Use a Loss Prevention ROI Calculator and you get to see what a Sensormatic Sensor will save you in reduced shrinkage. Can I tell you what a cool concept that is? When do you have an opportunity to do this with any other purchase you make for your store? Come to think of it I can’t think of too many times this can apply to any purchase. If I decide to purchase a new suit for a job interview I can’t pull out a suit calculator and tap in a few numbers and say this is going to increase my chances of getting that job by sixty percent. Now I will say if you are car shopping the dealer information will give you an estimated gallons per mile the car will get in the city and on the highway. It isn’t a true help in the sense that it won’t tell you what you will save over your current vehicle. You may drive more than you currently do and you spending may increase. Fuel prices may go up and you will spend more for a gallon of gas than you are spending today.
Thinking about purchases you make for your business what other system or store fixture will you buy that will pay for itself over time. I would never say can a point of sale system be free? or can a new display fixture be free? No, I would not ask these questions but I would ask can Loss Prevention be free? A point of sale system may improve speed at the register or it may offer more functionality and those may help improve customer satisfaction but they don’t pay for your system over time. A new focal point fixture for a display may help to draw in some customers or drive some sales depending on what that is featured on that fixture but how do you measure that??? I have a clue that might surprise you…you actually can measure the impact of a new display, especially if it is set up as a window display for customers to see from outside your store. That display might pay for itself IF you can measure the impact it is having. You measure that impact with guess what…A SENSORMATIC LOSS PREVENTION SYSTEM! Go ahead, call me crazy but I am about to knock your socks off here. A Loss Prevention System can do more than prevent shoplifting and reduce shrinkage. Purchase a Sensormatic System and equip it with the people counting device. You start tracking the number of people entering and leaving your store. Set up you brand new window display fixture. Now look at your foot traffic data. Is there an improvement in the number of customers visiting? You wouldn’t have known that just from sales receipts, you can than your Sensormatic system for the confirmation. That is not the primary way to answer the question, “Can Loss Prevention be free?” but it does help pay for a system in a sense.
Your Loss Prevention ROI Calculator is going to demonstrate how the installation of a Sensormatic System is going to pay for itself through shortage reduction. Type in your sales data, how much you want to spend on a system, submit and you get a result that shows how much you will save in reduced shortage and an estimate of how long it will take for your brand new Sensormatic System to pay for itself. Can Loss Prevention be free? You better believe it can be, I have seen more recovered merchandise from an electronic surveillance system than I can recall.
Remember that the Loss Prevention ROI Calculator is going to only show you how much it is going to save you in terms of money saved due to decreased theft. It is now going to show you that your instocks will improve and your customers will have more purchase options as a result. It isn’t going to tell you how much your customer traffic will increase with the new displays but the Sensormatic customer counting device will. It also won’t measure the increased safety that comes with a Sensormatic system. As the shoplifting decreases so does the other crime that often accompanies it. You can’t measure EVERY benefit a Loss Prevention System will provide but it will pay for itself and the rest is icing on the cake.
The Loss Prevention ROI Calculator is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.
I remember my time as a Loss Prevention Manager when I had to go through log sheets to decipher electronic article surveillance alarm events. What a headache that could be. Employees were supposed to write down dates, times and what set off the alarm towers. For example, if a security label had not been properly deactivated and the alarm sounded the responding employee was supposed to write that information down for Loss Prevention. My job was to see if there was a training problem, an equipment failure a label issue or perhaps even a recovery from a shoplifter. We all know that despite our best efforts rarely does anything happen exactly the way we want it to happen. In this case alarm testing wasn’t always recorded, alarm activity was not always noted or alarms were not notated properly. It was difficult to get actionable data from the information collected when it was inconsistent. When I would make a fuss about it to the front end manager he/she would address the situation. The employees would get back on the program briefly and the logs would be useful again for a period of time. It was an important part of my job to know when Sensormatic labels were setting off the alarm towers and when. When done correctly I could review corresponding video to see who caused the alarm and if the responder thoroughly tried to resolve the problem. This was useful for training and efforts to stop shoplifting.
A lot has improved in Retail Loss Prevention since my days as a Loss Prevention Manager. Electronic article surveillance towers have become more advanced, Sensormatic labels have gotten much smaller and hard tags and wraps are continually evolving. In fact the use of Sesnormatic systems has expanded far beyond the reduction of theft they now are used to drive sales. Adding a customer counting device to a pedestal can enable a retail owner to understand shopper traffic patterns. That knowledge can be used to adjust work schedules to better serve clients. It can also help determine if a new product or display is having an impact on sales. Some pedestals have the ability to have signage added to them. Advertising as we all know can directly drive customer shopping habits and it is free marketing space. With all of these advances the necessity of paper record keeping has also become obsolete. Logs can still be used but they don’t have to be, electronic article surveillance has come that far in recent years.
Now retail owners have the ability to use Sensormatic’s Shrink Management as a Service cloud based electronic article surveillance management system. This system enables retail managers to see reporting that includes retail traffic, electronic article surveillance alarm activity by date, and the alarm rate. Other information that can aid in controlling shortage is metal foil detection, jammer detections and potential dollar losses due to theft. By reviewing this data you can see the potential theft activity that is taking place and take steps to prevent it. Think about it if alarms are trending to be more frequent on a given day of the week according to reporting managers can position a “greeter” at the front doors. This person can be right at the doors ready to respond to pedestal alarms. The presence of this employee will also be a deterrent to someone who enters with the intention of trying to shoplift and changes their mind when they see a greeter. Couple the reports with a Sensormatic Synergy camera and owners/managers can capture pictures and video of alarm events and the suspects causing those alarms. And one other thing to keep in mind about your greeter they may be a deterrent to theft but the right person can also be an ambassador for your store. They can provide directions, store information and greet customers which gives a personal touch shoppers desire.
Sensormatic labels and systems have made incredible progress over the years. The effectiveness in deterring and preventing crime has improved as the equipment has evolved. The multi-functionality of these systems has made them even more attractive to shop owners. Managing the systems through cloud based services makes sure reporting is accurate and easy to access. When you think about it there is nothing to lose by investing in a Sensormatic system so my question to you is, why aren’t you picking up your phone to get your own system now?
Get more information on electronic article surveillance, contact us or call 1.770.426.0547 today.
For stores with no customers in it people counting systems would appear to be a waste of money. Why bother counting what isn’t walking in your store. Maybe you should be asking why aren’t people walking in your store. If patron counts are so low that you don’t need a device to keep track of them you need to find out what is keeping them out. There may be factors you haven’t even considered that are influencing customers and deterring them from coming in. They may even be telling you and you are not listening to them properly.
For example, I work for a store that has a decent amount of foot traffic. The store even uses a customer counting device to measure customer conversion rates. The one question I often hear from shoppers walking in at night is, “Is the store open?” That is a question but it is also a clue, the store looks closed from the outside of the building. Why does it look closed? Because the front windows are heavily tinted to cut down on the sunlight glaring into the building. The sun shines directly in and can be overpowering and in the summer it heats the building. The tint cuts down some of that impact. The down side of it is that the store appears dark if one is looking at it from the outside. If you are a customer you might not bother trying to come in and visit. It leads me to wonder how many potential shoppers do we lose simply because of this one little issue. The solution in my opinion would be to have a bright neon light on the window that says, OPEN.
Supposing company management listened to my suggestion and placed that OPEN sign so it could be viewed by customers, how would you know if it was working as you intended? That is where people counting systems are useful. Install it on your Sensormatic electronic article surveillance towers and track your foot traffic for several weeks. Afterwards put out your sign and monitor your counts at that point you will see if your solution works. If the results don’t bear out your suspicions then you use the customer counting device for other measurements. It doesn’t lose its usefulness to your store.
Another purpose for the people counting systems installed in stores is the data they can provide to make it easier to see when the peak hours for a store are. I can hear the chuckles now. “Foolish writer, I can look at my sales slips and final register read and see when my peak hours are, I don’t need to spend money on a customer counting device.” That, my friend, is not totally accurate. Yes, you can see when peak purchase hours are taking place BUT you cannot tell if that was when your peak customer foot traffic took place. How many people walked into your store and left without ever making a purchase? What are those customers telling you? “But wait Mr. Article Writer, they can’t tell me anything because they did not talk to my cashiers or make a purchase!” AHA! I have you again, they did tell you something. Those customers told you that something (or a lack of something) kept them from making a purchase in your establishment. It is up to you to figure out what it was that made them choose to leave empty-handed. Did anyone greet them when they walked in? Was assistance offered if they were looking for something specific? Did they have to wait for a salesfloor associate to open a showcase or fitting room and no one came to help? Is it possible your customers were in line at a cash register and got fed up with waiting to check out so they left? Was the appearance of the store attractive or did it look cluttered? ALL of these are thinks that can influence the decisions customers make while they are in your store. Your sales receipts won’t show this but a customer counting device can aid in seeing what isn’t happening…increased sales.
“Okay Mr. Smarty-Pants, suppose I install one of these counters, then what do I do with the information, all I know is people are leaving without buying.” Boy, you really should not be calling me all of these names! However, I am not going to take offense I am going to offer some suggestions to help you but you are going to have to read those helpful tips in Part 2. But, please when you do come don’t call me so many names I’m really sensitive you know.
People counting systems are important and we can help you with them. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.
If you read the first article in this two-part series you know that I began by discussing the poor planning of tasks and assignments for the student workers we had on duty considering the lack of patron traffic in our library on a given day. It was the last day of classes for the college students and our library was very slow yet we had not planned out things we could have used our student workers to do. For a college library it was not a big problem but having been in retail management I was very aware of the negative impact this could have had if we were in a store environment. A customer counting device for a retailer would have provided a picture of what prior year shopper traffic was like and a store manager could use that information to plan for a training day, cleaning projects, etc. I then started to get into some of the other benefits a store would get by using a people counting system one of which is the ability to improve customer conversion rates.
Daily sales reads from your point of sales system only tell you a total number of transactions and sales dollars. You can even get the average dollars per transaction from your register totals. What you don’t get is data on how many people actually walked into the store and walked out without buying anything. That is a store’s conversion rate and many large chains have been measuring this for years. If you haven’t been tracking your patron headcounts you can start to do so with a customer counting device from Sensormatic. If you already have a Sensormatic electronic article surveillance system they can frequently be integrated into the towers. If you are not using an electronic article surveillance system to deter shoplifting and help increase sales Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. is the go to place to get started. They can set you up with the towers and tags that will best suit your store. They have Sensormatic certified technicians to install the equipment and they offer free Loss Prevention Training for their clients who purchase a Sensormatic system through them. I might add that if you are afraid a system would be outside your price range, Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. can help you with getting financing for a new system. I will offer one more caveat if affordability is a concern check out the Free ROI Calculator on their website…you might be surprised to learn how fast a new system can pay for itself.
I don’t want to seem like I am digressing I just get very excited about the myriad of services offered by Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. Going back to my point however, you want to know if customers are making purchases. If you can identify the times of day and days of the week most shoppers are frequenting your store you can add more payroll to those days and times. Customers will leave a store for all kinds of reasons without making a purchase. There may not be a sales person to help them, lines at the registers are too long, employees are snippy because the store is understaffed and they don’t have enough support. A people counting system can aid a store manager in ensuring adequate coverage is in the store at these peak times. More employees means more opportunities to suggestive sell or keep cash register lines moving so people don’t abandon shopping baskets and walk out empty handed.
If conversion rates are low it could also be an indicator of other problems such as a lack of merchandise on the floor. If you start using a customer counting device and find a gross imbalance between the people entering and leaving and the number of transactions it is possible you have bare shelves of high demand items. If you sell medicine and people are not finding what they need the customer won’t necessarily say anything. You may start digging and find you have theft issues, stocking problems or replenishment problems from a distributor. A people counting system won’t tell you the problem but it can help identify a problem that if corrected can improve your sales.
Not being aware of what is impacting your sales growth potential is harmful in the long-term. Allowing Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. to help you install a people counting system and understand how it works to enhance your sales should be obvious by now. Count on Sensormatic and Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. to help your business grow.
A people counting system is important and we can help you with it. Call 1.770.426.0547 and let’s talk.
Here I am in the library where I work and I glanced at the people counting system we use to track headcount and we are really low in patron numbers. What a great time to get some tasks done that we have on our agenda. I have the same number of employees working as I do any other day but some are basically twiddling their thumbs waiting to provide assistance at our circulation and help desk. We are on the last day of classes before the college students take a break so many people have already left campus. There just is not the same level of activity as a normal day would have. In fact at this point of the day we are at only about half our normal counts. Had I looked at our counts from last year I could have planned out activities for the employees better in order to get things done that we needed to do. Have you ever found yourself in this type of quandary in your store? You walk to the cashier stand and the cashier is standing around waiting for someone to make a purchase while your salesfloor employees are loitering around talking about who knows what? Payroll for student workers is not based on sales or productivity so the impact of having our staff here is not detrimental to what we do. Actually, not using allotted payroll hurts our department (and student workers) more than having excess students. Our customer counting device is more helpful in showing why we need more space and furniture. For retail owners having unnecessary or unproductive staff on the time clock when they are not needed is costly.
If a store owner is interested in getting more bang for the buck from their payroll dollars a people counting system is exactly what the doctor ordered. Consider for a moment the advantages you would have if you could look at prior year customer headcounts and know for a specific week what days and times your store was busy. I’m not talking about sales data right now I am specifically talking about customer foot traffic. Maybe you want to plan a training day for your managers with Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. (LPSI) on “Employee Theft Reduction Training”. How convenient would it be to review prior year people counting system information and be able to select a date that will offer few interruptions because it just won’t be all that busy? Maybe you want to plan an employee appreciation day for the hard work your employees have put in this past year. Use your customer counting device records to pick your day. Store bounce-backs or cleaning days can be rough to do if you get the wrong day. Even if your employees are happy to help customers it just feels awkward when they are dusty and dirty and dressed down and trying to render that assistance. Busy days are just not the right time for these task-oriented work days.
A customer counting device does not have to be relegated to finding the best days for activities either. I want you to think about your store’s conversion rate. If you don’t know how many people have walked through your doors you have no idea how many left without making a purchase. You start tracking how many people are entering and leaving and compare that number to your daily sales transactions and the result may make you cringe. What could you have done differently to get more merchandise into the hands of customers? That brings us back to the point about proper staffing.
In Part 2 we will continue to explore how a customer counting device can improve your staffing model. We will also look at how it can be used as a tool to help increase sales. I will tell you that if you are interested in learning more about the advantages a store has when keeping track of patron headcounts or just improving your sales through shortage reduction, LPSI is a great resource for retailers.
Need information on a customer counting device? Give us a call at 1.770.426.0547 now.