Facial recognition technology is quickly becoming a much-used technology around the world. It harnesses the impressive power of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify the facial features of millions of people. Already 30 of the most reputed brands in the United States are using facial recognition technology in some capacity. While primarily this software has been used in security management, today we are seeing more brands adopt this technology for marketing and sales purposes.
In this article, we explore if facial recognition software can help brands promote and sell their products to customers. Is this really a technology that can improve the effectiveness of promotional campaigns and increase conversions? Or is this a tool that is limited in its scope?
Let’s find out.
1. Facial recognition software can track your shopping movements in the store
When retail stores have facial recognition technology, they can use the software to find out how and what each individual shopper actually shops. By collating video recordings of your activities in the store over time, facial recognition technology can help brands identify shopping patterns. They’ll know what type of products you regularly buy, which brands you like (and which you don’t), and the quantity you consume. They can use this information to change the merchandising in the store in a way that makes your shopping experience more convenient. Plus, they’ll be able to place certain products in your shopping route in the store, stimulating impulsive purchases.
2. Facial recognition software empowers brands to promote products/services to you parallelly online
One of the biggest ways in which facial recognition technology helps brands is that it enables them to run online and offline marketing campaigns simultaneously.
As early as 2012, research showed that many companies harvested prospect information in multiple ways. While regulations like GDPR have tightened data security, there are still ways that customer information – such as social media profiles and content consumption trends – can be accessed by brands. Often, customers themselves give brands permission to harvest this information, by checking the T&C clause or allowing cookies while browsing. Since facial recognition technology uses AI and ML to get its insights, brands will have access to tons of data, including social media information and prospects’ online footprint.
In this way, the software matches the video of the customer available in the physical store, to the buyer’s online profiles. Don’t be surprised if you received a Facebook ad for pulp-free orange juice, a few hours after you visited the store and examined a carton of orange juice without buying it.
3. Facial recognition software can help brands find out your consumption habits and product usage rate
Facial recognition technology can also help brands monitor the frequency of store visits. By checking your previous store visit dates, days and time, and comparing it to the current visit, brands will be able to estimate fairly accurately, how long supplies last you. They’ll have a good idea about when you’ll visit the store next and how long you’ll stay there.
Additionally, brands can use this information to know what products to order and how to stock them in the store, so as to encourage higher purchases.
More importantly, as explored in the previous point, brands can run targeted advertisements or send emailers online with discounts and coupons for products you normally purchase during your visits to the store. Seeing a mail with a coupon for baby diapers, just one day before you visit the store can encourage you to buy more because of the timely deal you’ve received.
4. Facial recognition software will enable store employees to give you more personalized service
Facial recognition technology can also be imperative in the provision of robust in-store customer service. Since the software tracks your purchase frequency and in-store buying routes and habits, the staff in the store can be made aware of how best to assist you. The employees in the store can then make available everything you need and offer timely support, to ensure you have a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.
Facial recognition for customer service can be seen in particular in hotels or other service-oriented businesses. For example, the company can employ this technology to know when a guest checks into the hotel so that the host/hostess knows who they are and welcomes them by name. They can direct their staff to standby with water or other amenities, while also alerting housekeeping, the kitchen, and so on, about imminent requests that the guest may make.
5. Facial recognition software can help companies identify customer attrition
Brands can use facial recognition technology to monitor what products or services a customer buys. They can track which brand these customers are loyal to. Similarly, this software can help companies find out if a customer is about to switch brands and choose a competitor.
In case the brand stands to lose a customer, it can act quickly by retargeting them with offers and promotional schemes. They can even try to offer alternative products or services, which may be to the customer’s liking.
If a company notices that a prospect is about to drop a competitor’s brand, they may use this information to improve in-store merchandising or run online ad campaigns. The timely introduction of their brand can increase the chances of the company acquiring a valuable new customer.
In these ways, we can see that facial recognition software can be an incredibly powerful tool in marketing and sales operations. Companies must actively start to invest in this technology, in order to gain a leg up against competitors.
Tracy is the Design Manager here at Redwood Creative. She’s been designing amazing graphics and web layouts for large and small businesses for upwards of 7 years.