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Loss Prevention, Retail, COVID-19

Occupancy Management Insights From Real-World Retail Applications

Team Telaid
20 October, 2020
by Team Telaid
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Telaid and Ocucon recently co-sponsored a webinar introducing an automated occupancy management solution that helps loss prevention (LP) teams add value and tackle new challenges associated with the global pandemic. Presented by the Loss Prevention Foundation, the webinar explored the challenges of occupancy management during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Retailers suddenly face a new set of circumstances, new consumer behaviors, new local regulatory guidelines and new risks. With pressure mounting to provide safe, socially distanced shopping spaces for consumers, retailers quickly identified occupancy limits as one way to ensure distancing and minimize risk of spread of COVID-19. However, occupancy management is a challenge that requires careful attention and precision.

With the Occupi solution successfully deployed in thousands of locations, the feedback is in on the value of this solution and some of the seen and unforeseen applications in different retail environments.

Unexpected benefits

    1. It can handle exceptions – The notion of people counting seems simple enough when you envision shoppers walking into the store, one at a time. However, what about moms pushing children in shopping carts, couples entering holding hands or simply groups of people shopping together? Fortunately, the automated solution can handle exceptions, accurately counting people, even when they enter in groups. In addition, the system understands that if three people walk in together, and capacity is one person, that the store is two people overcapacity. The system then waits until three people exit prior to allowing another individual to enter. This ensures operational consistency without disrupting the customer experience.
    2. Automation avoids conflict – Some employees experienced a great deal of apprehension about serving as the “bouncer” at the door. Upset customers will complain to an employee, but are not as likely respond with aggression to an automated system. In addition, people seem conditioned to respond to red light/green light – it’s easily interpretable and not only increases productivity of human resources, but also minimizes conflict and ensures employee safety.
    3. Increased revenues – In a study of deployed solutions, store revenue increased between 10 and 15 percent after deployment. This increase is attributed to accuracy of the solution, maximizing the total possible number of shoppers in the store at one time. In addition, staff is able to focus on customer service rather than people counting at the door. 
    4. Easily manage peak and opening hours - Typically, the most challenging times to manage occupancy are at store opening and peak shopping times. During these times, the Occupi solution is capable of managing occupancy counts with extreme accuracy and the red light/green light system signals shoppers to form a queue. This can be a more chaotic process when using associates for people-counting.

In addition to learning about unanticipated benefits, retailers also explored innovative applications for the solution including restroom traffic management and traffic management in customer service areas.

This insightful webinar provides insights and learnings from the field. If you are experiencing occupancy management challenges, we urge you to take time to watch this webinar for ideas and best practices.

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