By implementing product recognition capabilities in your store, you can unlock a large number of improvements in your store operations and customer experiences. Your annual counting and cycle counting can be completed faster. Automated shelf monitoring can alert your staff to low stocks. The omnichannel experience of your website and app customers can improve by informing them about product availability in real-time.
All this is possible in five steps. In implementing these steps, you'll see the many uses of product recognition in your retail environment and the crucial role of computer vision and deep learning in enabling it.
Step 1: Initial Setup — a Deep Learning Pipeline for Visual Search
A visual search engine is at the heart of this entire system because you'll be needing it for every subsequent step.
Step 2: Include Product Recognition in Your Inventory and Stockroom Workflows
With the visual search engine ready, you need to start populating its database with your product images.
The best time to do this is when your staff is adding new products to your inventory management system (IMS). You probably already have some workflow where your staff unboxes the pallets from the warehouse, records product details and SKUs in your IMS, prints out barcode labels, and transfers different products to your stockroom shelves.
Step 3: Add Product Recognition to Your Shelf Cameras
Fixing cameras in your shelf areas enables many features that improve operational efficiencies
Step 4: Equip Your Staff With Easy-to-Use Applications to Manage Product Recognition
In addition to the devices fixed to your shelves, it’s a good idea to incorporate your product recognition system into smartphone apps to help your staff with their work.
Step 5: Improve the Real-Time Shopping Experience for Your Customers
Improvements in your business operations are good reasons to adopt such a system but they pale in front of increased revenues from happy customers. A product recognition system can actually improve the omnichannel user experience of your customers.