In the rapidly evolving retail sector, businesses are continually seeking innovative ways to gain a competitive edge, increase efficiency, and enhance the customer experience. One technology that’s making a significant impact is computer vision, especially when coupled with the power of AI with hyperscalers like Microsoft Azure.

Almost every week now, there are new advancements in AI that has the potential to improve business operations and bring automation to a new level. It is almost impossible to keep up with all the innovation for retailers, let alone how to implement these. Building an end-to-end solution in computer vision generally also involves several hardware and software components. Putting all the pieces together at multiple locations can be a daunting challenge for any retailer. But there are some major upsides if solutions can be deployed at scale using the combination of cameras and the right AI tools.

Enhanced Security

Computer vision can enhance security measures. It can help in finding suspicious activities, identify unauthorized access, and even recognize specific objects.

Real-time Analytics

Retailers can leverage real-time analytics to make data-driven decisions. Computer vision can analyze video streams for customer behavior, product interaction, and store traffic patterns. This real-time data can help businesses optimize store layouts, improve product placements, and boost overall sales.

Inventory Management

Use Computer vision technology to monitor stock levels on shelves and alert staff when there is a need to restock. This not only optimizes inventory management but also ensures that customers can always find what they’re looking for.

Efficient Checkout Processes

Computer vision can also facilitate faster, more efficient checkout processes. For instance, it can analyze congestion at the checkout, helping store operational teams reduce the time customers spend waiting in line.

Combining edge and cloud

To enable scaling, Cisco Meraki MV cameras are built with the capability to run AI models directly at the edge. Using Microsoft Azure, these models can be trained and developed in the cloud and insights created with support from AI. The combination of Meraki simplicity, and the power of Azure AI, has torn down major barriers of adoption.

By leveraging these capabilities, retailers can harness the power of computer vision without the need for significant hardware investment. Moreover, the scalability of cloud solutions means that as the business grows, the technology can easily grow with it. Retailers can not only improve their operational efficiency but also enhance the customer experience, leading to increased sales and growth.

The collaboration between Cisco Meraki and Microsoft has resulted in an impressive showcase of how to combine cloud computing and computer vision to deliver powerful solutions. Building a computer vision solution end-to-end has never been easier.

You can find the complete step-by-step guide and a video that showcases these building blocks and read more about analytics on MV Smart Cameras.

If you happen to be at NRF’24 in NYC on January 14-16th, please

come by the Cisco booth 5639 and meet with us to learn more.


Andreas Nordgren

Business Development Leader, Meraki IoT

Cisco Meraki