The future of security – how to keep lines of communication open

Article by Martyn Jones | 24th June 2020

Rising losses

Unfortunately, shoplifting offences have been rising. The last decade has seen consistent year-on-year increases in losses, for a variety of socio-economic reasons. Yet this trend is also combined with a diminishing budget amongst retailers for in-store security guards. 

Recent events haven’t changed this trajectory. Our own research shows that 48% of retailers have experienced verbal abuse during the pandemic, and over 38% have witnessed theft. 

Particularly amongst convenience stores, we know that thefts can be intimidating. Luckily, technology can connect teams with their own security measures and the police. The future of security is more sophisticated and relies on establishing efficient communication across teams. It is centralised, integrated with smart systems and connected to HQ.

Technology as security

We’ve discovered that one-fifth of retailers still communicate using a tannoy system, which doesn’t allow discrete conversations about security to take place. In fact, 85% of retail workers we spoke to said they were unhappy with communication technology. VoCoVo uses a single channel of communication, connecting everyone in a team immediately. This means that no individual staff feels alone, forced to ‘deal with’ something or overwhelmed. Our technology helps stop problems before they start. Seeing a connected, empowered team is a huge deterrent to potential thieves. 

Going forward, we expect to see more use of technology supporting better in-store security. The use of CCTV (in accordance with GDPR) is a more fitting and consistent way of monitoring shopper activity. 

Smart devices

Our own technology integrates with smart devices in-store. This is crucial, in allowing colleagues to address problems before they arise. It enables teams to be made aware of changes in shelf weight, for example, via our headset. This warning system transforms in-store security measures, giving teams the time to react, analyse and understand the situation. It also enables colleagues to decide the best course of action, reducing the pressure on individuals. 

As well as smart shelving, our communication technology is linked with CCTV. This empowers the team and helps a timely notification reach the right person. New security door sensors can also be integrated with our system, enabled teams to act accordingly. 

VoCoVo’s own tough, durable product range has the ability to empower your team with discrete communication. 

Looking beyond the pandemic

Another disturbing trend of the ‘new normal’ is a rise in physical altercations. Our data shows that 48% of retail staff faced a physical challenge from customers during the pandemic, suggesting that under some circumstances shoppers can even become abusive. 

In a post-COVID-19 world, we don’t expect to see the return of security guards in UK retail. Our customers increasingly rely on technology and sophisticated systems to support their staff in doing their job safely. Especially if staff are expected to remain physically distant from colleagues, it’s likely that stores will have to amend or upgrade their security measures to keep losses from increasing.

VoCoVo has listened to our customers and developed a product range that will help retailers and hospitality businesses protect their interests. Our products connect and empower your team, deter thieves and integrate with security doors, CCTV and smart shelving.

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