Enhancing Loss Prevention: Why Panoramic Surveillance is Critical
As online shopping continues to take hold in the retail industry, brick-and-mortar stores are looking to do whatever it takes to improve the customer experience and compete amongst the convenience of purchasing through a phone or computer. Tailoring marketing and merchandising to meet the needs of today’s consumer ranks high among the priorities of these businesses, but there’s also another significant factor that’s consistently impacting their bottom line: retail theft and crime.
The proof can be found in the statistics: inventory shrink accounted for $7.45 billion in the UK in 2017, with shoplifting ranking as the top cause for and greatest percentage of inventory shrinkage. Additionally, according to the British Retail Consortium in 2018, customer theft alone accounted for more than £700 million in 2018, a 31% increase on the previous year.
Given the consequences of these losses, retailers are searching for ways to mitigate risk and enhance the safety of their employees and customers. We’re therefore seeing loss prevention (LP) professionals turn to the implementation of comprehensive and intelligent security systems throughout their stores.
These solutions often leverage video at their core, and while any type of surveillance camera is better than none, the retail industry can take advantage of added benefits through the use of panoramic surveillance technology. It’s crucial for retailers to 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.
But panoramic surveillance technology provides more value than just observation capabilities. In addition to monitoring activity as it is occurring in real time, 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 security operators to work backward from the incident and obtain more details leading to the build-up or the aftermath once people have dispersed.
A single 360-degree camera can replace several pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras, saving on costs and maintenance. Comprehensive store coverage enabled by just a few panoramic cameras also offers loss prevention managers the ability to track individuals throughout the store, which is critically important when investigating instances of organized retail crime. And when it comes to shoplifting or internal theft, 360-degree cameras ensure that customers or employees cannot take advantage of blind spots with regard to camera placement.
The extensive uses and capabilities of panoramic surveillance technology have made it so that video surveillance and security are no longer seen as a cost centre for retailers. This is a crucial step forward as brick-and-mortar stores continue the battle against online retailers and the increasing security risks they face every day. At its core, intelligent panoramic video capture can contribute to this goal by providing full coverage of these dynamic environments.