Using digital signage and AI in the age of Covid
How businesses have adapted their digital signage use during the pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on retail and QSR operations. There have been countless new sanitary measures put in place, and regulations can vary wildly between countries and regions. Not surprisingly, these regulations are impacting both management and employees, as staff members are reassigned to perform tasks that fall outside their normal duties.
This might explain why we see so many digital signage screens repurposed and moved near storefronts or at points of entry. In most cases, these screens are meant to inform visitors and promote the use of face masks as people enter the premises.
As the Covid-19 situation continues and with no end in sight, stores and restaurants are investing in new digital signage screens specifically for this purpose. Screens are popping up everywhere to help businesses as they deal with changing health and safety protocols, reminding people to socially distance, and wear masks during their visits.
Automating visitor access
The pandemic is forcing businesses to assign more resources to access control duties. Employees are being asked to regulate store traffic by greeting visitors and counting people as they enter and exit the premises. Many employees can end up reassigned depending on the number of entrances to monitor and the level of foot-traffic. This has let businesses to hire additional staff or increase work shifts, leading to higher operating costs and affects profit margins.
Technology to the rescue
Computer vision and digital signage have become hot commodities during the pandemic. Combined, they provide an efficient and cost-effective way to manage site occupancy and enforce local sanitary rules.
Computer vision uses hardware (PCs, cameras) and software to scan and count visitors, while digital signage screens deliver live information as people line-up and wait. Screens show the number of people who are currently in the store, and they display the number of people who can enter when occupancy levels permit. Warnings and notices can also be shown when someone approaches an entrance without a face mask or when the maximum number of occupants has been achieved.
To make each shopper’s wait more pleasant and useful, screens can be programmed to display topical content such as local news or ads featuring on sale items.
With computer vision and digital signage handling all visitor access and control duties, staff can resume their normal duties, like assisting shoppers or ringing-in sales.
Using screen-based messaging for a better shopping experience
The pandemic has affected everyone both mentally and physically. In many cases, people have been confined for many weeks and are longing for social interaction.
Many have turned to e-commerce for their daily shopping and restaurant take-out/delivery needs, but not everyone is willing to sit and wait for their purchase to be delivered. It’s why people are still driven to go out and shop, as long as they aren’t under a lock-down or curfew.
Retailers can leverage digital signage and related technologies to help shoppers complete their errands faster and safer.
- Screens clearly indicate product locations on screens near the front of the store.
- They include safety policies and sanitary rules in their content programming.
- Their content uses clean designs that are easy to read with fewer words for clarity.
- They deploy touch-screens with interactive maps of their stores so shoppers can find what they need quicker.
Modernize your HR message delivery
Digital signage and modern communication techniques help staff members deal with added stress levels during the pandemic.
- Install screens in common areas and lunchrooms so they can display safety updates and deliver motivational/uplifting content to staff members.
- Keep associates informed about the latest sanitary standards and requirements.
- Promote mandated safety protocols and describe proper disinfection techniques.
- Highlight best practices.
- Recognize employee milestones.
- Improve staff engagement with success stories and positive messaging.
The Covid-19 crisis affects everyone but we can all befit from better and more meaningful communication.
Retailers and restaurant operators can rely on QL Player access control
Navori Labs is a pioneer in digital signage and computer vision technologies. At the onset of the pandemic, the company released its own AI-powered computer vision software, which can count visitors and deliver important safety information to visitors. The product is called QL Access Control, and it is available now.
QL Access Control can perform 3 critical tasks:
- Monitor and count the number of visitors entering and exiting a building from multiple access points.
- Determine if a visitor is wearing a face mask regardless of its material or pattern.
- Display visual information in real-time, such as the number of occupants, number of people who can enter, and display a customized warning if someone isn’t wearing a face mask when interfaced with Navori’s QL powered digital signage screen network.
QL Access Control will free your staff so they can get back to their regular duties.