By: Wayne Jared
It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of retail merchandise shrinkage can be attributed to shoplifting and theft, costing retailers as much as $15 billion annually. In a challenging, ever-changing retail environment, it’s more important than ever for retailers to find innovative solutions to tackle enormous margin-eaters, like theft, in order to create operational efficiencies and protect their bottom line.
Take a Proactive Approach to Loss Prevention
Loss prevention professionals play a vital role in the profitability and success of their retail organizations by protecting company assets, minimizing and preventing merchandise shrinkage, reducing fraud and preventing theft. Loss prevention teams have access to powerful tools that enable them to proactively prevent loss before it happens and have an even greater impact on company success and profits.
Retailers and loss prevention teams who take a holistic view of business operations can quickly detect facility vulnerabilities, prevent product spoilage and waste and identify fraudulent transactions and errors. They can aggressively identify vulnerable merchandise displays and entrances and exits that may be enticing to thieves and then recommend changes to immediately reduce risk of theft. Leveraging the power of video and data integration makes all of the above opportunities not only possible but affordable and relatively simple to implement.
Identifying Theft in Real Time
Return on investment for loss prevention solutions relies on the ability to detect potential fraudulent transactions as they happen and stop theft before it happens, or to successfully investigate the crime after the fact.
Mid-sized retail businesses, including grocery and convenience stores and sports bars with multiple transaction points, have to manage inventory, shift changes and personnel, which also may mean more shrinkage risk. Oftentimes, retail managers don’t reconcile their transactions until the end of day, only to discover an increase by 10 to 15 percent in exception-based transactions such as returns, refunds, no sales or voids. At that point, how can these businesses ensure that there were no fraudulent transactions? A better way for retail managers to monitor transactions and suspicious activity is to generate real-time notifications of events directly to their PC or mobile device.
What if they had the ability to be notified when a fraudulent exception transaction happened in their store? Better yet, what if they had all the information and the video in reference to the transaction to access immediately, and had the power to effectively handle matters of shrinkage and stop theft in the act before cash could get out the door undetected? Video and data intelligence solutions that offer a powerful notification engine empower retailers to prevent theft, in real time.
Harness Business Intelligence to Increase Profitability
The convergence of disparate technologies provides retailers and loss prevention teams with some of the most powerful business intelligence tools in the company. Combining raw video, data from back-office systems and video analytics to gain a visually integrated dashboard of their business can provide an accurate forensic view of business performance. Managers already have the equipment in place to observe shoppers and employees, and because LP teams monitor what happens at the checkout, the same data can be leveraged to bolster operations, improve customer loyalty, deter theft, protect the bottom line and increase top-line revenue.
Retail managers and loss prevention teams can use the power of video and data combined to confidently tell the complete story of what happened in their stores. Until recently, the surveillance cameras used for loss prevention were simple recording devices and were unable to provide an intelligent analysis of events in a retail setting. Combining data and video intelligence provides retailers with the ability to detect whether a certain event is ordinary or significant, verify the event with video for validation and prevent undesired activity.