Retail Security Cameras
The retail industry loses billions of dollars per year to employee theft and shoplifting. Investing in IP video surveillance cameras as a solution to your security needs provides numerous long-term benefits such as reduced retail shrinkage, maximized store profits, lowered insurance rates, and ultimately a decrease in the number of theft cases. Security cameras also help instill a safer, more inviting store environment for patrons.
With the number of technologies available on IP cameras today, it’s important to determine the exact security needs of your retail store. Will you need indoor and outdoor cameras for your retial security system? What are your store’s weak spots? Are there any poorly lit sections of your shop? Is there an aisle or section that is harder to see than other areas of your store? These are just some of the questions to consider when shopping for a new retail security system.
Common Retail Crimes
Retail store owners are forever plagued by the threat of shoplifting and employee theft. Fortunately, IP camera systems can help reduce in-store theft like organized retail crime and shoplifting. Shoplifters and employees who know the store is outfitted with retail security cameras will be less tempted to steal or engage in unauthorized activities. Retail security cameras can also help you identify the person who committed the crime with vivid, clear images that are easy to depict.
Shoplifting: The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention estimates that over $13 billion worth of goods are shoplifted from retail stores each year. This amount equates to $35 million in losses per day! If that is not enough reason to set up your retail security system now, then we don't know what is! Veteran shoplifters can be difficult to catch by loss prevention officers. Installing retail security cameras instead of hiring expensive security officers saves you thousands of dollars per year and is considered one of the most effective methods for apprehending shoplifters.
Employee Theft: Despite exhaustive background checks and interviews, no employer can ever be 100% certain that an employee won’t steal. Playing back recorded video on your retail security cameras makes it possible to spot cases of employee theft so you can terminate that person immediately, press charges, and recover losses.
Sweethearting: Some retail employees will give unauthorized product discounts to their friends and family members by entering wrong numbers or failing to scan an item. Sweethearting is often missed by management as employees have learned discrete ways to sell discounted products (or sometimes free products) at the cash register. Retail store security cameras make it possible to catch employees in the act so that you can respond in the moment.
Flash Rob Theft: Flash robs, a relatively new class of theft, is becoming a major problem in metropolitan cities. Working its way into a different city every day, flash rob theft is typically committed by a large group of adolescents or young adults who raid a store to steal items, all the while throwing and breaking products, yelling or making threatening statements, and posing extreme danger to the staff and customers. Store owners should never intervene or try to use physical force in these often violent robberies, but having retail security cameras recording the incident will help law enforcement identify the participants.
Organized Retail Crime: Large underground shoplifting rings are spread out across the United States. Ring members have a reputation for casually walking into grocery and department stores, grabbing high-value products like Diapers, Razors, or Detergent off of shelves and stuffing them in carts or bags, and then running out of the store where they’re usually picked up by a getaway driver. Store owners or security staff may not even notice these professional shoplifters until they notice the missing merchandise, but retail security systems can record the thieves' progress in and out of the store, giving police the chance to identify and stop rings operating in the area.
Where to Place Retail Security Cameras
Every storefront is different in terms of its size and merchandise layout, but each has an exit and entrance, cash register station, and sales floor. Emplacing security cameras near high-trafficked and unguarded areas within your store will help reduce the number of retail crimes. At the same time, properly installed retail security systems ensure that shoplifting and employee theft will be recorded on camera.
Entrances and Exits: Mount your retail security cameras directly above or near your store’s entrance(s) and exit(s) to monitor the flow of customers and employees. This location provides a clear view of each person coming in and out your storefront. With high quality IP video, you can recognize and identify faces to save as evidence if needed.
Cash Register: The cash register is an extremely sensitive area and should be monitored at all times. Dishonest employees will steal directly from the cash register, and as a business owner with a never-ending list of responsibilities, you can’t always be there to make certain that all sales for the day have been accounted for. Retail security cameras should be mounted above the register to monitor and observe all activity taking place at the register, including transactions, refunds, and money counting. To catch employees who you suspect are sweethearting, cameras should be installed directly above the scanner.
Sales Floor: Always outfit your sales floor with at least one security camera. Depending on the size of your business, you may need a considerable number of security cameras to cover the space. Poorly lit aisles or areas that are difficult to see should also be monitored by cameras. Shoplifters tend to migrate towards store locations that lack sufficient customer service or have less visibility.
Warehouse: Thieves will often seek out store warehouses to steal inventory and/or cargo. Over $425 million in cargo was stolen from warehouses, loading trucks, and docks in 2010 according to FreightWatch International. Security cameras should be mounted up on beams, drop ceilings, or main ceilings to oversee the inventory.
Parking Lot: If your store has its own parking lot, consider investing in a video surveillance system to cover this specific area. Vehicle break-ins are common in store parking lots for employees and customers. Installing network video cameras in your parking lot makes license plate recognition possible, which is tremendously helpful in cases where a perpetrator has fled the scene in his or her vehicle.
How to Select a Retail Security System
Day/night visibility and high definition video are two examples of cutting-edge camera technologies that exist today. There are also a variety of different body styles, enclosures, and camera functions to choose from. Certain technologies and cameras styles will suit your retail business needs better than others.
Body Style: Video surveillance cameras have marked differences in their appearance. Dome cameras are better suited for environments where aesthetics and covertness is preferred. Typically lighter, more compact, and sleek in their design, dome cameras may be the right choice for you. Dome coverings come in clear and smoked, the latter of which hides the direction of the lens. If you want your customers to immediately notice cameras in your store, then it is recommended that you opt for a bullet, box, or vandal dome camera.
High-Definition Video: High-Definition (HD) video has a display resolution of 720P or 1080P and an aspect ratio of 16:9 or 4:3. Cameras without HD quality can offer a megapixel resolution of up to 16MP whereas HD video has a maximum resolution of 2.1MP. However, standard definition video often has lower frame rates, which limits the amount of detail in each image. HD video provides exceptional image clarity and detail in comparison with standard definition video.
Day/Night Functionality: Day/night cameras are able to see in complete darkness, or extremely low-lit environments. More costly than daytime IP cameras, this function is extremely useful for after-hours monitoring when your retail store has closed and the lights have been shut off. Furthermore, day/night cameras protect the exterior of your store at night, as well as other low-lit areas such as a parking lot and warehouse.
Indoor/Outdoor Enclosures: If you operate a standalone store accessible by sidewalk or are located in an outdoor mall, an outdoor-ready camera is highly recommended to protect the outside of your business. Particularly in situations where a thief puts on a hooded sweatshirt after walking into a store to rob or steal, getting a clear shot of them outside before they have a chance to cover up is the smoking gun. Indoor cameras are ideal for stores in covered malls that do not have an exit or entryway leading outside.
Vandal-Proof Cameras: Some indoor and outdoor models come with vandal-proof housing for added camera protection. These vandal-proof cameras prevent thieves and intruders from gaining access to the lens, and are designed to withstand physical abuse and other forms of damage.
Benefits of Installing Retail Security Cameras
Video surveillance cameras offer several long-term benefits to you as a store owner. Ultimately, the presence of video surveillance cameras helps strengthen your business.
Insurance Discounts: Your retail store suddenly becomes less of a liability when it is outfitted with security cameras. Nationwide, Farmer’s Insurance, and State Farm are just some of the many insurance providers that offer lower rates to business owners who have retail security systems in place.
Safer Workplace: In addition to forestalling theft, surveillance cameras help build a safer workplace by monitoring employees and scouring the floor for any safety hazards. Slip-and-fall fraud, a crime that happens all too often in the workplace, can be recorded by cameras and later viewed in the event that an employee tries to sue your company for their false injuries.
Reduced Theft and Vandalism: Petty thieves are less likely to steal from your storefront if they know they’re being closely monitored by multiple video surveillance cameras. Take further action by placing cameras in high-theft areas like the cash register and aisles where the lighting and visibility is poor.
Customer Analytics: Many video surveillance cameras come with built-in intelligence such as people counting technology, queue management, loitering functionality, and crowd detection. Leveraging your security camera systems’ intelligence will help you sustain a thriving, successful business.
Remote Access: By switching to network video, you’ll have remote access to your camera system. The competitive advantage is that you don’t have to be at your business storefront to operate your retail security system; remote access facilitates camera viewing and management from any Internet-enabled PC or mobile device.
Scalability: With IP video, you can record, view, and manage all of your cameras at once on the same network without having to worry about managing each unit separately. This allows you to add a camera at any point in time, whether for your current store or a new location.
Superior Performance: Built-in video intelligence, advanced functions, and improved image quality make network video a smart choice. Analog video cameras unfortunately do not feature megapixel resolution, greatly limiting the quality and detail of every image.
We offer a large assortment of indoor and outdoor IP security cameras specifically designed for retail applications. Contact us now to receive a free consultation with one of our expert video surveillance integrators. We understand the distinct security needs of retailers. Our aim is to help you reduce in-store theft and create a safer retail environment for your patrons.