Can Loss Prevention Be Free If Customers Are Wary Of A New Technology?
Can Loss Prevention be free? Good question and we will answer it in a bit but a better question may be, “Can Loss Prevention and other technology become too invasive?” I come from a lengthy background in Loss Prevention and working in retail. I know that there have always been concerns expressed over matters of privacy and the need for security in stores. People were concerned over closed circuit television when it was introduced. Shoppers were suspicious and with good reason that security cameras might be installed in positions to see into fitting rooms. Employees complained and some still do that they feel like they are being watched the entire time they are on a cash register or working and even on break. Electronic Article Surveillance systems caused (and still does) some people to voice concern over health issues that systems may cause. Fear of interference with pace makers was one of the big issues that were brought up. Customers even worry about personal data collection when they make purchases as stores have used technology to produce coupons specific to that person based on known shopping habits at the point of sale. There is even the use of facial recognition technology in some stores to collect data on shopper habits. According to an article in dealerscope.com by Keith Yanke, “Facial Recognition Teams Up With Digital Displays to Deliver Tangible Retail Benefits” the author points out that facial recognition, “… can be used to map out an individual customer’s journey through the brick and mortar store…” The writer goes on to say that the shopping pattern identified could individualize marketing to the shopper. If customer’s become too wary of technology can it start to change whether or not they venture out? Does this imply there may be negative costs to stores that invest in some technologies?
I can safely say that Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) technology does not need to fall into one of concern for retailers. First most health and safety concerns that shoppers have are already been addressed by in-depth research. There is an extremely minute chance EAS can interfere in any way with medical devices. As for cost, while new technologies such as facial recognition may make some consumers squeamish EAS has become widely accepted and it is proven to reduce theft. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has even created a Loss Prevention Calculator that answers the question I first posed, “Can Loss Prevention be free?” The answer is yes. A Sensormatic security system can reduce shortage so much that the savings eventually pay for the system and add to the profits of a store. I will also add that the Loss Prevention Calculator is free to use, no signing up or log in is required and no sales person will call you up after you try it out.
Most technologies do become accepted over time even in retail but sometimes the merchants find they are not producing the results they need to justify the expense of a system. Today Closed Circuit Television Cameras are a technology that has become more accepted in stores in spite of a few concerns over privacy. One new technology that is being used in China does give me pause. In an article in LPM magazine, “Facial Recognition vs. Gait Recognition” (source: AP News) China is using a new technology “…that uses people’s body shapes and how they walk to identify them, even when their faces are hidden from cameras.” The report even quotes a Chinese columnist, Shi Shusi,“Using biometric recognition to maintain social stability and manage society is an unstoppable trend,” he said. “It’s great business.” This technology is being used by the Chinese government but what could the same technology do in a retail store? Would it dissuade shoppers from going in if they knew it was being used, for advertising to individual patrons or Loss Prevention? It seems there could be a cost to this technology for retailers and it might not be good considering how invasive it could be along with facial recognition and other biometric measures.
Can Loss Prevention be free is my original question and that answer is yes. You can install Sensormatic technology that is safe and effective and will sharply reduce theft. You can even see how fast it will pay for itself by trying out the Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Loss Prevention Calculator. As for other new technologies that are coming out, if they are geared to prevent shortage and improve profits consult with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. and see what they think. They want to build your customer base, not chase them away.
For more information about the Loss Prevention Calculator, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567