Wireless stores carry some very expensive items that need to be protected from shoplifters and dishonest employees. This means that retailers are always searching for technology to mitigate the risks of theft and fraud. But there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so retailers are looking for innovative, cutting-edge technology like surveillance combined with video analytics in order to address the challenges that lay ahead.
This means that retailers have come to rely on solution providers with proven track records in the loss prevention industry. Retailers have at their disposal effective solutions based on proven technology to help mitigate the risk of retail loss. But are retailers asking the right questions in regard to loss prevention?
Here are six of the top reasons that wireless retail providers should invest in quality, proven loss prevention technology.
- The Nature of Wireless Devices. The fact of the matter is that stealing a smartphone isn’t like stealing a car. For the most part, thieves who target electronics don’t need special training, skills, technology or assets in order to steal a device. In fact, the majority of the more than 27 million shoplifters in the United States aren’t even professional criminals. They are simply flawed human beings who happen to see a crime of opportunity and simply pocket an iPhone or a set of headphones and walk right out.
- Cameras Affect the Psychology of Shoplifters. This trend is about more than simply putting up cameras. Enhanced public view monitors—think of the large video displays you can see at the entrances to big-box stores like Target, Wal-Mart or Best Buy—have been used at entrances and other high-traffic destinations throughout stores for years. However, loss prevention specialists are starting to see retailers adding small monitors at shelf-and-eye level in high theft areas. This is a technique that works particularly well for wireless retailers. When people are walking by, these more advanced monitors can play commercials or other media, but when a customer stops at the area, the monitors can switch to a split-screen view that adds the camera live feed with a red “recording” button flashing. Potential thieves who see that they are the star of the show are much more likely to move on to an easier target well away from your store.
- Humans Aren’t Perfect. One of the biggest risks for you as a wireless retailer in terms of loss prevention is simply the people that are in your store. Your salespeople can make simple mistakes. A gap in your loss prevention technology can encourage potential thieves (who may not be actively targeting your store until that moment) to take advantage of a perceived breach in your security net. But by integrating video surveillance with analytics, you can do a lot of things better in terms of managing your wireless retail operation. In the first place, you can simply monitor your store and figure out where and how people move through your store and find not only ways to reduce loss but also how to market and highlight your products. Secondly, you can monitor each and every point-of-sale transaction to determine whether unusual transactions are simply due to human error, which can be addressed, or whether a more sinister scheme to defraud your retail operation is underway.
- Loss Prevention Specialists Ask Different Questions. It is very important to consider your options when choosing a loss prevention technology provider. One concept that many wireless retailers fail to realize is that loss prevention specialists may ask different questions that are crucial to your wireless operation’s security. You may simply want to know what a video surveillance system is monitoring. But a quality loss prevention specialist will want to know whether your sales employees can recognize the difference between a fraudulent transaction and a legitimate purchase. A loss prevention specialist will also be aware of cutting-edge trends in loss prevention, such as new ways to scam reportedly foolproof systems like Apple Pay.
- Video Analytics Offer A Wealth of Data. Over the past few years as video surveillance technology has improved, video analytics have become critical to the security of wireless retail operations. Retailers now have access to much more than video recordings with data such as traffic counts, conversion rates, sales data, video recognition and point-of-sale exceptions, all in real time. Never before have wireless retailers had such comprehensive access to so much information as to who is in their store, when, and what they purchased. By knowing how many people are in the store at a given time, managers can also add more staff at the times they know the traffic in the store is highest.
- The Bottom Line. By using innovative new technologies and capitalizing on the technologies retailers already have implemented, loss prevention can really prove to be a cost-saver for a wireless retailer and a time-saver for its personnel. This can only help improve the bottom line and help wireless retailers and their employees achieve retail success, better serve customers, and do more business.