Although consumers are increasingly shopping online, there is still a good number who prefer or choose to purchase some items in brick and mortar stores, especially for clothing and jewelry. Many people still enjoy the experience of shopping and prefer to visit a physical store.
Even as retailers focus their resources on establishing an online presence to attract web and mobile shoppers, as this makes it safer for them to transact online, it’s also important to use new technologies to improve their physical stores’ security. As well, by preventing theft and other losses.
Retail security is important to protect your bottom line. If you make a 10% margin on each sale, then it means that you need to make additional sales worth $1,000 to compensate for every $100 loss, whether it was through employee theft or shoplifting. The value of goods stolen from retail stores adds up to millions per year, making it necessary to address in-store losses with the utmost urgency.
Fortunately, retailers have access to many tools and devices they can use to minimize losses, prevent theft, or catch thieves red-handed, especially if used combined with a well-tailored anti-theft strategy.
Securing your retail store should start outside. Parking lots and their access routes can be dangerous spots for customers arriving or carrying their shopping to their vehicles. To improve exterior security, you should not only provide adequate lighting but also hire patrol officers and employ video surveillance to monitor security in real-time. As well, to record videos to review and investigate any incidents that arise.
There are different types of video cameras that can suit different applications. For instance, embedded video intercoms can allow distressed shoppers to call for immediate assistance from security personnel.
IP-based cameras transmit the video feed for viewing on any computers connected over the network. The feed can also be shared for easier planning on how to handle the situation or investigate a case. If you have CCTV (closed-circuit television), the monitoring team can respond appropriately to manage any threats as they arise.
Your video surveillance cameras should be positioned at all strategic points, including:
Some of the cameras should be mounted at eye-level to give you facial images that can be used for facial recognition software and forensic investigations in the event of theft.
Video cameras are a vital security component for retail stores and should be used both inside and outside the building, in all vital spots. Cameras are a proven deterrent, so ensuring that they’re visible, and even using signage to announce that the shop is being actively monitored can help to prevent most cases of theft.
It’s also important to have at least one concealed video camera with a recorder, so you have the necessary footage to chase criminals if they demand to take your primary recorder. The other option is to have at least one camera that records to the cloud instead of on site as this footage can not be stolen or taken.
Here’re some of the top retail security systems to consider:
This is a common feature in high-end shops, especially those selling fine art or jewelry to control the number of patrons entering. They keep their doors closed, only opening them for customers who have scheduled appointments or have identified themselves via a video intercom.
Customers need to push a button to notify the shop attendants and converse with them about their needs before they can be granted access remotely. You can also integrate network-based video intercoms with a standard security system, such as access control or CCTV, for greater efficiency in your security operations. They can also be fitted with card readers for convenient access control for authorized employees.
These are HD cameras that are strategically placed around your physical store. They’re paired with advanced video analytics software that can be used to identify any suspicious incidents in the store. The system can automatically record and/or send a notification whenever a person or vehicle is detected. This can help when playing back video as you can choose to only view events that detected a person instead of going through the entire day to find what you are looking for.
A good inventory management system is essential for preventing losses in any kind of business that deals with selling physical items. By closely monitoring your inventory through regular stock-taking and monitoring any discrepancies, retailers can significantly reduce inventory theft.
For instance, retailers can employ smart barcode scanners to track their inventory levels. Just as important is managing the number and level of employees who can operate the POS system by applying different user permission levels. This system can allow you to restrict data editing to only top management or certain employees, which helps to improve accountability and makes it easier to track discrepancies.
Many retailers also attach security tags to some of their products, so they trigger an alarm if it’s not deactivated before walking through the electronic sensors at the store exit. These EAS devices come in different tag designs, including spider tags, antennas, labels, etc.
EAS utilizes several technologies, including sensors, electromagnetic technology, radiofrequency, and microwave technology to alert you of theft. Advanced EAS systems can even track some products from the time they’re delivered to your store to the time they’re purchased and leave the store, using RFID technology.
This is a great system for allowing your customers to interact with high-value products, such as mobile phones and laptops, while they’re tethered to your display centre. Depending on the item on display, you can use a security stand that’s mounted on your furniture.
This approach can be used for displaying cameras, smartphones, tablets, and watches, allowing customers to explore their features on the spot. It allows you to designate specific areas for showcasing specific items, with an appropriately trained employee to assist with any questions or customer concerns.
There are other types of merchandising security tools that retailers can use to protect their goods, such as wired grip holders, magnetic holders, and physical cables and locks. This depends on the size, shape, and value of the item you’re protecting.
Some of these tools are integrated with charging ports or electric outlets to help keep your items powered as needed for good user experience. Even basic security tools such as mirrors can be strategically placed around the store to help employees and security personnel monitor a wider area while making potential thieves more conscious of their acts by creating the impression that they’re being watched.
The first step for promoting retail security for your shop should be contacting a professional security solutions provider to discuss the best strategy and layout for your security system that fits your budget. And with knowledge of the above retail security technologies, you have a better idea of what you need to improve your bottom line.