Retail shrinkage continues to plague retailers of all types and sizes. Implementing the right security video surveillance solution is the necessary first step in identifying and addressing theft. Using a smart video surveillance analytics system can also keep your business profitable by helping you identify what keeps your customers coming back, and your retail locations operating smoothly.
Retail Solution Overview
A $50 Billion Problem
Shoplifting costs the U.S. retail industry a hefty $50.6 billion in 2018*. Even when considering that inventory loss comes from administrative and vendor fraud, nearly 70% of shrinkage is the result of both employee theft and shoplifting. What’s more, in-store sales have the greatest percentage of fraud (42.9%).
While it’s impossible to prevent all inventory loss, the retail and security industries have identified some patterns that could help retailers better identify potential shoplifters. For example, according to a recent study, 60% of known shoplifters were detected entering at least two separate locations of the same retail chain, and 20% entered three or more locations of the same chain. Shoplifters plot their visits during peak hours, when the stores are crowded, and employees are exceptionally busy. Dressing rooms are one of the top areas where shoplifters go to hide merchandise in bags or under clothing. And according to the Loss Prevention Retail Council, 58% of self-checkout shoplifters described stealing from a self-checkout machine as “easy.”
Retail stores have implemented a number of solutions to reduce inventory loss, including adding cameras in more locations, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and requiring employees to actively (and often repeatedly) greet and interact with shoppers. While these solutions provide some risk prevention, they may be limited in overall effectiveness.
How can retailers gather the right data and analysis, and use this information to deter theft?
An Integrated Solution That Not Only Helps to Predict and Prevent Loss, but Also Optimizes Business Functions
Arcules Integrated Video Surveillance and Access Control Service delivers centralized security for loss prevention, as well as business analytics so retail managers and owners can enhance merchandising, optimize staffing, and improve promotions to increase sales.
As a cloud-based unified solution, Arcules eliminates the need for on-premise servers at every retail location and enables owners and managers to remotely view multiple departments and geographic store locations on any web or mobile device, at any time. The Arcules Platform integrates with over 4,000 camera types, so retailers can use their existing cameras and potentially roll out the solution five times faster than on-premise services. Video data is stored locally and then sent to the cloud for easy access, providing an extra layer of security and data protection. As new retail locations open, Arcules makes it easy to add sites while ensuring video monitoring is up and running quickly and efficiently.
Arcules significantly reduces the need for ongoing maintenance, eliminates downtime, and ensures that the latest software is always running without any updating effort from IT staff. And because Arcules is built on the Google Cloud Platform, retailers are ensured enterprise-grade security, advanced cybersecurity, and automatic backup.
Equipped with built-in video analytics to help predict as well as prevent loss, Arcules users have the option to create custom alerts to proactively respond to risks.
For example, heat maps that indicate crowd levels and dwell times in aisles featuring high priced merchandise may trigger an alert. Employees who linger in stock rooms, parking lots, or other areas outside of normal business hours or operational processes may alert managers to possible theft or tampering.
Expanding Video Surveillance to Improve Efficiency and Sales
Retail chains are concerned about more than inventory loss. Their success depends on excellent customer service, effective merchandising, and maximizing online and offline sales opportunities.
Arcules integrates video data with artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver ongoing analytics that improve business operations. Here are a few ways Arcules enables retail management to gather insights and turn data into actions that improve customer satisfaction and increase revenue:
- Reduce long lines at checkout: Customized alerts can be triggered when check out lines become too long, notifying additional staff to attend to customers and keep wait times down.
- Improve merchandising: Heat maps may indicate which aisles and displays are attracting crowds of people; does this correlate with actual merchandise sales? Is there an opportunity to use these insights to design product promotions (mail, digital, in store) to increase sales?
- Efficiently plan staffing: Analyze not only the days of the week, but also peak times of the day when there are spikes in customer traffic in your stores. Efficiently organize staff to accommodate customer service during those days and times.
- Increase store traffic during slow periods: People counting and traffic patterns across days of the week and times of day enables retailers to plan additional promotions to encourage traffic during those slower periods.
- Compare analytics across store locations: Improve merchandising, promotions and inventory management across store locations by analyzing traffic patterns, dwell times, and other integrated analytics enabled by the Arcules Platform.
A respondent in the 2018 NRF’s National Retail Security Survey stated: “…We need more bang for the buck and security alone is one-dimensional. Time to move on from the past.”