Loss prevention is an important, albeit at times daunting, task for retailers. It's hard to have eyes everywhere at all times, and law-abiding customers don't like being treated with suspicion. It's a fine line to walk between preventing thefts and alienating clients with overly intrusive security measures.
As security experts work to help retailers solve this problem, new trends in the surveillance industry are emerging to help retailers cut losses without raising costs.
Less is more when it comes to surveillance cameras
Surveillance cameras are excellent pieces of security equipment, not just for their ability to help track down shoplifters, but to serve as a deterrent to the crime even occurring in the first place. It's certainly easier to prevent a theft from happening in the first place than to go through the trouble of tracking down a shoplifter. People are less apt to take things when they think they are being recorded. That doesn't mean it's time to just go out and install tons of cameras all over the store, however.
According to the National Retail Federation, using fewer cameras of a higher quality may be a better investment than using multiple, low-grade surveillance cameras.
"Deploying HD cameras over cash registers can be a significant deterrent," said Dwayne Healy, Director of Business Development for Retail and Hospitality for Avigilon. "Our retailers are finding the most value by using the cameras and marrying them up with analytics."
Investing in the right high-quality cameras and strategically placing them in locations where would-be shoplifters can see them can be more cost effective for retailers in the long run. High-definition cameras will provide clearer pictures with better details, giving better results than an abundance of cameras that can only give blurry photos.
How biometrics could impact the retail industry
Another growing trend on the retail security front is biometric technology. According to Bloomberg Business News, facial recognition software could make some big changes in retail surveillance methods. For example, people who have been caught stealing from a store before could be better tracked by the security system. If the software can recognize a shoplifter's face when he returns, an alert can be sent to the store's security teams. Facial-recognition equipment sales are in the billions, and many large retailers across the country have already begun making trial plans for introducing these technologies into their stores.
Technology is rapidly changing the ways retailers can provide security for themselves and their customers. From the EMV chips that are equipped to make credit card hacking harder to cameras that can recognize specific customer's faces, new security equipment will help stores keep their losses at bay.
Security equipment and surveillance industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.