Combining Retail Traffic Counting Devices With Other Technologies
I was looking at technology on the Sensormatic.com website for information on people counting systems because I like to see what is new as well as how different technology can be tied together. It is my opinion that frequently retailers do not use the systems they install to the fullest potential. For example, I understand the advantages a door counting sensor can provide to help boost sales. Sometimes this is called measuring the conversion rate for the retailer. This measurement is useful to know how many people have walked through the doors and how many transactions were completed. A big difference in those numbers indicate something in the store is not right, whether it is poor customer service or a lack of products that shoppers came in to purchase. In this sense I see how retail traffic counting can be related to Loss Prevention. I have been in retail a LONG time so I recognize that shoplifting does impact merchandise in-stocks and product availability. What I am looking for when I am researching information on different websites is how various technologies complement each other so store owners and managers can leverage more out of their Loss Prevention systems.
It was during the course of my searching that I found something that could be quite useful from Sensormatic if paired together. This company offers a Sensormatic Synergy Camera that I believe could be coupled with their people counting device to make a giant leap for retailers, especially small and medium sized stores. The company information on this camera is that it “provides clear, high-definition video recordings or snapshots of loss events at the storefront”. The camera is mounted to a Sensormatic electronic article surveillance pedestal and captures video when alarms are detected which includes systems that can detect booster foil-lined bags. It will also capture video when a Sensormatic tag or label sets off the alarm. Now, I want you to picture this in conjunction with the pedestals that are fitted with people counting systems. You track how many customers are entering your store AND you are capturing video when alarm activations take place. You can get high-definition video and pictures of potential shoplifters who are visiting your business. If you have high foot traffic counts compared to sales as I mentioned earlier and you start to view images from your camera when alarms are set off you can begin to identify who the regular shoplifters are visiting your store. Along with the losses they are causing you through their theft activity they may be the ones causing empty spaces on your shelves. This could be why sales are low compared to your retail traffic counting numbers.
Another advantage for store management if they combine the people counting systems with the Synergy Camera is that they can view how their teams are responding to electronic article surveillance alarms. It is one thing to know how many alarms are sounding and who the people are who are causing activations but the response to those alarms is just as important if not more so. If alarms are activated and employees are simply waving people out the door without conducting proper package and receipt checks thieves are going to take advantage of this and steal even more. From my personal experiences as a Loss Prevention Manager I have seen employees who do not address alarms properly. Some of those are theft related and those people return to your store over and over until something is done to address how responses are handled. Again, I believe combining the videos with numbers from your retail traffic counting data can aid in improving sales by identifying issues taking place in the store.
Like so many other processes in a retail environment, one process has a direct impact on other areas of the business. If data itself is gathered and you are only counting patrons with people counting systems and you are not tying that information into other areas it becomes useless. Tie it into a Sensormatic Synergy Camera and you can begin to improve shortage numbers through suspect identification AND alarm response training. Do that and you begin to improve on hand quantities and improve sales and that should be your ultimate goal.
Retail Traffic Counting is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.866.914.2567 and let’s talk.