Original article published by Prasanth Aby Thomas, Consultant Editor, on asmag.com.
Theft prevention is one of the essential functions of a security surveillance system in retail. From classic shoplifting to issues like sweethearting continue to remain a significant concern that causes shrinkage in shops. This article presents comments from a few industry leaders about the latest technology developments that would help retail businesses prevent theft.
Alan Stoddard, President, Cognyte SIS
We’re seeing an increased interest in incident management and response technology in this sector, especially in stores that are open late at night or are in high-risk areas. These mobile applications transform a cell phone into a tool that provides comprehensive situational awareness that ignites action.
Loss prevention teams, first responders, and retail managers can share insights — in real-time — utilizing live and historical event data with GIS maps, geo-fencing, responder positions, sensor inputs, and other external sources to find out what is happening in the field at any given time. As data is continuously collected, processed, and analyzed, officials can coordinate efficient, appropriate, and rapid incident response to any incident.
As always, analytics continue to be of great interest. Powered by AI, video analysis can provide immediate situational intelligence to retail operations. With facial recognition, you can track and alert persons of interest, such as known ORC criminals, appearing in video surveillance streams in real-time across multiple sites and thousands of cameras simultaneously. The use cases that we’ll see in the future are only now just coming to light.
Nigel Ashman, President, ONVU Retail
360-degree cameras in retail are compelling because it reveals what is going on throughout the whole store. The value of 360-degree video, when combined with video and customer behavior analytics, is a potent retail tool. Additionally, an investment in panoramic surveillance cameras is far less cumbersome than the use of traditional cameras. A single 360-degree camera can replace several pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, saving on costs and maintenance.
Comprehensive store coverage provided by just a few panoramic cameras also offers Loss Prevention managers the ability to track individuals throughout the store, which is critically important when investigating instances of organized retail crime. And when it comes to shoplifting or internal theft, 360-degree cameras ensure that customers or employees cannot take advantage of blind spots.
The extensive uses and capabilities of panoramic surveillance technology have made sure video surveillance and security are no longer seen as a cost center for retailers. This is a crucial step forward as brick-and-mortar stores continue the battle against online retailers and the increasing security risks they face every day. At its core, intelligent panoramic video capture can contribute to this goal by providing complete coverage of these dynamic environments.
Nigel Waterton, CRO, Arcules
Despite debate in the industry as to whether today’s analytics solutions constitute accurate artificial intelligence (AI), there’s little doubt they influence how end users leverage video surveillance technology in retail environments. And, unless you plan on running the high-
powered servers necessary for these analytics on every business site, the cloud is your best option to take advantage of this next-gen functionality.
Beyond some obvious loss prevention use cases such as facial recognition to spot known shoplifters or those suspected of engaging in return fraud, analytics also holds enormous potential for retail marketing and customer service departments. Imagine using heat mapping to determine what endcap merchandise attracts the highest amount of customer foot traffic or allocating staff resources more efficiently because the surveillance system can recognize longer than standard checkout lines beginning to queue.
Still, despite these significant benefits, the retail industry remains resistant to change. Many retailers are on the fence about migrating to relatively new technology. But just as the industry moved away from analog for IP, the same shift will gradually and inevitably occur for the cloud and AI. Modern businesses that lean forward and embrace cloud adoption now will only benefit from the evolving technology and will be able to take hold of the advanced capabilities like analytics in a more scalable manner.
There are many new technologies helping retailers prevent theft. Video intelligence and analytics solutions, asset tracking solutions, identity, and access credentials – the list goes on. This technology can not only help prevent retail theft but also prevent accidental monetary or inventory losses through errors or faulty sales transactions.