Tech solutions can help deter retail theft this holiday season


The holidays are fast approaching and in the air there is a feeling of purchases.

This holiday season, experts predict more consumers will turn to brick-and-mortar stores for the in-person experience they’ve been missing out on due to COVID-19. In addition to preparing for an influx of shoppers, brick-and-mortar stores today face a growing threat of shoplifting.

New data from the United States Chamber of Commerce finds that 56% of small retail businesses have experienced store theft in the past year, and half of retailers say the problem increases during the holiday season. To combat the rise in theft and protect customers, employees and valuables, here are technology solutions that can help retailers create a safe and enjoyable holiday shopping environment.

Video security cameras with built-in analytics detect incidents

Video security cameras have received significant improvements in quality and added functionality to provide greater visibility and insight into activity throughout the store. They capture high quality video and monitor the premises at all times, even after hours.

Analytics built into video cameras help detect potential threats and through the use of advanced analytics, video security cameras can increase the productivity of security personnel, while making surveillance more effective.

Video security cameras are commonly found in retail and are one of the most effective tools for catching thieves. They can identify and detect the movement of a person near a register, entrances, high traffic areas and even a door or window when the store is closed, then send an alarm to the operations center security or devices for real-time response.

Video security solutions are available on-premises or in the cloud. On-premise is installed locally, on the store’s computers and servers, while the cloud software is hosted on a third-party vendor’s server and accessed through a web browser. The cloud is a great option for retailers to minimize a system’s physical footprint, lower the cost of deployment, and simplify long-term maintenance.

Access control systems protect high value goods and assets

Today’s access control systems offer more advanced capabilities and functionality than just letting people pass.Advanced systems include real-time data and access notifications for store managers and reduce response times when alerted to incidents.

These systems offer remote management capabilities to enable administrator access from anywhere via cloud-based platforms, emergency lockout capabilities, and integration with other technology solutions such as security cameras. video security.

Theft of targeted or high-value goods from the storage room can be reduced by restricting access to authorized personnel. For example, by placing high-end merchandise like designer handbags, shoes and jewelry in a specific, secure area with access control solutions, managers can be alerted to an attempted theft and view video footage for details.

The bustle of holiday shopping and an emphasis on providing attentive customer service can mean that a door to a back office, dock or storage room is accidentally left open, where additional goods and valuables are stored. Access control systems will automatically trigger a notification to staff radios for the door to be closed to prevent theft from occurring.

Radio devices connect associates

Retailers rely on push-to-talk radio devices for instant and reliable group communications between different teams and departments for store safety, staff efficiency and customer service. For example, when dealing with an angry customer, employees can use radios to immediately notify their managers and team members that they need help.

In other cases, shoplifters may create a diversion, such as starting an argument with an employee, while their accomplice is stealing merchandise. Team members dealing with a difficult customer at any time can use radio devices to call for help.

POS systems integrate with video security cameras

The theft can also be internal. The most common way employees steal products is to hide them in personal items or trash cans and then retrieve them from the dumpster. Another common example of theft is colluding with a customer by voiding transactions at checkout, but still placing the items in bags.

Integrating point-of-sale (POS) systems with video security cameras allows store managers to easily access and review specific transactional data by date, time or cashier, see what is happening every location, including customer interactions, and eliminate potential internal fraud. Managers can simultaneously review transaction data and associated video footage to confirm suspicions and mitigate future losses.

Body-worn cameras defuse violent situations

Body-worn cameras can deter unruly behavior and provide insight into incidents when the holidays aren’t so joyful and bright. Employee body-worn cameras are a powerful deterrent to abuse and can help prevent stressful situations from escalating. When they do, video provides objective evidence.

It’s the “happiest season” of all

What should be the most wonderful time of the year, even for retailers, is often stressful due to an increased risk of theft and violence against employees. Technological solutions are a crucial step forward for retailers who are confronted with security risks on a daily basis.

To go further, the integration of often compartmentalized solutions offers increased advantages. For example, access control devices can detect when a dock door is open, sending an alert to employee radios and allowing them to pull video camera footage to determine if any incidents have occurred. venue.

When body-worn cameras are activated during a confrontation with a disgruntled customer, the live video feed can display on a video management system and automatically notify security personnel or supervisors.

Installing and integrating technology solutions allows retailers and their employees to focus on delivering exceptional customer service without worrying about safety and security for a happier holiday shopping season.

Sharon Hong is Vice President of Enterprise Technology, Motorola Solutions

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