The National Retail Federation has just released its latest research, the National Retail Security Survey 2020. The study found an actual reduction in the level of collaboration between Loss Prevention and IT teams from 2019 to 2020. Frequent / dedicated collaboration between LP and IT dropped from just over 30% in 2019 to 18% in 2020. This could be in part due to increased levels of shrink or an increased workload for IT teams. It can’t be stressed enough, however, that LP and IT teams work together to increase operational efficiencies and reduce shrink.
Adrian Beck has released his latest research – the report “The Use of Video in Retail”. This research has uncovered even more data on the need for LP teams to work collaboratively across all departments in their organisation. This blog post will provide a summary of the report plus additional insight into how retail LP teams can work more effectively in order to gain increased investment in security technology.
Making the Business Case
It’s important for a retailer’s strategy regarding the use of surveillance video to be a joined up approach across departments. Beck’s report found that across businesses, investment in video technology had to provide more value than just security. One way in which this is achieved is by using video for business intelligence purposes.
Video surveillance is often a form of ‘insurance policy.’ In the case of retail, the store is able to demonstrate due diligence in the event of a crime being committed. The report uncovered that retail leaders feel video is necessary for providing the police, in particular, with evidence that they sometimes require.
Many respondents to the research noted that video technology plays a positive role in managing Health and Safety claims (whether false or valid). Video, they stated, reduces their insurance premiums by demonstrating due diligence. Furthermore, the use of video in retail enables stores to meet the requirements set by governmental licencing authorities for the sale of alcohol.
The benefits of video surveillance, therefore, are quite clear. However, if retail leaders want to further invest in cctv surveillance and expand its use in order to take full advantage of recent developments, they must adopt an approach that considers each function across the business.
The Use of CCTV Systems in Retail
A core use of video technology in retail addresses issues of staff and customer safety as well as protecting the organisation’s reputation. Beck’s research found that many retailers make the business case for video in order to meet the expectations of law enforcement.
A challenge that LP teams face is in collating evidence to either make or confirm a persuasive business case for investment in video technology. This is challenging because such data is difficult to gather unless the appropriate process has been put in place.
Beck’s research, for instance, uncovered a need to improve the active measurement of data around the role that video plays in managing fraudulent injury claims. Many of the study’s respondents highlighted the positive role that video plays in providing evidence in cases of fraudulent claims made by both customers and staff. This in effect can reduce the organisation’s insurance premiums, amongst other costs. It is evident that video therefore enhances the profitability of the organisation. However, the data that proves the value of video systems in this instance, is often not actively measured, analysed, and shared in an overarching business case.
When asked to declare who has responsibility for the strategic oversight of surveillance equipment, there were a variety of answers from the 22 retailers that took part in Beck’s study. Retailers must be aware that as the functionality of video technology continues to grow and improve, a strategy must be put in place to determine who should take responsibility for it. If retailers fail to do so, it could result in a fragmented, disjointed security strategy.
As with any case for investment in the retail sector, the case for investment in video surveillance systems should be subject to its usability across the organisation. If the particular technology that is being looked into can benefit multiple business functions, then that is a good starting point. The marketing function, for example, might be interested in the value that data from video analytics provides. It is increasingly the case that in order to win investment in video surveillance systems, it must be multi-functional and involve multiple stakeholders.
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