How Analytics Will Revolutionise Loss Prevention

June 08, 2018 ByCatherineWalsh


The retail Loss Prevention function continues to evolve, taking on increasing responsibility for growing retail profitability. Not only do today’s Loss Prevention leaders manage theft and risk – they are also critical to growing sales, ensuring store profitability and advancing the shopper experience.

Let me take you on a journey where loss prevention knows as much about shopper behaviour as store operations. Imagine entering a world where loss prevention professionals can recognise issues in real-time across individual stores, regions and enterprise-wide operations for better prevention and synergies.

In this world, loss prevention professionals can quickly identify patterns in alarms, items stolen and theft occurrences, and are able to reduce shrink across stores. Equipment downtime means something is really down, and maintenance or alarm malfunctions are a thing of the past. Repeat shoplifting offenders are tracked, and ORC jammers and foil-lined bags are measured and reported across the business. Based on meaningful analytics, law enforcement captures the bad operators to combat ORC occurrences. Through this awareness there is a stronger case to be made to C-Suite executives, and in turn investors, by showcasing how investing in loss prevention services and spend can positively affect the bottom line.

The benefits of better shrink analytics for the retail industry

While loss prevention has benefitted from emerging technologies that help identify theft, the industry is still thirsty for analytics that provide actionable information and insights. As retailers work with leaner budgets and more market scrutiny, we’re seeing C-Suite executives, especially CFOs, pay closer attention to shrink and how minimising it can benefit larger company narratives shared with analysts, investors and influencers on earnings calls. This is especially true as brick-and-mortar retailers try to compete with e-commerce rivals who don’t have the same challenges around both internal and external theft.

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."  - Albert Einstein

As the industry adjusts to the new normal of always-on retail, loss prevention must keep up with data-heavy demands. While inventory and merchandising management have relied on data analytics for years, it’s loss prevention’s time to reap the benefits of new real-time actionable insights to better understand and control store shrink.

According to LP Magazine, analytics enables retail businesses to act predictively and proactively, rather than descriptively and reactively. By having real-time insights to help with decision-making and adjustments, loss prevention professionals are bringing more to the table for their organisation and working toward the larger business goal – better servicing the customer, profitably. Retail cannot survive without this service. No longer will it be another stat on the quarterly or yearly report. For instance, real-time insights into existing Electronic Article (EAS) systems can help deliver on larger business goals, today, tomorrow and in the future.

Making the future a reality

By integrating data from existing EAS tags and pedestals into one easy-to-navigate dashboard, loss prevention professionals can become equipped for early identification of problems; and through recognising larger root causes of shrink within operations, corrective actions can be taken to avoid future problems. Plus, having a clear picture of store operations can allow managers to receive notifications on an exception basis to know what is important and needs their attention. This ultimately allows them to make data-driven decisions where and when it counts, rather than guessing.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.” - Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

As a leader in retail loss prevention, we’re excited to help revolutionise the loss prevention industry. We recently launched Sensormatic Shrink Management as a Service (SMaaS), which is designed to help retailers enhance productivity, and increase reliability and performance for a more effective loss prevention programme. The new cloud-based service provides both device management, along with predictive analytics, to manage shrink while addressing underlying root causes.

This is a game-changer for the industry and will help transform loss prevention as we know it – reducing shrink, improving sales and optimising staffing. Our journey has begun. Join us.

You can learn more about our Sensormatic Shrink Management as a Service (SMaaS) offerings here.


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