanence of the client in a specific area of ​​the sales room is «total