How Will Cashierless Stores Change the Security Needs of Shops?

Boon Edam Limited Blog | June 2019

The advance of technology takes us to new and wonderful places. One of those places is a shop without the need to wait in long queues and to pay for items without even using our pin numbers. Through the use of self-service machines, these cashierless shops are designed to make the customer experience as effortless as possible and speed up the overall shopping experience.

So, What's The Problem?

All new technology can experience teething problems with not only the devices, but also how user friendly they are. The idea of speedy checkouts through self-service machines can be compromised due to the lack of understanding from users and miscalculations on item weights. However, the biggest issue regarding quick payments is most certainly security, and how to evolve in-store security to work alongside cashierless stores.

Since 1833 self-service has been a desired concept that began with vending machines. In the early 2000’s the largest supermarket chains within the UK had adopted self-service checkouts and now in 2019 within London’s Holborn Circus is the first UK mobile first and till-free grocery store. But, with a rise in self-service has caused a rise of employed people watching with most shops still requiring manned security, and employees to watch over the self-service areas.

How Do People Steal From Cashierless Stores?

Thieves have always managed to use sneaky tricks to pull off their crimes and it is no different for those that choose to steal from cashierless shops. Some brazen thieves may just stand by self-service machines and pretend to pay for items while slipping them in their backpack. Some may even add items to their backpack beforehand without anyone to challenge them at a cash register.

However, thieves cannot just add them to their shop without scanning items because the weight calculation will, this time correctly, flag up. It should be said though that some overseeing staff member will not check bags for the last items and will simply swipe their authorisation card to state that there was a miscalculation – when there wasn’t.

Another tactic used by these criminals is to choose the cheaper items from lists rather than the item they actually bought, or choose a lower quantity of the item. This has become known as the self-service scam.

What Are The Solutions for Store Owners?

Vigilant staff and courage to challenge potential shoplifters are the biggest needs of businesses who use self-service machines. Confidence in your staff is important but an added layer of defence, to improve your entryways should not be underestimated. For more information regarding the impact of retail crimes on businesses, read here.

Deterring criminals from stealing from your store starts at the front entrance. Some thieves are not subtle about what they do and will try to quickly take items from shelves, hide them in their bags, and make a run for it. Including front-of-house entry solutions that slow down how quickly a customer can leave the store goes some way to deterring them.

Some examples of these entrances include revolving doors that stall and make you slow down upon approaching. These doors will give security and staff a better chance of catching thieves who make a break for it. For more information on how you can incorporate security into your entrance, read here.

Self-Service Access Control Solutions.

The wisest store owners have already installed a type of entrance that customers must pass to leave the self-service area. These entrances are a type of speed gate that customers must scan themselves out of using their shopping receipt. Although not every speed gate can match the receipt with what is being taken out of the store, it can help you deter thieves and also timestamp incidents. This type of access control technology has seen to be successful in parking facilities with barcode scanning.

The importance of security has never been so important due to the rise of cashierless stores and reduced cashiers. These entrances may seem like an unnecessary investment at first, but the number of thefts that they can deter and prevent will make them worthwhile in the long run.

Written by your entry experts.

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