Deep North, the AI-enabled platform provides software solutions and analytics to empower teams to achieve business results in their physical environments. The company uses any video security system to give an unprecedented line of sight to your store, the impact of staffing, merchandising, customer journey, store layout, and queue management. Intelligent Video Analytics give you deeper visibility and more accurate data on how your business is performing in real-time. The company currently has a presence in the UK, Germany, Sweden, the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. During an interaction with Nitisha; Azhaan Merchant, SVP of Strategy & Business Development, Deep North talks about digital platforms and AI-Based Applications for Retail.
Kindly talk about Deep North and its special offerings.
Deep North’s end-to-end software solution combines artificial intelligence with computer vision to help retailers and a business digitize and analyze behavioral metrics in the physical world and gives them tools to act upon these insights. Deep North’s proprietary entity detection platform enables our customers to derive behavioral insights such as store footfall, queue wait times, and conversion through our custom dashboards. We work with a wide range of Global 2,000 customers in sectors such as Fashion Retail, Supermarkets, and Shopping Malls.
How do you differentiate Deep North from other AI companies?
What sets us apart from our competitors is that we don’t use any facial recognition technology – our entity detection algorithms are skeletal-based tracking and therefore preserve each individual’s identity. However, at the same time, we have developed a patented re-identification algorithm where we divide an individual’s skeletal into 124 vectors – this unique combination of vectors is then stored as a hash code in our cloud database. Using this, we can re-ID someone across several cameras and stitch their journey across the entire retail store in a completely privacy-compliant manner. This gives complete visibility on the shopper journey from entry to exit rather than just analysing behaviour in from a single point of view.
Kindly explain the Evolving Landscape of AI-Based Applications for Retail.
Traditional retail has to be seen in the context of the rise of online Retailers and an increasing tech fluent customer base. A clear imperative for retailers is to use AI to understand shopping behaviors much like an online retailer understands browsing behaviors on a website. Shopping behavior might entail anything from how long a customer has to wait in a line all the way to the shopper’s complete in-store path-to-purchase. Without this type of information, brick-and-mortar retail will find it harder and harder to compete.
Increasingly, computer vision is an emerging field that has got impetus with the rapid advancement in GPU processing in the last few years. Leveraging existing CCTV footages, Computer vision services a broad range of use cases including shopper analytics, safety, maintenance, event marketing. Computer vision and AI can also play a key role in fighting retail shrinkage. We foresee enterprises embracing computer vision to deliver personalized service, convenience, and other engagement factors to drive purchases and loyalty.
Kindly talk about the usages of data analytics and understanding the True Omnichannel Experience for Customers.
Brands and Retailers know that it’s imperative to provide omnichannel experiences. This requires organisational thrust and digital transformation to ensure consistent customer experiences across all online and offline touch points. After all, it takes only one unpleasant customer experience to attract negative publicity.
While the online experience can be calibrated by the brand, the offline is a whole different ball game. The store managers, staff, and executive team need to be empowered in terms of real-time information, alerts and A/B testing feedback. Metrics cannot be limited to mere footfall counting. By leveraging the emerging tech, additional metrics such as demographics, dwell time, queue length, line abandonment, shopper journey etc. can be used in weekly meetings to assess/improve the in-store customer experience on a much more granular level.
What are your future marketing strategies?
We want to educate enterprises on the value of data that is locked up in their physical environments. To do this, we are present at leading trade shows, speaking on panels, and are working with our existing clients to write whitepapers on how they benefit from our video analytics solution.
How have AI and IoT changed digital platforms?
AI and IoT have started to push the frontiers of innovation in digital platforms by unlocking access to different streams of data. This has resulted in enterprises competing in certain areas while discovering niche in others. Data is allowing platforms to deliver personalized services to users, spot trends, and optimize services. However, while enterprises seek data, it is important that they efficiently aggregate all of their data sources into a single business intelligence platform that they can incorporate it easily into their daily workflow.
Any upcoming projects? Kindly explain.
We are doubling down our efforts in South East Asia and the Middle East with our respective channel partners True Digital and BitS Arabia, We are also expanding our core use cases from shopping centres and big box retail to QSR, Airports and Warehouses by building case studies with anchor Fortune 500 brands in each vertical.