In the retail world, safety is a top priority. Ensuring customers and employees are safe at all times takes a few steps, though. With the added stress of COVID-19, everyone in the store must remain safe from physical harm and from the virus.
As a retailer, you have several options to work with for safety. From security cameras to raising awareness, the following resources help you create a safer retail environment.
1. Security Cameras
Security cameras have been a reliable tool for safety for many years. They offer visual and sometimes audio surveillance of various aspects of the store. Newer cameras, though, can go above and beyond traditional functions.
You can use cameras with a higher-quality feed, faster connections, and remote monitoring from a mobile device. Other cameras may work with facial recognition technology to identify anyone exhibiting suspicious behavior.
In one study, the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras led to a 47.4% reduction in robberies and theft. Cameras are smart, effective, and provide the results you need to keep people safe at all times.
2. Security Guards
Another traditional and reliable method of safety is to work with security guards throughout your retail location. Having security guards helps address any concerns in the moment to diffuse the situation and protect everyone in the area.
Without security guards, you would typically have to contact authorities in any instances that require help. However, the wait for law enforcement could take a few minutes. Instead, security guards will remain vigilant and present at your location.
In fact, working with security guards has historically led to a 16% reduction in victim-generated crimes. Retaining safety personnel is an effective method for protecting those in your store.
3. Gunshot Detection Systems
Gun violence is something any retailer hopes will never happen, but if you’re looking for an innovative solution for safety against violent crime, you can work with gunshot detection systems. These systems process local data about any gun-based activity and can alert you if necessary. They can also use audio monitoring to detect the sound of a gunshot nearby. Then, you can take the appropriate safety measures.
ShotSpotter SiteSecure for Retail is one example of a detection system. Typically, ShotSpotter has provided resources for law enforcement. Now, though, you can use these to protect yourself and everyone else in the store. With instant notifications, you can receive a faster response from law enforcement, too, if necessary.
4. Foot Traffic Control
Physical safety is important across the board — whether it’s safety against violence or protection from the COVID-19 virus. Foot traffic control can improve both of these safety factors.
To properly control foot traffic, you can turn to curbside pickup and delivery. These two services have taken off during the pandemic as safe alternatives for shopping. In fact, 85% of shoppers increased how often they opt for curbside pickup due to the pandemic.
As fewer people come into the store, the risk goes down for spreading the virus and for violent incidents. Thus, everyone is safer and can also get their products in a convenient way.
5. An Aware Environment
An aware environment is another all-encompassing solution you can continuously work towards. Safety can be a collective effort in retail, especially since employees or customers may catch things you don’t notice. Through signage or training, you can encourage an environment of “see something, say something.” That way, people report suspicious behavior.
You can also create a physical environment of safety with subtle touches. Specifically, lighting can go a long way. If you leave outside or indoor lights on when the store is closed, it can appear like people are in there, deterring criminal activity.
A Safe Retail Experience
With the above resources and tips, you can create a safer retail environment for everyone. From employees to customers, technology and connections will help keep people safe from any violent or criminal activity. Some will also help with COVID-19 precautions during the pandemic. Now is the time to act and protect your retail experience.
Devin Partida is a technology writer and blogger. She is the Editor-in-Chief at ReHack.com, where she covers consumer electronics, apps and tech trends.