Sharpening Tools for Retailers to Take on Loss Prevention
- October 31, 2023
Shrinkage—lost inventory due to theft, cashier error and other common factors—is one of the biggest problems retailers face, and reducing it is a top priority. In 2022 alone, U.S. retailers lost almost $100 billion to shrinkage.1 In fact, retailers lose nearly 2% of their total sales annually to product loss,2 a significant number given the narrow margins within which they operate. Already squeezed by increasing customer expectations and competition from online retail giants, some retailers have been turning to technology to reduce the impact of lost inventory, and they’re finding it in the form of AI-enabled retail data analytics.
In a recent Forbes article about retail data and automation, Dell Technologies’ Tom Wallen noted that “successful retailers today are those who can capture, analyze and act upon customer data with agility.”3 For retailers looking to use data to proactively address product loss, that means gaining immediate, actionable insights from events happening in the store. The ability to collect, interpret and act on this data in a split second requires near-instant data collection at the edge, fast computing and a network that can pull it all together in real time.
That’s why Dell and Cox, the largest private broadband company in the United States, have teamed up to offer Cox Computer Vision for Retail Analytics, as the edge cloud provider. The solution combines the extensive fiber-powered networks of Cox, a cutting-edge AI analytics platform from EPIC iO and Dell’s industry-leading compute platform4—all in an easy-to-deploy, cost-effective package that brings the power of AI to retail loss prevention.
“The key to reducing shrinkage is the ability to proactively address product loss and immediately respond to profit loss incidents in real time. By harnessing the power of Cox’s fiber-powered network, paired with Dell’s powerful infrastructure, we can bring the cloud right to the storefront and allow retailers to help minimize loss prevention while ensuring lasting customer loyalty. Ultimately, they can remain competitive amidst increasing customer expectations and competition.”
– Josh Sommer, Vice President of New Growth and Development, Cox Communications
Cox Computer Vision translates images and data captured by the retailer’s existing video technology into meaningful information, actionable insights and recommendations retailers can use right away to address inventory loss at its source. The solution uses image classification, object detection, object tracking and other AI capabilities to prevent losses before they occur, while preserving the customer experience. And it does all this using a rugged, compact device that’s about the size of a shoebox—a significant advantage for retailers whose shelf space is one of their most precious resources.
For instance, the solution can detect and alert a supervisor about anomalies such as skipped check-out lines, transactions without customers or label switching in a self-checkout lane. The supervisor can then notify the customers of the issues and ensure a secure customer experience. Retailers can use the solution to spot employee mistakes, alert them to point-of-sale (POS) system errors and more.
The power of Cox Computer Vision for Retail Analytics comes from the unique combination of Dell Technologies infrastructure, EPIC iO’s DeepInsights AI/IoT platform and Cox Communications’ powerful network and managed services. With EPIC iO DeepInsights on Dell’s infrastructure, retailers gain a wealth of benefits, including multi-sensor capabilities, AI, easy integration, a logic engine and visualization.
Cox chose to work with Dell Technologies and focus on retail because of Dell’s deep industry expertise and the breadth of its partner ecosystem, which allows Cox to layer on value-added services to create a complete solution and go to market quickly to address challenges they are hearing from customers.
With the Cox Computer Vision solution, retailers can understand shopping experiences and design strategies to reduce costs and increase store profits. Once the organization has proven the solution in one location, it can replicate templates across its entire physical footprint locally, regionally or nationally, to implement a standardized approach using the same base architecture. The flexibility of the platform allows for customization where store environments or customer demographics vary.
Access best-of-breed AI retail loss prevention technology that scales with your business. With Cox managed service powered by Dell Technologies, you can consume the service with a monthly recurring charge rather than a capital outlay. And once the system is installed and configured, tested and proven approaches deliver value to your company from reduced loss, which can yield significant benefits for your bottom line.
Are you getting the data and insights you need to solve your shrinkage challenge in your retail stores? Learn more about how Cox Computer Vision for Retail Analytics can help.
1 National Retail Federation, “National Retail Security Survey 2022,” https://nrf.com/research/national-retail-security-survey-2022
2 8th & Walton, “Shrinkage (Shrink),” September 20, 2021, https://www.8thandwalton.com/blog/shrinkage/
3 Tom Wallen, “Retail’s New Frontier: Rising Expectations Meet Real-World Challenges,” August 7, 2023, Forbes, https://www.forbes.com/sites/delltechnologies/2023/08/07/retails-new-frontier-rising-expectations-meet-real-world-challenges
4 81% of U.S. Fortune 100 companies use Dell Technologies for their edge solutions. (Source: Dell Technologies analysis of US Fortune 500, July 2022.)