Shoplifting is a common problem that retail store owners have been facing since time immemorial. There’s no justification for stealing and it’s not fair on shop owners to watch their products disappear, causing financial loss. Procuring and stocking products is an expensive task whose cost is recovered through sales, which is why the theft of even a single product has an impact on the bottom-line.
From using a retail POS billing software to installing surveillance systems, here are some of the steps retailers can take to reduce the risk of theft and shoplifters from their store:
Use a Retail POS Billing Software
A retail POS billing software helps you keep tabs on every product in your store. This includes:
* Products on display
* Products in storage, and
* Products sold.
Retail POS software comes with modules that allow stores to keep a tight check on product movement within the store. It’s a solution that comes with data security features which can be customised to limit access to employees. This allows you to keep a track of who’s doing what and in case of report discrepancies, makes it easier to track which employee/s is swindling items from your store. A reliable and recommended retail POS billing software for stores is Zopper POS. It’s a secure solution that comes with barcode integration, which helps in keeping track of every product from the moment it enters the store to the time of its purchase. Zopper POS’s integrated inventory management feature is an added bonus which stores can use to keepa tab on products and view detailed stock reports generated through the retail POS billing module.
Beware of Common Theft Methods
While profiling and generalising shoplifters with common traits isn’t a viable solution, there are certain common methods used for stealing. The common theft methods used by employees and customers are different. Customers commonly steal from stores by slipping items into their bags, pockets, umbrellas, strollers etc. Sure, there are the few who grab a product and make a run for it, but most shoplifters have become smarter than that. As for employees, they usually steal while bagging products at checkout counters, during home-deliveries by delivering the wrong product deliberately and keeping the returned products, or before opening hours and after closing hours when the store is empty.
Additionally, you should also keep a look out for customers who are simply loitering about without buying anything and, customers who are fidgety and act nervous near checkout counters. These are usually signs of someone who is up to something notorious.
Keep It Clean and Organised
Follow the age-old wisdom of keeping your store clean and organised. An effective way to prevent stealing is to maintain an organised store where you know how things are stocked. A messy and disorganised store makes it quite difficult for store owners to keep a track of products, especially when you’re not sure what goes where. A disorganised store is like a treasure-trove for shoplifters who take advantage of the mess to get away with things.
Mirrors aren’t simply meant for looking at your reflection or for answering the eternal question “mirror mirror on the wall, who now is the fairest one of all”. Mirrors are excellent surveillance solutions for large stores with less manpower. Rounded mirrors, spread across, provide a broader view of your store and let you keep tab of store activity and customers walking about.
Deploy Surveillance Cameras & Entrance Alert Sensors
Surveillance cameras and entrance alert sensors are reliable ways to track and prevent theft at your store. Surveillance cameras and CCTVs have become quite inexpensive and stores can use them to keep an eye out for shoplifters. Due to advances in surveillance technology, investing in security cameras and surveillance systems has become worth the while. Not to mention, there is the premium that you save on insurance with a good surveillance system. That’s because certain insurance companies provide a lower premium rate if your store has detection and theft-prevention systems in place to ensure better investigation.
Furthermore, Entrance alert sensors can be placed near the doors and entranceways of a store. They look like gateways and are made up of buzzers and sensors which ring when someone enters or
leaves the store. They also buzz when a product, which hasn’t been marked sold and barcode scanned, is being sneaked out of the store. A sensor system like this pairs well with a retail POS billing software tools as they have integrated barcode scanning as a feature. Having such sensors in place lets your customers know that they are being watched. You should also have your employees pass through the sensors when they come in and when they leave, to ensure that they aren’t siphoning things from the store.
To reiterate from above, while preventing shoplifting in its entirety isn’t possible, with these tips you can come reduce it significantly. Follow these pointers to detect shoplifting customers and employees and learn how to reduce shoplifting while keeping your retail store safe.