Lessons To Be Learned From The NRF Retail Security Survey

A few weeks ago, the National Retail Federation published its 24th annual National Retail Security Survey in conjunction with its annual NRF PROTECT conference — estimating that American retailers lost $44 billion in 2014 due to shoplifting, fraudulent activities, and other shrinkage causes.

The study is the result of NRF’s strategic partnership with Dr. Richard Hollinger of the University of Florida. One hundred senior loss prevention executives from various sectors in retail were interviewed to uncover various findings to inventory shrink, employee integrity, external retail crime and more.

Lesson 1: Loss Prevention Technology Matters

Shrinkage is an enormous problem — a $44 billion problem to be exact.

Click here to tweet: Shrinkage costs US shoppers about $300 per household every year! #lossprevention

Tweet: Shrinkage costs US shoppers $300 per household every year! #lossprevention http://ctt.ec/5EJ0c+

Although there is some good news, this only represents 1.38% of retail sales — the lowest percentage in the survey’s history! This means that retail sales are growing faster than the shrinkage.

One reason for this is the availability and the implementation of sophisticated loss prevention technologies. It is safe to say that retailers who are utilizing the latest loss prevention technologies available to them are the ones seeing the results. Technology does matter.

Click here to tweet: Technology matters. Shrinkage % down in US for 1st time in 24 years. 

Tweet: Technology matters. Shrinkage % down in US for 1st time in 24 years. http://ctt.ec/cdvrz+


Lesson 2: Employee Theft Is Not Dealt With Effectively

According to the study, the losses in 2014 break down into the following categories:

  • Shoplifting (37%)
  • Employee/internal theft (34.5%)
  • Administrative and paperwork errors (16.5%)
  • Vendor fraud or error (6.8%)
  • Unknown loss (6.1%)


While external shoplifting is still the main cause of shrinkage, employee theft is a very close second!

However, internal fraud and even outright stealing is a very touchy topic among employers. Without sufficient evidence, addressing sweethearting or other criminal activities by employees is difficult — if not impossible.

Retailers need to find the cause of employee theft in their stores and then search for ways to eliminate these. This might be a more controlled POS environment, securing backrooms with remote access control systems or by using RFID to account for all products at any point in time.

Lesson 3: Loss Prevention Budgets Are Going Up

The third lesson is that retail executives realize the importance of reducing shrink and invest accordingly. According to the study, 39.4% of those surveyed say their budget for 2015 increased over last year; just over one-third (36.6%) said their budgets would be similar to what they were last year — leaving 23.9% of respondents with decreased resources.

However, no matter how big your budget is, your funds have to be spent wisely. With the complexities and demands on store operations and security personnel increasing, retailers have to choose very carefully which solutions to implement.

For loss prevention professionals, it is important to select solutions that provide a lower total cost of ownership to the organization. By choosing technology with an open architecture, it allows for the integration into other systems with the purpose of generating valuable and actionable intelligence.

What did you learn?

Did you have a chance to read the NRF Retail Security Survey? What were your key takeaways? We would love to hear them – just sound off in the comments below.

Partner Spotlight: iMotion Security

Nedap Retail’s global success is built on a tight network of the best-in-class solution providers. It spans over 100 countries worldwide and we are proud to say that our partners are an integral part of the Nedap Retail family.

So, we wanted to do more than simply put their contact information up on our partner page: we wanted to give each of them a dedicated partner spotlight in the upcoming months so you can learn more about their company, how they started, what keeps them up at night and what drives them to excel at what they do every single day!

Say Hello To iMotion Security

This month, we will kick things off with iMotion Security, a Canadian partner who joined the Nedap Retail partner network just over 12 months ago.

Kristen_MariniWe interviewed Kristen Marini, the National Director of Retail Loss Prevention at iMotion Security, about the company, their secret sauce to success and to get a small peak behind the curtain.

Kristen, who is originally from Melbourne, Australia is a Nedap certified professional herself and a huge fan of our solutions.

Our partnership with Nedap has been fantastic. The constant support from the teams located in North America and Europe has been wonderful. We are looking forward to a long lasting business relationship with Nedap.

The company was founded in 1999 and employs 12 in the Montreal Headquarters, 2 in the Toronto Office, and 2 in the San Diego Sales Office. The main focus of the company is to deliver outstanding products and services to clients across Canada.

We pride ourselves on maintaining life-long partnerships with our clients and offer world-class service before, during and years after installation.

A Company Culture That Emphasizes Education and Customer Service

iMotion does not believe in the concept of “Jack of all trades, master of none” — all employees specialize on managing a particular area of expertise to ensure that each and every installation receives the most trained and skilled professional. All employees are constantly attending regular training sessions and courses to keep them up to date with the latest technology, newest products and maintain their certifications of expertise.

Besides sharpening their skills, the company invests heavily in team building, work-life balance and relationship building.

We at iMotion are a close knit family and although we have specialized department managers we work together to ensure the best possible solution and execution per installation (big or small).  We are all very bubbly and personable and you will hear us whistling, singing and/or providing some kind of office entertainment throughout the day.

The company’s showroom is equipped with a pool table – but it is not only the team members having fun, customers are also invited and often join in the fun. Speaking of the showroom – it is spectacular. Visitors can see real-life examples of more than 100 IP Cameras, EAS solutions, Access Control Panels, Alarm Systems and more.

You can learn more about iMotion Security by checking out their website or simply schedule a security assessment below. Or just come by their showroom for a game of pool!

Back-To-School: What That Means For Your Loss Prevention

“Back to School” means big business for any retailer from electronics to office supplies as well as shoes, backpacks and apparel. The average family with school-aged children is planning to spend $630.36 on electronics, apparel and other school needs this year, according to NRF’s Back-to-School Spending Surveyconducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. For families with college kids, this number is even higher.

So, inventory is high, the crowds are large and the opportunity for thieves even bigger.  Some even call the months of July, August, and September the “super shoplift season.”

With school starting anywhere from the middle of August to mid-September, businesses are busy running special sales. While last year most back-to-school shoppers took more time to prepare, the survey indicates that this year 37% of the back-to-college shoppers are planning to procrastinate until 3-4 weeks before school start this year. Families with school-age children are waiting even longer to buy supplies. This means more customers in the store at the same time.

However, whenever there are significant sales and many customers, there are also many opportunities for shoplifting and employee theft. Here are some actionable tips how you can prepare your business from a loss prevention standpoint:

Seize Every Opportunity To Remind Employees Of Your Shoplifting Policies

Schedule store-wide or departmental meetings before the rush begins to remind every single employee of your policy towards shoplifting. If you don’t have a policy regulating how each member of your organization should conduct themselves when facing a shoplifting or fraud situation, you should develop one as quickly as possible.

It should outline who is authorized to approach suspected thieves, what the protocol is for your security guards, and how you will deal with employee theft and sweethearting. If you have an EAS systems in place that does not automatically monitor its status, include a daily testing protocol as well.


Consider Increasing Your Tagging Levels

Most retailers that are using RF-based EAS solutions have a low tagging level of 20-40% of their high-value and most likely-to-be-stolen merchandise. However, by increasing the number of products that have a security label on them will help deter thieves as well as make your store overall more safe.

Getting Back On Track After Summer Vacations

Summer is vacation time and for many that means planning trips with their families, visiting friends or just getting out of the daily grind and onto some warm sandy beaches. But this also means, that the week before and after the vacation, employees are distracted with their preparations or having a hard time finding their rhythm again. And, while this is natural, it helps to be aware of it and plan around it. The Loss Prevention Foundation suggests having a simple, direct and goal-oriented summer plan in place.

Use Back-To-School As A Test Phase For The Holiday Season

Once the “Back To School” event is behind you, you will be gearing up for the busy holiday season! You can use this smaller-scale craziness as a test-run for your upcoming months. Keep a log of activities and their successes and outcomes and analyze what measures bore fruit and which need improvements. This way you are better prepared once November hits.

What Is Your Back-To-School Strategy?

Have you found a way to fight shoplifting in this busy time that was particularly successful? Or maybe you have tried something that did not go as planned? Please share with us and your peers below – we would love to continue the discussion.

3 LinkedIn Groups Every Loss Prevention Professional Should Join

Some social media networks are better than others — depending on what you are using them for and what your profession is. While consumer-focused retail businesses generally use Facebook and Pinterest to market their products, LinkedIn is a social media platform that is specifically targeted at professionals. It allows them to network, exchange ideas and establish themselves as thought leaders.

While it is useful for a wide range of professions, LinkedIn can be valuable for loss prevention managers as well as executives in the retail industry.

In order to get the most benefit from the platform, members should maintain a professional, up-to-date personal profile – but that it is not enough. Actively participating in LinkedIn groups enables experts to stay up-to-date with the current news and developments in the industry as well as exchange best practices and learn from other thought leaders in the loss prevention field.

Here are the three largest LinkedIn groups you should join and actively participate in:

NRF Retail Loss Prevention Professionals

  • Number of members: 13,193 as of July 2015
  • Private group. To request membership, click Join and your request will be reviewed by the group manager
  • Owner: Robert G Moraca, Vice President Loss Prevention at National Retail Federation

About: The National Retail Federation has created this group to provide a forum for LP professionals to discuss emerging industry trends and important issues and network with each other. All posted discussions that are not relevant to retail loss prevention will be deleted. Additionally, members who use the discussion board for the purposes of marketing or blatantly endorsing their company or products will be removed from the group.

Discussions & activity level in the group: There were over 20 posts within the past week in this group. While engagement on each post is low, there is some activity. Most posts are topic related and the group contains a lot less promotional posts than other LinkedIn groups.

Loss Prevention Professionals | McAfee Institute

  • Number of members: 14,563 as of July 2015
  • Private group. To request membership, click Join and your request will be reviewed by the group manager
  • Owner: Joshua McAfee, McAfee Institute

About: This is a group for Retail Loss Prevention and Asset Protection professionals with profiles on LinkedIn to network with other LP professionals, make new contacts and share expertise. Membership is open to Loss Prevention, Asset Protection, Retail and Law Enforcement professionals and is owned and operated by the McAfee Institute.

Discussions & activity level in the group: This group allows members to post jobs as well as promotional content besides the regular discussions. Since this group and the NRF group share very active members, there is some cross-posting across the different groups. This group sees less activity than the previous one — but the rate of engagement is more per post. 

The Loss Prevention Foundation

  • Number of members: 9,523 as of July 2015
  • Private group. To request membership, click Join and your request will be reviewed by the group manager
  • Owner: Gene Smith, LPC, President at The Loss Prevention Foundation

About: This LinkedIn group is managed by the Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF) – an international leader in educating and certifying retail loss prevention and asset protection professionals. This LinkedIn Group is a venue to help the LP Foundation students, members, and credential holders educate themselves; and network on personal and professional developmental topics.


If you have not yet joined these groups, apply to join them today. Once your request is approved by the group manager, have a look around. Make a point to read and comment on posts your peers have written. Like them to show your support. Ask questions and give advice. You will see, it is not only interesting but also grows your awareness of the latest trends as well as your personal “brand” as a loss prevention manager.

5 Common Pitfalls That Could Thaw Your Loss Prevention Efforts

Any loss prevention or store operations manager knows that loss prevention is the result, not the effort.

Ultimately, the only thing that counts at the end of the day is how much shrinkage you can prevent by employing the latest technology, devising the best training and hiring the most diligent employees.

However, even in the best scenarios there are factors that hinder your loss prevention efforts and encourage shrinkage. Below are the most common ones:

Lack Of A Comprehensive Loss Prevention Strategy

The first and probably the most important reason loss prevention efforts fail is a lack of a comprehensive loss prevention strategy that ties into the overarching business goals of the organization.

A study by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton for the Harvard Business School entitled “The Strategy-Focused Organization” found that “a mere 7% of employees today fully understand their company’s business strategies and what’s expected of them in order to help achieve company goals.”

The overall goal of most retailers is to profitably sell products that were manufactured by a third party to maximize shareholder value — whereas the task of loss prevention managers is to help the organization sell more by losing less.

If a loss prevention strategy only focuses on preventing shoplifting, you are ignoring the other pieces of the puzzle such as securing the employee and back entrances, scanning incoming inventory to prevent vendor fraud, tracking each item individually to minimize administrative errors and making the store more secure for employees as well as visitors.

Shrinkage prevention is an organization-wide problem and has to be tackled on a corporate level. Every single employee must be informed, aware and educated on the causes and consequences of shrinkage — this will not only lower employee theft but also make the entire team more alert.

Loss Prevention In A Vaccum

Hand in hand with incorporating loss prevention into the overarching business strategy is the integration of loss prevention systems into existing business applications.

Traditional RF- or AM-based electronic article surveillance (EAS) systems are not integrated with other systems because they are electronic-based and not software-driven. This lack of integration not only isolates the company’s loss prevention efforts from other processes within the organization, but it inhibits the retailer to build a network of reinforcing systems that work together.

With mega-trends such as omni-channel, globalization, big data and the Internet of Things shaping the retail landscape, IT and other business departments need to work closer and align better with loss prevention.

However, the recently released study The Great Disconnect Between LP and IT finds that there are huge discrepancies between IT and loss prevention – however executives’ priorities do not align with these realities. For example, on average, the revenue lost per case of employee theft is up to six times larger than what shoplifters help themselves to (according to the 2015 Retail Theft Survey), but tackling internal theft is deprioritised compared to other priorities.


At the moment, only 8.3% of the IT budget (not including Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards and data breach protection efforts) is dedicated to loss prevention efforts. One reason for this low number is simply that other business priorities are taking precedence. The other reason that loss prevention receives so little attention from IT is because electronic systems are not IT-enabled and cannot be integrated into other business applications. In fact, IT personnel, as well as LP professionals name system integration as one of the biggest hurdles in building a closer relationship.

With an increasing number of solutions including open API’s, internet connectivity and the ability to integrate with business applications, this will change over the next couple of years.

Demotivated Employees

The third reason why loss prevention fails is demotivated employees. Retail thrives and fails with the quality and retention of its employees that it hires.

Theft from employees and their lack of motivation to follow up on alarm situations is very high. This is especially true in the United States, where the average retail employee earns on average $7.65 – $14.10 according to PayScale — compared to for example $17.42 in Germany. In addition, American stores have a high employee turnover rate of 67 percent. Both of these factors result in decreased motivation and loyalty towards the employer which is reflected in high shrinkage.

If a customer walks into your shop and they get approached almost immediately and helped, there is less opportunity to browse the merchandise, inspect security tags and slip items into aluminum foil-lined bags. In contrast, if your personnel is busy exchanging the latest gossip, filing nails or playing games on their phone, there is more opportunity for theft.

Lastly, if your front line workers don’t pursue a visitor that set off an alarm because they could not bother or are too embarrassed, your loss prevention efforts are futile.


No Clear Reasons For Alarms

The number of alarms your system sounds during the day can be a good indicator if something is amiss. For example, if you usually have 20-30 alarms during the day and this increases suddenly to 80-100 alarms daily, you know something is not right. But sometimes it is hard to determine the reason for the alarms.

If your system can decipher the alarm direction, you already have an indication for the cause of the problem.

Maybe a piece of merchandise fell behind a display case and into the field of the security pedestal, it would cause a non-directional alarm. However, you could see an increased number of incoming alarms if your neighboring store does not deactivate their tags properly, and customers continue their shopping in your store.

Not knowing the causes of the alarms prevents you from fixing the underlying problem and will result in too many alarms — which in turn will scare away shoppers.

No Status Updates On The Health Of Your Systems

For most retail employees, the day starts by testing the loss prevention systems. They have to go with a tagged merchandise item past a pedestal to manually test if it sounds an alarm.

However, if the system does not perform at peak performance, stops working during the day or the staff does not perform a daily check, the store will be unprotected for longer periods of times.

Often, the reason for the malfunction is simple and could be fixed if the system would be able to sound an alert — for example moving a display that has been blocking the EAS system.

Also, by having an Internet connection, you can allow remote device monitoring and maintenance as well as constant firmware updates to keep your solution improving over time.

Which factors do you see as the most hindering?

Which common pitfalls do you encounter every day that hinder you to do your job effectively? We would love to hear them – please use the comments below to continue the discussion.

Meatlifting: Why Americans Steal Meat From Grocery Stores

When asked about your most bizarre experience as a loss prevention manager, you will probably have enough stories to fill a book – especially in supermarkets and grocery stores where ladies are stuffing honey-baked hams into their handbags or guys packing as many Purloined Sirloins down their pants as can fit.

And while some stories are funny to recount later, stealing meat is a serious issue: Every year millions of pounds of beef, pork and veal disappears from the shelves.

Meat Most Attractive For Shoplifters

Meat, next to alcohol, is one of the higher-priced items in any grocery store — Purloined Sirloin being the hottest item.

According to Heather Garlich of the Food Marketing Institute, it is not surprising that “we’ve been witnessing a steady increase in theft of meat at retail for the last several years. [We know] from anecdotal discussions with our food retail and wholesale members, meat and health and beauty aids, are indeed the highest ranked products for ‘shrink.’”

Desperation Or Need Are Not The Primary Drivers

Whenever the issue of theft of food items is discussed, the general assumption is the culprit acted out of desperation or need to feed themselves. You feel yourself emphatizing with the shoplifter — even trying to somehow justify their crime.

However, most of the meat that is stolen are expensive cuts such as lamb chops, filet mignon or Angus beef. The meat-lifting is done by people who can afford to buy groceries but want to occasionally reward themselves (“I worked so hard, I deserve a good steak!”) or out of a false sense of entitlement.

According to a study conducted by the University of Florida, most meat is nipped by women between 35 and 40 years old — men prefer to steal batteries or other higher-priced items they could potentially resell to support a gaming or drinking addiction.

How Can You Protect Your Merchandise?

While retailers and drugstores have been locking up hot items — such as cough medicines containing pseudoephedrine, perfumes, and cigarettes — into secure display cases or behind safe counters, this is not entirely possible for meat.

Locking Away Is Not An Option

Most shoppers want to get their grocery shopping over and done with as soon as possible and prefer to help themselves at self-help cooler-cases. If grocery stores would force customers to grab a number and organize their shopping around the butcher line, shoppers would change their primary grocery store faster than you can say “Hi, what can I do for you today?”

Food-Safe Tagging Inside The Packaging

A more effective option is tagging your products for electronic article surveillance. The package must include a food-safe security tag that holds up to refrigeration and freezing, is microwave-safe and conforms with health- and sanitation standards.

Prosecution & Other Consequences

The most effective deterrent for theft is being prosecuted. However, most police departments are rather short-staffed and will not have the manpower to come and arrest every single person stealing $20 worth of steak. In Dallas, Texas stealing under $50 will not be pursued at all.

So, what is a store to do? Other than posting codes of conducts and barring past offenders from reentering their stores – there is not much retailers can do other than using loss prevention technology as a long-term deterrent to keep them from coming back.

Want To Learn More?

Download our white paper about how to secure chillend and frozen meat products.




Most US Loss Prevention Systems Only Deal With The Tip Of The Iceberg

A few months ago, a man strolled into a retailer in a small New Jersey town. He looked relaxed wearing a navy sweater; his sunglasses propped up on his head. No one suspected he was about to steal three purses. A few hours later, a woman enters the same store, heads for the cash register to return the very same previously stolen handbags and asks for cash back. She knows she will get the money — they already scammed other local stores before.

(Photos provided by Mount Laurel Police)

(Photos: Used with permission of the Mount Laurel Police)

While it’s only a matter of time until they get caught by the police, the damage to this specific retailer is far bigger than the value of the purses alone. According to the Global Retail Theft Barometer report, every year 1.29% of U.S. retail revenue is lost to shrinkage. However, the outdated loss prevention systems in place just deal with a fraction of the problem. There is so much more to win.

Most US Loss Prevention Systems Do Not Tackle The Real Problem

Most retail stores in the United States are equipped with radio frequency (RF) or Acusto Magnetic (AM) based electronic article surveillance (EAS) solutions. Since these systems are electronic-based and not software-driven, they merely sound an alarm if a tag shows up in their electromagnetic field. Otherwise, the EAS system knows nothing.

Employees have become accustomed to the alarm going off — many times for the wrong reasons. For example, an incoming customer brought a reactivated label from a different store into your shop or merchandise with an active tag that fell within the electromagnetic field. Since it is embarrassing to confront a customer as a putative shoplifter, many employees shy away from pursuing the client and the loss prevention system is useless. Many front-line workers even see a loss prevention system more as an obstruction than a helpful tool which can assist them.

However, the much bigger problem is that the retailer does not know which item was stolen resulting in:

  • An inability to sell supposingly in stock items (stolen display models),
  • A larger inventory in stock to make up for stock inaccuracy,
  • Customer frustration when items are out of stock,
  • Inconsistent shopping experiences between online and in-store.

Software-Driven and RFID-Based EAS Systems Inject Intelligence Into Loss Prevention

A software-based EAS solution can alleviate this somewhat as it distinguishes between incoming, outgoing and non-directional alerts and has additional layers of intelligence. However, it will not be able to tell which exact item was stolen — only an RFID loss prevention solution can do that.

Additionally, you can glean analytical insights from your retail analytics and dashboarding solutions. This data can be used to learn more about the causes for the alarms sounded and better eliminate false alarm situations. You can also be on top of your system’s health and status to constantly improve performance and avoid service calls.

Sweethearting: A Sour Pill To Swallow For Retailers

The National Retail Foundation recently released its 2014 National Retail Security Survey, which estimates that retailers lost about $44 billion in potential revenue due to shrinkage last year. While shoplifting and organized crime contributed the bulk of the losses, it is closely followed by employee theft at 34.5%.

The most common type of employee theft is a practice commonly known as “sweethearting” — which refers to an employee giving a customer unauthorized discounts or free merchandise or services.

But how big of a problem is it really?

Sweethearting Is Very Common

According to a study by Brady, Voorhees, & Brusco, which was published in the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Marketing, 67% of respondents admitted that they had participated in sweethearting in the past two months.

This practice is common in all kinds of service industries, such as restaurants, hotels, and car washes as well as retail stores. As their motivation for giving away free or discounted products or services, employees often cite the hope for receiving better tips or gaining some other benefits from their customers.

Employee Theft Poses A Unique Loss Prevention Challenge

Sweethearting poses numerous, difficult challenges to any retailer.

On one hand, it is a loss prevention problem. The customers and employees are aware of that fact and will keep quiet about it. That makes it very complicated for loss prevention professionals to find the cause of the shrinkage and eliminate it.

On the other hand, it has consequences on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word-of-mouth as it inflates these scores by as much as 9%.  The client satisfaction and loyalty with this store are now tied to an employee the retailer would rather not employ.

What Can You Do To Discourage Sweethearting

Surveillance cameras and security guards checking receipts are no longer sufficient to prevent employee theft effectively. Since this problem creates a ripple effect through all areas of your organization, you can best tackle it on different fronts:

  • Educate your entire organization. Most of the time, the frontline workers are not aware of the severity of the consequences for their employer. Every single employee must know that sweethearting is prohibited, and there are clear standard operating procedures in place for giving discounts or “freebies”. Make sure your workers understand the consequences to your bottom line as well as to their career should they not act appropriately.
  • Be aware during the interview and monthly or annual review meetings. There is a variety of social and environmental factors as well as personal traits that suppress or encourage sweethearting – be conscious to these.  For example, you could include thorough screening of your potential employees’ ethical standards, their need to be accepted socially and his or her comfort with taking risks to detect possible culprits before you hire them.
  • Access control to sensitive areas. Another way to prevent employee theft is to remotely and accurately control your worker’s access to storage or warehouse facilities or other sensitive areas based on their role or the time of the day.
  • IAS at employee exit. There are certain store layouts that have a specific employee exit and entrance. It acts both as a deterrent and loss prevention solution to place pedestals at these entry and exit points. A retailer will have the same advantages as from a pedestal at the customer entrance.


Sweethearting is a problem that cannot be ignored by any retailer or business owner. While modern loss prevention solutions can help alleviate the problem, pre-employment screenings, and thorough, ongoing audits are needed to reduce employee theft in the long-term.

Need an assessment of your theft level? Schedule a free, no-strings-attached security assessment with one of our loss prevention experts and learn how you can alleviate this and other security-related challenges.

4 Reasons Why Customer Counting Should Be Part Of Your Loss Prevention Solution

Customer counting or visitor management are usually not the first words that come to mind when thinking about loss prevention.

However, customer counting is a powerful tool for keeping costs down and clients coming back while reducing losses at the same time.

Insights into your peak times and customer numbers allow you to understand better and cater to their needs, adjust your staff on the floor and even measure the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns.

Here are some of the ways you can use visitor management to delight your guests:

Identify Your Store’s Peak Hours

At the end of the day, knowing how much revenue you made today is not enough. You need to understand how many people came into your shop, at what times they visited, and how long they stayed.

Visitor counting enables you to see patterns in your shopper’s behavior. For example, identifying peak times is incredibly important. Let’s say your employees take their lunch hour at 12:30 pm. But your store gets the most foot traffic every weekday between 11:30 am and 1 pm. You need to make sure you have enough salespeople on the floor to assist customers and checkout personnel to avoid long wait times. That means you need to space out your employee’s lunch break to accommodate your customer’s needs.

Manage Your Staff Efficiently

According to an Ernst & Young study, most essential to the “survival [of any business] in the current tough retail environment is labor flexibility — that is, not the total number of hours per week, but the distribution of those hours throughout the week.”

But how do you know how to achieve this flexibility and strike the right balance? Too many employees on the floor that leaves staff bored and possibly frustrated because they do not have high enough commissions. Too few employees on the schedule and they become overworked while your customers lack attention.

Visitor counting can allow you to see the regular patterns and plan just the right amount of employees for every shift. Customers can easily find a salesperson and get the attention they deserve. And, the staff is in a better frame of mind and able to give better, more attentive service.

Increase The Dwell Time In Your Store

How long do customers typically spend in your store? Visitor counting can give you some insights about when they come in and when they leave. We all know that the longer customers spend in a store, the more money they are likely to spend. Industry analysts at PathIntelligence determined that if you can increase a customer’s dwell time by 1 percent, you will see a 1.3 percent increase in your sales.

Calculating your current average dwell time can allow you to make physical changes to your shop, and see if you can coax customers into hanging around a little longer. These changes can create a more enjoyable, relaxing experience for your clients; make a visit to your store an anticipated leisure activity.

Measure The Effectiveness Of Your Marketing Campaigns

In the past, marketing was more art than science, but with increased data tracking abilities, we can get a much more accurate idea of how our marketing efforts are paying off.

Measuring the number of visitors in your store, and comparing them against the timing of local ad campaigns can help you identify and duplicate your marketing wins. For instance, if you use proximity advertising on mobile platforms, you’ll be able to see right away whether your ad was effective.


Make sure that every system in your business is working for you, in every way possible. By discovering the customer experience benefits of visitor counting, you can not only keep your business safer but also help it grow.

Want to learn more about which must-have features your loss prevention solution should have? Download our eBook here.

10 Creative Ways To Leverage Your Retail Analytics Insights

Retail management is becoming increasingly complex and time consuming. Retailers have to prioritize the needs of a large number of stores.

With Nedap’s Retail Analytics, retailers can permanently reduce losses, optimize stock levels and increase the performance of individual stores by giving detailed insight into the behavior of their staff members, customers and loss prevention systems.

Here are ten ways you can use Nedap Retail Analytics to keep an eye on the details and address any security or performance threats as soon as they occur.

  • Make sure your loss prevention system is working properly. The Retail Analytics dashboard can show you the health of your overall system, including smart deactivators, gates, and customer counters. For example, if your employees muted the systems because of too many alarms, you need to be aware of that fact and be able to act upon it right away.
  • Get an overview on your real-time alarms. Retail Analytics lets store managers gain more insights on the number (and causes) of RF and RFID alarms, attention button alarms that have been manually triggered by an employee, or cases of metal detection events in your store. This way, you as a loss prevention / store manager can assess which problems to tackle first.
  • Control of your system when needed. Retail Analytics allows you to control your EAS system by testing or snoozing the alarm based on special circumstances in your store at a certain moment or a particular time period, as well as placing your system in temporary maintenance mode while you address the issue at hand.
  • Get an accurate assessment of your theft risk. With an intelligent loss prevention system, you can distinguish between incoming, outgoing and non-directional alarms. This allows you to register the events without artificially raising your theft risk.
  • Identify Peak Hours and Dwell Time. You can use your dashboard and the data from your visitor counters to identify peak and dwell times within the past week. Analysing your visitors dwell time analytics enables you to reduce wait times as you can predict how long people will need when they are shopping. It also lets you draw conclusions about their shopping intentions: a leisurely stroll through the aisles on Saturday afternoon suggests more browsing through different aisles and the potential for large sales, for larger sales, while people who have to run a quick errand before work on a Thursday morning, efficiency is key.
  • Effectively plan your staff. Based on the peak hour and dwell time insights, you can now plan your staff accordingly. For example, if your peak hour is at noon and the average dwell time is 45 minutes, having lunch hour at 11:30 AM instead of 1 PM will result in  a more pleasant shopping experience for your customers. This also allows you to save of staff overhead for off-peak hours resulting in happier (less bored) employees and overall customer satisfaction.
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Another way to use your visitor intelligence is to measure the effectiveness of certain marketing campaigns. For example, if you have a special or discount running for a limited time during the day, you can measure if the number of customers spiked during these hours and compare it to the same day and time on previous weeks. This creates an easy & fast benchmark to compare performance of last week, last month and last year.
  • Dive deeper into real-time alarms. Being able to give a reason why the alarm has been activated (e.g., bad deactivated label motivates employees to act on the alarm and makes your overall loss prevention efforts more effective.
  • Identify theft risk exists per gate. Based on the data your intelligent article surveillance system collects, you can identify gates with a higher theft occurrences. Armed with that knowledge, you can place additional security personnel at that specific gate.
  • Increase the effectiveness of your EAS solutions. Constantly blaring alarms can scare away customers. But instead of turning off the power of your security gates to get a break, you can use your retail analytics to figure out how to alleviate the situation all together and so over time reduce the number of fake alarms and therefore improve the performance of your system.


Retail Analytics is a vital part of managing your global retail stores. Not only does it allow you to prioritize which store to focus on first, but it also gives critical information to measure the effectiveness of your loss prevention and marketing campaigns.