That said, it should be no surprise that retail shrink is on the minds of anyone who has any business selling products from a storefront. This problem is plaguing small businesses everywhere, in a time when small businesses are struggling heavily to survive as it is. However, there is hope to be found in technology being used to secure and monitor storefronts — if you’re willing to use it to its greatest potential.
Electronic Article Security (EAS)
Have you ever accidentally walked out of a store without paying for an item, only to find an alarm system blaring once you leave the doors? That is because the product in your hands probably had an electronic article surveillance, or EAS, tag attached to it. This kind of technology has been around for quite some time, and is still a relevant form of inventory protection in a world where shoplifting is so common.
In case you haven’t seen these kinds of products before, here is how they work: EAS setups usually include an antenna, deactivator, and a tag. The tag is physically attached to the products in question, and the antennas are typically placed at the front door of a storefront. If a shoplifter passes by the antenna while the tag is still attached to the product, an alarm will sound, catching the shoplifter redhanded.
Ideally, for the product to leave the store, the tag must be removed, which can only be done by the clerk at the front desk after it is purchased. Notably, there are other kinds of security tags too, which are designed for different kinds of items, and are not all EAS systems.
Facial Recognition Software
Artificial intelligence (AI) has reached a point now in which it is able to recognize the faces of shoplifters if they choose to enter their previously robbed store. Naturally, this kind of technology is called facial recognition software. IT Media reported that it could reduce shoplifting up to 40%.
The way it works is with an AI-ran camera, which notices suspicious behavior from a shopper and alerts a security system. If the person ends up being a shoplifter and gets away with it, then the system can be programmed to recognize their face the next time they enter the store, as many shoplifters are repeat offenders.
Unfortunately, this technology is still in its infancy stage. Additionally, it isn’t widely affordable either, and there are concerns of glitches in the system identifying the wrong people. However, as facial recognition software develops, so does the potential for store security in the future.
You have probably experienced this next kind of technology through the USPS or other mailing systems. If you order products online very often, then you’re definitely familiar with it. Retail stores are starting to use it for high ticket items.
The system in question is that of GPS trackers. They are making headway in retail by stopping theft from employees while an order is in transit. Many shoplifters are employees themselves, after all.
With these GPS trackers, stores can find unlawful interception to the transportation of their big-ticket items. Hopefully, they will also weed out unfaithful employees in the process. They can also keep close track of these items when mailing services fail to do their job correctly, should those services still be used in order transportation.
Inventory Management Systems
Implementing inventory management systems to track the intake and output of all products in the store could help businesses track retail shrink more closely. They come in many different forms, and often include elaborate infrastructures that use programs like Square and Quickbooks in conjunction. Effectively, they will track all transactions, adjustments, and stock from each department in your store.
Having everything in one place is incredibly useful for managing your inventory and discovering when something is awry, but it could also be used to tighten up ship as well. For instance, maybe your employees aren’t greeting every shopper at the door and when they leave. If you notice retail shrink in your inventory management system, you can use these numbers to show your employees that little actions like this really do help in the prevention of store theft.
You have heard of store cameras — and you should definitely be using them. But have you thought of hooking those cameras and security systems up with your smart phones? Thanks to recent technology, this is possible!
Using smart technology to monitor your office from a remote location allows you to be notified at the get-go if there is a break-in after hours. When an alarm is tripped, your smartphone will be notified. With this technology, you will be the first to know if someone’s breaking in to your store. Hopefully, it helps you to act fast and make adjustments where need be.
With smart technology and AI being added to the retail security world, shoplifting numbers could soon start to decrease. However, it is notable that the human intention and monitoring of such systems is important as well. If we use technology wisely, we will be able to protect our businesses, incomes, and livelihoods better than ever. As technology advances and these systems improve, hopefully we can put a near-end to shoplifting as we know it