May 10th, 2021

Retail Analytics for Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Mandates

Did you know that despite successes with the global COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, mask-wearing and social distancing mandates could still be around for years to come? Basic steps like wearing masks in public and keeping a physical distance from those outside your household are still recommended, even for someone who has received both required vaccine doses, experts say.

These extra layers of precaution should continue because it is not yet definitively known whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to other people, even if you don’t get sick yourself. With the emergence of new strains of the virus, some health officials urge even more precautions related to mask-wearing and social distancing.

In any event, it is safe to say that retail stores and businesses providing face-to-face customer service of any kind should continue to monitor customers’ physical distance and maintain a no mask, no entry policy. But with the strain of a struggling economy and flailing customer spend rates, how are retailers creating safe shopping experiences for their customers while maintaining their bottom line?

They are using Retail Analytics to optimize business processes, enhance customer journeys, maintain physical distance between customers and ensure mask-wearing mandates are met.


How does Retail Analytics Help Implement Social Distancing and Mask-wearing Mandates?

A Retail Analytics Solution from Vemcount uses 3D AI cameras integrated with light detection and ranging technology (LiDAR) to accurately measure the physical distance between people in real-time and detect if people are wearing a mask or not. The metrics are aggregated on a BI Analytics platform and visualized according to customizable KPIs on a user-friendly dashboard that managers can monitor in real-time or set up alerts when the social distance is breached, or no mask is detected. A Retail Analytics solution also aids managers in identifying areas prone to overcrowding or high traffic and keeps a real-time occupancy count for extra precaution.

Let’s have a look at each of these measures in more detail.


Social Distance Measurement and Alerts 

Strategically positioned sensors throughout a building use advanced algorithms to automatically and continuously measure the distance between people. The sensors are also able to distinguish between objects and humans for the most accurate results. The x,y coordinates determine whether the distance is breached, triggering an alert in the form of a message to management or via a live streaming device in the building that displays messages to customers. All of this happens in real-time so that the threat can be immediately minimized.


Mask-wearing Detection and Alerts

The sensors’ 3D imaging and AI capabilities mean they can detect mask-wearing, and even age and gender, with 98% accuracy. When a customer enters a store without a mask, and the sensor picks it up, a customizable alert is triggered and communicated in the same ways as it is for a distance breach. The Vemcount analytics dashboard allows users to customize a written message, display an image or even record a voice note to be communicated to customers in the most appropriate and customer-centric way.


Occupancy Count and Alerts 

The easiest way to minimize crowding is to manage occupancy levels in real-time. The sensors can register an accurate count of every person in the building and as people enter or exit the building. This gives management a bird’s eye view of total occupancy at all times, and alerts them when occupancy limits are reached. This alert could also trigger a traffic lighting system (with a red light for no entry) at the entrance or a message displaying the occupancy count and potential wait time before access is safe.


Crowd Control and Alerts

Heatmap analysis gives an overall view of where people are situated in a building at any given time. Large “hot spots” indicate that a crowd of people is gathered together, and an alert will trigger immediate intervention. Heatmap trends or patterns may also indicate where people tend to dwell in groups and the routes they take through a building, providing insight to management on how to optimize layout or put measures in place to avoid future safety threats.

All of these systems work together continuously and in real-time to ensure that customers and employees are safe and secure in knowing that management cares about their safety. This not only goes a long way in terms of customer satisfaction and the resultant sales conversions, it means potentially saving lives.


Get in touch with us now to find out why Vemcount is the leading COVID-19 screening solution for customer-facing businesses.