In the retail industry, a slight lapse in safety and security can be catastrophic. Fraud, data breaches, and theft can impact your reputation and your bottom line. So it’s crucial to establish security measures in your retail stores.
The latest data shows that the security issues affecting retailers aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. A recent survey found that organized retail crimes continue to plague retail establishments. During 2018, retail companies lost $777,877 per $1 billion in sales to organized retail crimes.
We’re sharing these things not to alarm you but for you to be prepared. So if you don’t have the appropriate security measures in place or you’re still using outdated policies, then you need to take the necessary steps to ensure your establishment is always safe and secure.
Here are some practical tips on how to set up effective retail store security:
Identify The Security Threats And Evaluate Your Company’s Existing Practices
To implement the right retail store security system, you need to know the threats that you’re protecting your business against. According to Sean Sportun the Security & Loss Prevention Manager at Circle K, “Building an effective security plan to establish tighter security policies starts with assessing what is currently in place. This will help guide the focus on where improvements are needed and determine what policies need to be tightened up or implemented based on levels of risk.”
Let’s discuss the 2 main types of security threats in retail stores: physical and digital.
- Physical Threats
These threats involve scenarios in which the culprits have to physically violate your security measures: Here are some examples:
- Internal theft
You need to assess all the components and areas of your establishment to check for these types of threats. Determine the parts or areas of your store that are prone to security breaches. These may include hidden corners and shelves that hold highly valuable merchandise. Make sure to go through the inventory and take note of the items that are susceptible to theft.
Doing these steps helps you identify the right measures to implement. For instance, if you know what the top stolen merchandise is, then you can take steps to safeguard them. Or, if you saw some blind spots in your establishment, then you can install the appropriate equipment to keep them visible.
- Digital Threats
Now let’s discuss the various digital threats. Digital threats are carried out via cyber break-ins. Some examples of digital threats are:
- Website hacking
- Credit Card Skimming
- Secret taps in your network
- Consumer data breaches
You can maintain your retail store’s safety by ensuring that your software and hardware are up-to-date and compliant with the latest security standards This is highly crucial for programs and equipment that involve payment and customer data.
Meaghan Brophy, a Senior Retail Analyst at FitSmallBusiness states, “when it comes to digital security, the most vulnerable spots for most retail businesses are their websites and payment processing.” Moreover, to safeguard your data, she says you have to “make sure that your payment processing system is PCI compliant and that you can accept EMV or chip payments.”
She is also warned against storing credit card info and sensitive customer data. Follow this rule: If you don’t need the data, then don’t store it. Hackers can’t steal what isn’t there.
Invest in the Right Equipment
Even a highly trained staff can encounter security issues if they’re not equipped with the right tools or equipment. It’s also highly critical to invest in loss prevention tools like:
- SECURITY CAMERAS
According to Gregg DeRouanna of CCTV Security Pros, “One of the most effective ways to keep employees and customers safe is to install a surveillance camera system with comprehensive coverage over the most highly trafficked and important areas.” It’s highly recommended that you select a system that you can easily access using a computer or even a mobile gadget.
He also adds, “a camera system makes an excellent deterrent to criminal activity and inappropriate behavior. Having a record of incidents, should they occur on your premises, can also help protect you and your employees from liability. Encourage managers to periodically review the footage, even outside of incidents. That way, they can discover if safety processes are being followed even while they’re not around.”
- BARCODE LABELS AND SCANNERS
Barcode labels not only hasten your checkout and stock inventory process but also act as retail loss prevention tools. Barcode labels and scanners also ensure that all the products you bought are captured properly.
- RFID/ SECURITY TAGS
Magner also recommends that you make use of RFID tags. “RFID not only helps speed up inventory counts but can also be used as a strong security measure. It is much more secure than the older security tags, but does come at a higher price point.” If you have a limited budget, then you can opt for less costly security tag solutions and install sensors at your store’s exits to check for active tags.
Post Security Guidelines And Reminders Around Your Retail Store
Do print out the security guidelines or policies in areas where your staff converge — such as the back office, the stockroom, or even behind the counters. This helps to remind people of the security measures and ensures that the appropriate procedures are carried out.
You may also use a platform that promotes collaboration and allows you to create content and tasks to drive your policies to various departments, verify implementation, and gather feedback. It’s vital to come up with ways to get everyone on board with your store’s security measures and work together in safeguarding the company.
Hire the Right People
Implementing your store security guidelines and measures comes down to your employees. You also have to ensure that you’re hiring people who’ll enforce and not compromise your retail or department store security.
Peter Sean Magner, Director at Iridium Business Solutions, advises retail companies to be extra careful with the people they hire and to verify the backgrounds of their new employees. Background checks should be an integral part of your retails store’s security measures. Additionally, you can also perform specific checks based on the employee’s roles and responsibilities. The key is to make sure that you scrutinize every person who joins your team.
Look Into Your Existing Software and Hardware
It’s also essential to look into the security solutions you’re already using.
According to Danny Choi, Founder, and CEO of Payment Depot, “Retail solutions like POS systems, staff management software and payment processors often come with built-in security capabilities. For instance, most POS systems have user permission features that let retailers limit the information or actions available to certain employees, based on their roles. Meanwhile, some payment processors offer data breach protection as well as chargeback and risk monitoring.” As a retailer, you should be highly aware of these features and make sure that you’re using them to your advantage.
As the retail industry continues to evolve, security threats are also becoming more and more sophisticated. Entrepreneurs must do everything they can to safeguard their retail stores from these vicious security attacks. If you’re looking for dependable POS solutions, then contact POSRG right away. Call us at (905) 332-8809 so we can help you choose and set up a secure POS system for your retail businesses.