Facial Recognition in Retail | Worldlink Integration Group | Facial recognition in retail as a concept with vector illustration of a face using cell shades and tech decalsIn a past blog, we looked at a few restaurants that are using kiosks to great effect and focused in on NEXTEP Systems and their facial recognition technology. Among the advances in customer engagement, facial recognition is one of the most exciting, and customers love using the technology.

The process not only speeds up the actual process of ordering, but checkout as well. 80% of the customers at BurgerFi who used the facial recognition technology also put their credit card on file. Xenial, the company that recently bought NEXTEP Systems, has worked with BurgerFi in implementing their kiosks.

But how exactly can this service be used in retail beyond the obvious applications in making payments in a faster checkout system?

Let’s explore a few possibilities for facial recognition technology in retail, and how these scenarios benefit both the customer and the retailer.

Deeper Customer Analytics

People-counting is already a powerful tool for looking at the aggregate in terms of customer behavior. What facial recognition offers is a way to connect each data point to a more complete customer profile, by having customers enter the store, facial recognition kiosks registering their profile, and cameras recognizing the customer throughout the store.

The implications of being able to link customer data to customer behavior are the last steps before physical retail catches up to the analytical capabilities of e-commerce. Retailers who can link together their customer profiles to actual customers in-store can learn:

  • What behavior distinguishes high-spending customers from low-spending customers
  • What touchpoints are most useful in each department for making the sale
  • How different types of customers interact with displays
  • Conversion rates for non-digital touchpoints, such as product samples
  • Categorizing customers by similar behavior patterns

There are, of course, a number of concerns regarding customer privacy. For that reason, valuable customer Personally Identifiable Information (PII) should be kept on a secure cloud computing service integrated with your store’s network, as to prevent hackers from easily accessing it.

Personalizing the Customer Experience

Once armed with analytics and data associated with specific customers, retailers are capable of more direct, personalized marketing and engagement. A customer who is recognized can be immediately given a few offers for products that they might be interested in purchasing or informed of any changes in the store’s layout that might otherwise confuse them.

Is an item the customer frequently purchases not in stock? Let them know right away using the facial recognition kiosk – and display options for placing an order through your BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In Store) program, or suggest alternatives before the customer searches fruitlessly and becomes frustrated.

Who Benefits From Facial Recognition Technology in Retail?

Though a customer may initially be skeptical or even reject the idea of facial recognition technology in the retail space, there is enough historical data to show that this next step in retail tech is all but inevitable. Consumers value convenience over privacy, and as long as there is a clear upside, they will almost always favor the path of least resistance – in this case, utilizing the facial recognition technology.

The technology is already in place in several restaurants across the US, and those locations are by no means struggling for business. Even the novelty of the technology is enough to attract new customers.

If you want to be the first among your competition to roll out the next step in retail convenience, facilitating the rollout can be a complex process that puts a heavy burden on your IT staff. A technology partner can help you deploy your new additions to your retail experience, in addition to helping avoid disruption of your current stores’ retail environments.

If you want to learn more, simply fill out the contact form or book an appointment to the right.