How Retail Stores & Malls Use Video Surveillance
For malls and retail stores, loss prevention plays a key role in effectively maintaining profit margin. Consequently, implementing a retail surveillance system with remote access can be a powerful way to deter theft and catch shoplifting incidents in real-time. Outside of managing inventory, retail security systems can also increase employee productivity and optimize customer shopping experience. In this informational guide, explore the benefits, use cases, and real-life applications of video surveillance for retail security.
Jump to each section to learn more:
• Why Retail Stores Need Video Security
• Benefits of Video Security in Retail Stores
• Must-Haves for Retail Store Security Systems
• Impact of Video Security at Retail Locations
• How does Corporate Retail Leadership use Video Surveillance?
• How do Retail Store Managers use Video Security?
• How do Retail Store Customers Benefit from Surveillance Technology?
• Final Takeaways about Surveillance in Retail Settings
Why Retail Stores Need Video Security
- Remotely Manage Retail Locations: Retail security camera systems with remote access allow managers and store owners to view video feeds from anywhere. This is key to preventing shoplifting and theft that may occur when only loss prevention officers are not looking. Off site monitoring from a computer or mobile device is a key functionality for some video management software
- Reduce Retail Theft: From shoplifting prevention to cases of identity theft, inventory control and management revolves around in-store loss prevention security efforts. While managing internal theft is a critical aspect of retail management, theft prevention is often an external matter. Just as retail security system footage unveils internal theft, footage also provides retail management and law enforcement with important visual and logistical details in cases of external theft.
- Manage Retail Inventory: Matters of retail theft prevention aside, retail security systems enhance the way store managers approach inventory control itself. For instance, surveillance equips merchandising managers with the tools necessary to track retail traffic and activity with unprecedented specificity and reliability. Beyond simply tracking retail traffic, store managers can audit inventory transfer or sale retrospectively and across multiple locations.
- Optimize Employee Productivity: Employee efficiency is a key component of prolonged success in the retail space. Store managers often use retail security systems to monitor employees and proactively optimize storewide conduct. With footage from retail security cameras, shop managers first identify and then correct unsafe or inefficient store practices. Furthermore, retail management can identify underperforming employees and track performance progress in an objective manner.
- Prevent Employee Theft: Another way retail store security systems enhance store security is by enabling management to monitor internal theft. Since theft in the workplace threatens the trust retail management places in every in-store employee, cases of employee stealing need to be resolved quickly and with definitive proof. Footage from retail security cameras provides store managers with this proof in a way that even retail security guards simply can’t, and ensures that employees stealing money or items from employers are caught quickly and seamlessly.
- Identify Best Practices to Cater to Customers: While optimizing employee conduct is a universal retail best practice, store managers use retail store security systems to flag other areas of the retail customer experience for improvement. Unlike general retail best practices, best practices identified from retail security systems are personalized to that store and its operations. Store managers therefore concentrate only on currently substandard areas of their store’s customer experience.
- Provide a Customized Shopping Experience: The use of surveillance doesn’t stop once incremental changes are made to improve customer experience, however. Following the institution of changes, retail security systems are used to confirm that customer experience is improving. If improvements are not apparent, surveillance is then used to iterate on future changes.
Benefits of Video Security in Retail Stores
- Incorporate Real Footage into Employee Training: By sharing footage of employee in-store behavior during the training and onboarding, store managers can streamline new employee onboarding and set up new hires for success. Particularly in a space in which retail operations differ from company to company—and even sometimes from store to store—access to real customer interactions is often the extra step that propels new hires that much further to success.
- Remote Monitoring Outside of Store Business Hours: Ensuring full, 24-hour coverage of retail stores ensures footage is recorded no matter the time of day. In addition to capturing all activity and incidents, recorded footage can even mitigate or prevent future activity by providing security personnel with alerts or analytics to log unauthorized activity outside of business hours.
- Attribute Theft in the Workplace Accurately and Easily: Whether there’s a shoplifting incident or an employee theft incident, a retail security system gives the team visibility throughout the store. Retail security teams resolve incidents of theft with video footage, which often shows a thief or thieves as they commit the crime in question.
Must-Haves for Retail Store Security Systems
- Remote Access and Monitoring: The ability to monitor store locations and inventory from anywhere is a critical requirement for loss prevention. A number of incidents may occur when authorities are off site or when malls and retail locations are closed, including break-ins, theft, vandalism, and trespassing. Even if security staff is present to patrol the area, remote access to monitor live video feeds provides higher visibility to prevent incidents in areas where security is not currently present. Remote access to view and share video feeds to law enforcement in real-time is also a way to quickly resolve incidents as soon as they occur.
- 24⁄7 Recording (No Downtime): Retail security camera systems that don’t record 24⁄7 activity risk missing critical incidents such as shoplifting and even larger, organized retail theft. Beyond simply the question of downtime, it’s also critical to select a security system that notifies system administrators when downtime occurs. Otherwise, cameras could fall and remain offline, and miss the exact incidents they were installed to catch.
- Night Vision: Retail security systems must monitor parking lots and other surrounding areas in order to ensure store security. Since security cameras without night vision won’t be usable at night, security cameras for retail stores must have night vision functionality.
- Scalability: Small businesses in the retail space should plan to scale, which involves choosing a camera system that is easy to deploy across new locations. Retail stores with multiple locations should aim to scale usage across locations, to optimize retail surveillance efforts.
Impact of Video Security at Retail Locations
Corporate Retail Leadership
- Can maintain brand as safe and secure small business or retail chain.
- Can manage and monitor retail store and store manager performance remotely and objectively.
Retail Store Managers
Retail Store Customers
- Can visit retail store with confidence and safety.
- Can resolve filed liability claims using retail security camera footage.
Final Takeaways: Surveillance in Retail Settings
Ultimately, all retail management teams can agree that retail security is a critical endeavor to prevent theft. Introducing a retail security camera system extends the visibility that store managers and other leaders have into store operations, while equipping them with objective accounts of in-store incidents. In an environment where competition among retailers has never been stiffer, retail companies must do all they can to optimize customer experience. For many, that fight has centered around video security.