Crime and Retail
The National Retail Federation (NRF) says organized retail crimes cost businesses an average of $700,000 per $1 billion in sales. Three-quarters of U.S. retailers report the volume of organized retail crime increased in 2020. The L.A. Times reports, “One thing that has gone up is the visibility of open theft from stores.” They were reporting on some highly visible smash-and-grabs last year. , participated in organized robberies.
Even one professional thief who targets a CVS can escape with $2000 in merchandise in just two minutes.
In some cities, organized retail crime has grown so bad that some retailers have closed stores. Walgreens closed 15 stores in San Francisco over the past two years citing these incidents.
In this environment, retailers must keep their security up to date to combat determined thieves. But what do these security systems look like? What features do they offer to help counteract some of these trends?
And to make matters more complicated, these costly events can happen internally from malicious employees, or from external burglars. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a new wave of organized criminals has targeted brick and mortar stores for smash and grabs. It’s becoming a serious problem in some cities.
Modern security solutions can help these store owners catch crimes as they’re happening – instead of just recording the event for documentation, which can aid the prosecution of criminals. The best security camera systems for retail stores can even deter crime.
But out of all the security choices for your store, which options will work the best for your business?
Best Security Camera System Features for Retail Stores
Every security system offers different perks and drawbacks, so it’s important to focus on features that will make the biggest impact regarding theft. A good place to start is by asking yourself these questions:
- Do you have live guards? Could you replace them with remote monitoring and virtual guards?
- Could your retail security system integrate with access controls that trigger motion detection for restricted areas?
- Do you have areas of your store where wiring could be a problem? Could IP cameras connected to the cloud make more sense?
Some of the best retail security cameras offer these best-in-class features:
1) Location and range flexibility
To put it in other words, the best security cameras for your retail stores will cover a lot of ground, even in odd-shaped stores. Selecting the best retail security cameras first requires an analysis of your store layout, since each store has a unique footprint. Cameras that don’t require wired internet give you much more flexibility.
2) HD Video Resolution
HD video resolution is important for capturing fine detail. Higher resolution means more detail. For example, 4K (3840 x 2160) captures four times the detail as an HD (1920 x 1080) camera does. The higher the pixel count, the better you’ll see faces, license plates, or other important details.
3) Night functionality
Night functionality is just as important as day vision for most retail security cameras. Since many robberies occur after hours, you probably want night vision cameras. These smart tools allow clear vision in low-light conditions. This means you won’t need to light up your store 24/7 to give your cameras the “eyes-on” you need.
Weatherproofing, or hardening your cameras, is important for indoor and outdoor use. This feature can also deter vandalism. If you have a parking lot to monitor, a weather-hardened camera is a necessity. Your security cameras can be mobile mounted and IP-connected. You don’t even have to worry about wiring. The best security cameras for your retail stores can go anywhere crime can happen.
5) Smart Camera Analytics
Smart camera analytics use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to track patterns in your store. For example, the camera can alert you when someone is at a high value section of the store. Alternatively, it can detect patterns of human behavior where someone repeatedly lingers near the entrance of your store.
Beyond security, analytics can also help retailers redesign their store footprint to increase sales. Analytics can spot bottlenecks or where people tend to congregate. Video clips can automatically be tagged, making them easier to pull from data storage. This allows retailers to maximize their floorplans for a better customer experience.
6) Mobile Device Alerts
Mobile device alerts also make our list of best retail security camera features. Tying your video surveillance to a mobile device means always-on connectivity. With a mobile app, you can pull up a camera feed or look at online analytics. The phone can alert you to any anomalies in or around your store. You can even control your cameras from a dashboard, zooming in, panning out, and much more.
7) Remote Monitoring with a Virtual Guard
Remote monitoring with a virtual guard is a great way to remain vigilant 24/7. In-store guards can be intimidating to potential customers. They also cannot physically watch your parking lot or store constantly without spending significant amounts on staff. A virtual guard watches a bank of camera feeds from your entire retail footprint.
Under the Pro-Vigil virtual guard model, these highly trained professionals are the 365-day live security presence you need to help protect your investments. A virtual guard can make the determination quickly that a police presence is needed at your store. Unlike a live guard who patrols an area, a virtual guard never moves away to another location. Instead, they can see what’ happening through the eyes of every video surveillance camera on your property simultaneously.
8) Audio and Visual Deterrents
Audio and visual deterrents, lastly, can help stop crime before it happens. Imagine a camera system that flashes bright lights or a recorded warning when activated. When these systems trigger, 97% of intruders flee because they know they’ve been seen.
Most other video surveillance is there to capture data for after-the-fact prosecution. Audio and visual camera features can actually deter crime from happening. You can integrate these features into almost any cloud-connected IP camera.
Inventory shrinkage or damage to your store are not victimless crimes. You need the best retail security camera system with the most modern features. It’s the only way to up the ante on criminals focused on getting something for nothing from your business.
Pro-Vigil is a leading provider of the best security systems for retail stores. Click here to chat with us and find out how we can help.