Retail Security: Benefiting from Advancements in Analytics and IP Cameras

By Chris Wetzel

Whether it is through employee theft or shoplifting, unexplained inventory loss is a major concern among retailers and one of the key reasons in-store surveillance is a priority.

Fortunately, advancements in IP camera technology and analytics are able to address the unique concerns of retailers in the battle against shrinkage along with overall improvements in camera response time and picture quality.

Tracking a potential shoplifter through a store is now made easier by more strategic positioning of cameras and built-in intelligence that allows security personnel to clearly identify and track a suspicious individual. Even with multiple cameras in play, it is possible to follow an individual through various fields of view, while also zooming in to capture a clearer facial image.

After the event, the use of analytics within the video management platform can help pinpoint the pertinent footage, reducing the amount of time spent reviewing recorded video to get to the usable data. Once recovered, the event can be shared with management, others within the security department or law enforcement, if necessary.

Analytics that provide security personnel with key information — such as heat mapping that shows movement within the store or dwell and linger data that indicates if someone is standing in one spot for a prolonged period — are additional tools in the fight against shrinkage. By setting parameters within the analytics, retailers can get alerts when certain suspicious behaviors occur, such as someone lingering outside a storage room, or a group of people congregating in a remote corner of the store.

These same heat mapping and dwell and linger analytics can also be deployed to assist retailers in making decisions about staffing busy areas or realigning security personnel during peak shopping periods, which can further combat shrink.

An added benefit to retailers via their security systems is the ability to integrate point of sale data with video so they can check out suspicious transactions like no-sale activity either as it occurs or record it for later review. Having a combination of POS data and corresponding video can provide hard evidence when making a case against employee theft.

These latest developments in security technology now provide retailers with important tools to manage shrinkage-related threats posed by both internal and external forces.