Maintaining safety and security in a retail store is a constant challenge. You never know when a robber is going to walk through the door and demand the cash register, or when an unscrupulous employee is going to sneak out with a hefty amount of your supplies. There are risks present, both internally and externally. So as a business owner, what can you do to keep your store safe and secure?
This is where modern tech solutions come in. While traditional safety measures are still necessary, technology applications add ease and efficiency.
Here are some of the best tech solutions that can help make your retail store safer and more secure:
1. Door access control
Even if you run a small retail store, door access control can be beneficial. Access control systems, when combined with traditional security measures, protect your business premises (and everything in it) from theft. Moreover, these systems prevent unauthorized movement of employees in certain areas, thus preventing pilferage or other questionable activities.
There are several methods of authentication that you can choose for your access control point. You can use barcode scanning for employee IDs, magnetic strips for both cards or IDs, or biometric access for unique features of an individual employee (e.g., fingerprints, faces, irises, etc.) With this system in place, you can track who went inside a particular area and at what time. When there is an incident, you can quickly pinpoint the employee accountable.
2. Video technology
Video management systems have gone beyond just recording videos from retail store cameras. Today, so many functions improve the safety and security of a business and the people in it.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, retailers are using video technologies to maintain physical distancing and avoid overcrowding in their stores. An important function is people counting, wherein video analytics automatically detect if the maximum number of people in the store has been reached. As opposed to having an employee stand by the entrance to count customers coming in manually, this option is much safer for everyone.
Another useful video technology function is distance detection. When two or more people stand too close to each other, the system will set off an alarm to remind everyone to maintain their distance.
In normal times, on the other hand, video technology can help detect suspicious behavior or “loitering with intent.” Through video analytics, an individual or vehicle that has been in an area for too long can be detected. If something happens, retailers and security companies can detect possible culprits easier.
Apart from ensuring security, this function can also be used for marketing purposes, such as evaluating traffic at the storefront or determining peak times.
3. Safety apps
Safety apps allow business owners to keep up with safety and security management much easier. Since there are a million other tasks that retailers have to take care of, safety apps make management much more straightforward, hence, avoiding subpar safety measures.
With a safety app, you can identify safety hazards, create health and safety checklists, maintain a safety pattern, as well as supplement incident reports–all in the palm of your hand.
4. Inventory robots
During the pandemic, retail workers and other essential employees are more at risk to the virus. To decrease their exposure, some stores are using inventory robots.
Inventory robots can audit inventory through cameras and machine learning. Among its abilities are scanning prices, availability, and product location. Thus, it can alert you if a product is misplaced or a shelf is out of stock. Apart from streamlining operations, this type of technology helps reduce employees’ exposure to aisles and customers, thus increasing their safety against the virus.
5. Anti-push out systems
Some thieves try to walk out of a store with a cart full of items. Unfortunately, they succeed when the staff isn’t paying attention, or they look entirely inconspicuous. With an anti-push out system, however, the cart itself will lock its wheels when it crosses a certain perimeter without going through the check-out.
This type of technology uses wires and lock-up mechanisms in the carts. Wires are embedded in the store’s doors or placed underground around the store parking lot. When the system detects that the cart has not gone through check-out, it will lock up automatically, deterring the thief from taking the items (or at least not everything in the cart). Chances are, they will be noticed trying to pull the cart, and will be easier to spot and apprehend.
Theft, pilferage, sabotage–these are some of the many risks that retail stores face every day. Instead of being reactive, however, use modern technology to supplement the safety and security measures you already have in place. With modern tech, the risk of loss is reduced much more efficiently.