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INSIGHTS

Why retail should think beyond conventional security after pandemic

Why retail should think beyond conventional security after pandemic
Retail businesses should explore beyond traditional video surveillance to ensure security after the pandemic.
Although COVID continues to remain a concern, retail stores in most countries across the globe are cautiously reopening for business. But pandemic-related concerns are not the only issue they need to worry about. With economies in many countries hurt, chances of crimes like theft are higher than before.
 
The retail industry has always been a strong vertical for security solutions. But the scenario has created a need for customers and integrators to think beyond what's already there.

The need to go beyond conventional video surveillance

The video is a powerful tool in the retail sector. But when combined with data from access control and intrusion detection systems, retailers can tap into new levels of awareness that can help stop theft and organized crime.
 
"There are a host of access control technologies that are designed for this market in the post-COVID world - touchless access control devices, temperature, and mask detection, as well as remote security management of one or multiple locations," explains Ross Wilks, Head of Marketing Communications at Vanderbilt International. "These technologies can be used to automate people counting to determine occupancy management for social distancing. Role-based access control can help reduce internal theft."
 
But Nigel Ashman, President, ONVU Retail, points out that standard video has limitations. Retailers must have extensive video coverage for enhanced situational awareness and store Intelligence, and 180- and 360-degree cameras enable security teams to achieve this through the ability to monitor an entire scene with no blind spots.
 
"360-degree surveillance technology provides more value than just observation capabilities," Ashman said. "In addition to monitoring activity in real-time, loss prevention (LP) professionals can also use 360-degree cameras for retrospective views, where different parts of a scene can be viewed independently and without prior configuration or set up of that view."
 
In the event of a suspicious individual or security incident, this allows LP teams to work backward from the flashpoint and obtain more details to the build-up of the incident or the aftermath once people have dispersed.

An increased role for cloud-based solutions

One of the biggest trends in security over the past several years has been the adoption of cloud-based services, spearheaded mainly by an increasing number of video surveillance-as-a-service (VSaaS) offerings in the market.
 
"According to MarketsandMarkets, the global VaaS market size is expected to grow from $3.8 billion in 2020 to $6.2 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 8.7 percent during the forecast period," explains Nigel Waterton, CRO of Arcules. "This demand is driven by a need for real-time, and remote access video services, adoption of cloud-based services by enterprises, the increasing number of Internet-empowered devices, and lower total cost of ownership."
 
While many video surveillance deployments still primarily consist of on-premises solutions, the benefits of the cloud are too appealing for some end users to ignore. Prevalent among these users are retailers. Because many have multiple geographically dispersed locations, limited LP staff, and disparate surveillance equipment, retailers are ideal candidates for cloud-based video architectures.
 
Security and LP have traditionally been viewed as a cost center but making a move to the cloud is not the same as buying a piece of video hardware with a few new bells and whistles: it marks a fundamental shift in how retailers approach loss prevention, safety, marketing, and security. Cloud can help them be more proactive when it comes to risk and theft and focus on their biggest challenges.

Also read: how to know if ACaaS is the right choice for you

More integration and automation needed

More large retailers are looking to implement solutions that support intelligent security operations. Many have decided to leverage various strategies such as the strategic physical positioning of employees, the use of visible security cameras in high-theft areas, data analytics to detect fraud and hire off-duty police and private security officers to help mitigate risk.
 
"But overall, a collaborative and scalable solution that can integrate data from sources such as video surveillance, license plate recognition, facial recognition, access control, and video analytics platforms is key to helping retailers develop a security intelligence center," said Alan Stoddard, President of Cognyte SIS. "Retailers gain the ability to unify enormous amounts of data from virtually any system and device across the physical, cyber, and IT domains. This approach empowers retail and LP teams to harness the power of a more predictive threat model and deliver much better outcomes."
 
A converged operations model has the power to transform security and LP. It can unify, aggregate, and ingest data from multiple sources and devices for deeper situational awareness and incident response management. By establishing an interconnected platform, retailers can protect what matters most with actionable Intelligence.

Video for a transformation in traditional retail business

Video is also playing a role in the demand for digital transformation. Retail leaders are increasingly asked to look for new ways to modernize their customer experiences, increase safety, monitor operations, and ensure security to limit loss. Today, they are searching for new ways to leverage innovation to meet their overall business goals. That's where video surveillance comes in.
 
"It's not just about security and safety anymore," Ashman said. "With video at the core of store operations, the retail industry can gain more value than just observation capabilities. In fact, today's successful retailers realize that the physical store is a crucial place to establish a brand and build trust. Overall, video can be at the core of the Internet of Things (IoT), helping stores gain a deeper understanding of what is driving consumer behavior."
 
While loss prevention may still be the primary buyer, investments in the video can also increase employee productivity and optimize the customer shopping experience. When looking to ensure that customers return in the future, look no further than leveraging video to increase their loyalty and engagement. When the video is combined with customer behavior analytics, it becomes a potent retail tool.
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