Loss prevention continues to be a major concern for retailers. Thieves steal over $44 billion in merchandise from American retailers every year. While most merchants take basic precautions to reduce in-store theft, it’s no longer enough to mitigate this mounting issue. As the retail industry becomes more and more digitalized, the security demands for brick-and-mortar locations are changing. If retailers want to protect themselves against the growing threat of shrinkage in this tech-savvy marketplace, it is imperative that they stay up to date with the latest security advancements.
To protect against employee theft, shoplifting, and other forms of shrinkage, merchants must have a loss prevention strategy in place. A successful loss prevention strategy starts with a clear understanding of the current security trends in the retail space.
Embedded RFID Technology
Radio frequency identification (RFID) is a tracking technology that uses small, signal emitting tags that are uniquely associated with the specific product in which they are applied. Once a merchant has applied the tag to a product, an electronic scanner uses radio signals to read or track the tag in real-time. When correctly implemented, RFID technology can help retailers prevent losses throughout various stages in the supply chain and prevent theft and misplaced products in-store.
Retailers can attach these tags immediately after manufacturing, tracking each item as it moves through the supply chain to prevent losses during the distribution process. When implemented in-store, it gives retailers the ability to locate items and ensure merchandise is in the right place, at the right time. By remotely scanning shoppers as they exit the store, RFID technology can reveal if anyone is leaving with stolen items. Not only will the tag trigger an alarm, but it will also inform the retailer which specific item has been stolen so store personnel can retrieve the item or, if necessary, adjust inventory records to reflect the loss. As the cost of RFID technology becomes more affordable, it becomes an increasingly cost-effective solution for decreasing theft.
If appropriately used, point-of-sale systems can be extremely helpful in reducing employee theft. Most modern POS systems allow businesses to set user permissions to enable or restrict certain tasks from being performed. This ensures that each employee who logs into the system has access to only what they need to do their job and perform only authorized tasks. Because these systems monitor each employee and their transactions, it gives you the resources to hold employees accountable for their actions, reducing the likelihood of employee theft and dishonest transactions.
IP and Cloud Managed Digital Solutions
With today’s cloud storage capabilities and interoperability, retailers have complete access to all the video and analytics they need, no matter where they are. Without these technologies, loss prevention personnel had to be in store to conduct audits, verify POS exceptions, and review alarm conditions. But with the use of cloud technology, they have access to all that information and more and can review it live with a store manager without being on location.
Inventory Management Tools
Keeping track of your inventory is critical to loss prevention. Poor stock control leads to misplaced products and unchecked discrepancies. To gain a clear understanding of what’s happening to your products, you need an effective inventory management system that can conduct frequent and partial stock counts. This software can track your products reliably so that you know what’s being lost and how often. By cross-referencing your software records against your manual counts, you can uncover any discrepancies that might exist. Retailers can also use the information gathered to create inventory reports, identifying high-risk signs or areas in your store that need attention.
It’s essential for retailers to take proactive steps to ensure honesty and integrity of inventory. By keeping up with the latest advancements in this field, business owners can prevent crime and keep their company, stock, and employees safe. To learn more about security solutions and to stay up to date on current trends in the retail environment, explore our blog or follow us on Twitter!