STORES Magazine - December 2014 - (Page 66)

n ANALYTICS Can't Wait Any Longer Surveillance video data helps retailers minimize customer abandonment by LIZ PARKS W aiting in line might be the worst part of shopping at traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers. A new system from Prayas Analytics aims to fix that, using the same video data that loss prevention departments have been gathering for decades. Those in-store surveillance videos provide valuable data about how much time customers are spending in line - and how long they'll wait before giving up and leaving the store, taking their dollars with them. The program is also helping to enhance store operations, particularly when it comes to queues, labor and customer abandonment around the cash register. Loss prevention, which plays a key role in helping facilitate the program, retains control over the video data but gives the program's developers access to it. 66 STORES December 2014 HubBub Coffee, a coffee chain based in Philadelphia, was one of the first retailers to work with Prayas. Management wanted to see how they could optimize lines to minimize wait times. Using data collected around queues and waiting patterns that included a complete summary of customer wait times throughout the day, HubBub learned that waits during high-traffic hours were, on average, 54 percent longer than the rest of the day. These long lines coincided with increased abandonment rates, which reached as Peak traffic wait times at HubBub Coffee averaged 54 percent longer than the rest of the day. high as 34 percent during the busiest hour of the day. Prayas conducted a predictive analysis to determine what the expected wait time would be for various queue lengths. The recurring pattern that emerged was a 64 percent jump in wait times once a queue had more than three customers. HubBub was able to use these numbers to quantify revenue lost in abandonments, says Prayas cofounder Yash Kothari. They were also equipped to make more informed staffing decisions based on daily queue data and projected wait times. Drew Crockett, HubBub's CEO, describes what he calls "the ability to embrace different non-traditional technologies to analyze very traditional businesses like retail" as having "real implications for high-level operational decisions." NRF.COM/STORES http://www.NRF.COM/STORES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - December 2014

Forward Focused
Retail People
Editor's Page
President's Page
Retail Politics
NRF News
NRF Communities Update
End Cap
Business Operations
Inventory Management
Customer Relations
Store Operations

STORES Magazine - December 2014