Anonymous. Analytical. Awesome: How AVA technology helps clients understand human behaviour

The advances in Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) continue to excite us at Research Strategy Group — and our clients. We can use this as a standalone research technique or alongside more traditional research approaches to understand how people navigate a retail environment and how engaged they are with store displays, signage, promotions, etc.


How does it work?

AVA uses pattern detection to scan the camera’s live video stream for shapes that it detects as a face. When a face is detected, the system logs the age, gender, emotions and length of time spent viewing. Neither the camera nor the software captures an image — they act more as an eye to perceive information from the scene in front of them than a recording device. Nothing in the process identifies an individual, thus it remains totally anonymous.


How can clients use it?

In our most recent retail study, we used AVA to measure the relative success of several in-store displays. We were able to advise our client on how to optimize in-store space, maximize display opportunities and improve sales performance. Within this study we measured:


Opportunities:               The number of people who walked by a display and could have viewed it

Views:                           The number of people who looked at the display

Dwell Time:                    Time spent viewing the display

Emotions:                      Emotion of the audience while viewing the display (as detected by facial expressions)

Demographics:              Age and gender of those viewing the display


Upon completion of the study we made recommendations to our client to:

  • Rearrange store display configurations to ensure high value displays were positioned to maximize viewing opportunities
  • Identify underperforming displays and provide direction on how to make them more engaging to customers
  • Better maximize highly viewed displays to ensure consumers were aware of key store promotions.


If you want to know more about Anonymous Video Analytics (AVA) and how to use this technology, please contact Amy Knowles (Senior Vice President) at