By: Jesse Davis West March 07, 2019

What is the future of retail? The closure of major chains like Toys R Us and Sport Chalet have led some to claim brick-and-mortar chains are experiencing a retail apocalypse. But in truth, retail chains are simply in the process of adapting to changing buyer behavior and customer demands. What’s occurring is, in fact, a lot closer to a retail renaissance than a retail apocalypse. And while not all retailers can adapt quickly enough to survive, the most innovative retailers are likely to have bright futures.

One of the most hackneyed narratives involves brick-and-mortar retailers losing out to ecommerce sites like Amazon. But the truth is that many of the most successful retailers have online and offline presences. And some of today’s most successful retailers have already implemented ways to combine online and offline experiences. For example, Starbucks’ widely used application empowers consumers to skip lines and pick up their drinks in stores, while simultaneously gamifying the shopping experience by awarding loyalty points.

More and more retail brands are looking to find ways to engage customers with technology. In fact, many of the sharpest minds in the retail industry are hard at work devising innovative shopping experiences that, in addition to mobile applications, will combine technologies such as facial recognition, augmented reality, AI and CRM to create the retail stores of the future.  

Facial recognition will undoubtedly be one of the most important technologies driving future stores. Here are three ways that facial recognition can help future retail stores succeed.

Prevent Organized Retail Crime and Violence

Organized retail crime cost U.S. retailers $30 billion each year, and unfortunately, retail criminals are only getting more aggressive. Loss prevention professionals have a tough job, since it’s nearly impossible to remember the names and faces of all known retail criminals. Fortunately face recognition can help retailers proactively prevent ORC. Our patented alerting system can instantly alert retail security the moment someone enters a store who matches a documented retail criminal. We’ve seen retailers reduce losses by up to 34% as a result of face recognition.  

Facial recognition can also keep stores safer.  Without facial recognition, retail security professionals typically react to crimes in progress. But this has been shown to lead to injuries and even retail deaths.  Face recognition empowers security to take a proactive approach, preventing crimes before they occur. Using FaceFirst facial recognition to identify dishonest customers before they commit crimes has been shown to reduce acts of in-store violence by up to 91%.

Send Meaningful Text Messages

Retailers are great at telling who is shopping in their online stores, but this knowledge often goes out the window when a customer walks into a brick-and-mortar location. Face recognition can improve customer experiences by instantly recognizing VIP customers who opt in. Retailers can send tailored text messages to customers in stores that offer recommendations, discounts and other offers.  

Offer Tailored Assistance in Stores

Face recognition can also be used to send meaningful alerts to store employees. As a result, they can provide far better assistance to customers in stores. Facial recognition can integrate with a wide variety of retail solutions such as CRM, Loyalty systems, point of sale and more. Store associates can therefore gain a wealth of information about customers that can help them do a far better job of providing customer service.  

These are just a few of the ways that facial recognition will help future stores more successful in 2019 and beyond. Reach out to us today if you’d like to see a demo of our facial recognition solutions for retail.