How Your Existing Security Cameras Let You Create a Digital Twin of Retail Stores
September 27, 2022
As brick and mortar moves closer towards a customer experience centric future, understanding what goes on in our physical stores has become more important than ever before.
A digital twin is a live virtual representation of real world physical spaces. Real world sensors collect a variety of key statistics and data on a space. This data can then be input into a processing system to generate simulations and business insights that can be reapplied to optimize the physical space.
Using digital twins enables managers to achieve goals and unique outcomes impossible without a digital model. They enable you to better visualize how real world assets connect with real world data and allow businesses to understand the past, view the present, and prevent future problems.
From informing decision making for sales and marketing to simulations and predictions for ops in store layout, digital twins are the future of how we approach retail.
Lowe's has been exploring digital twins to model their retail stores in detail to greatly improve customer experiences by keeping inventory in stock, optimizing layout, and better understanding foot traffic data.
Lowe's associates gain superpowers that were previously only available to ecommerce storefronts.
The barrier to entry for implementing digital twins has dropped. Retailers no longer need fancy, dedicated devices to understand what's happening in their stores.
In fact, it's as simple as using the existing sensor technology that every retailer already has. They already every every important part of your store, are perfect sensors that collect massive amounts of visual data, and are already being used daily.
These sensors are the security cameras you already own.
Target is already using their existing security cameras alongside AI image recognition to generate a better understanding of their stores and drive actionable outcomes.
They were not only able to build a visual understanding of where and how people shop in their stores, but automate functions that saved thousands of man hours and millions of dollars.
With the infrastructure already set in place, Target now has the capability of expanding even further. By exploring how to use the same model with other solutions like inventory management, shortage, compliance, and safety, Target has taken a leap in creating future focused technology that goes above and beyond in enhancing the guest experience.
Digital twins are a new and complex topic, here are some of the most common misconceptions and the facts:
Digital twins are expensive
Digital twins are too advanced and time consuming
Digital twins are only used by engineers and data scientists
Digital twins exist to just provide good looking data
With digital twins simpler to implement than ever before, retailers are digitizing the real world using sensors as simple as their existing security cameras. With these they can bring the power of digital analytics to the real world for all kinds of tasks. It's become clear that digital twins and a digital understanding of our physical spaces is how we will make decisions moving forward into the digital future.
The question is, are you taking the steps that keep you ahead?