Consumers are now more demanding than ever. They are not only changing what they are buying, but also how they are buying. The transformation has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic—along with the desire for a more practical, convenient, and safe shopping experience. This is especially true when it comes to grocery shopping.
Retailers have had to adapt quickly across the globe to meet these rising demands. It has become a great opportunity to begin digital transformation while simultaneously protecting their businesses from shrink, which was already rising before the pandemic in several parts of the world.
Preference for Self-checkout
Self-checkout is becoming a preferred option for many customers—but 20 percent of people have admitted to stealing merchandise during checkout, making this area a shrink hotspot. It is clear some people may feel it is easier to steal from a machine than from a cashier.
Online and In-store Grocery Shopping
Making sure products are available to buy or pick up in-store is key to a great shopper experience. To support this, selecting technologies and solutions that help retailers have the right products on the shelves with the appropriate staffing is paramount.
But with sales on the rise, shrink is also on the rise. Analysts point out that shrink rates will likely rise in the coming months due to reduced incomes for many.
The good news is that loss prevention solutions can help you advance digital transformation, optimize store operations, and create an enhanced in-store shopping experience.
This translates into cost, time, and labor savings for grocery retailers and employees.
Video remains an area of heavy investment for many retailers globally. This area is rapidly evolving, with new technology giving retailers the ability to move from analog video to connected IP video devices with powerful video management systems (VMS).
These VMS combine traditional video feeds with analytics designed to give retailers actionable insights into common pain points. Video systems can now also integrate with other electronic article surveillance (EAS) solutions and Sensormatic’s Shrink Management-as-a-Service platform to provide visibility into alarm events and more.
The newest cameras feature advanced capabilities in smaller packages, allowing for increasingly unique applications throughout the retail environment. As use of self-checkout areas has increased, targeting shrink at those areas has become pivotal to a store’s bottom line. Retailers are now utilizing cameras that, combined with VMS, can help detect non-scan events at self-checkout kiosks. Retailers are also directing their video investments to keeping their associates and customers safe by installing cameras in exterior and parking lot areas.
The future will see these capabilities continue to rapidly evolve. On the forefront of this new world is artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) with video data. Smart video will help with everything from detecting empty shelves and ordering inventory, to measuring social distancing and improving the quality of customer interactions. Managing the store’s bottom line and gaining insight into how to improve the shopping experience are important reasons why video investments are key for all types of retailing.
Public view monitors (PVMs) focus on asset protection and feature built-in cameras within the monitors, providing a live video of nearby store activity to both shoppers and employees. These PVMs serve as powerful shrink deterrents due to their visibility to potential shoplifters, and deploying PVMs can lead to a measurable drop in theft.
PVMs can also be leveraged to feature advertisements, safety notifications, and other important messaging. Utilizing PVMs for this purpose can introduce new revenue streams to the store.
Facial Detection Technology
Facial detection technology is an emerging field in loss prevention. Special software can be combined with IP camera systems to detect faces, allowing retailers to observe consumer behavior and reduce shrink. In order to implement this type of technology, retailers must gain a thorough understanding of the limitations of facial detection and facial recognition while implementing necessary safeguards to remain compliant with local and national laws.