Low-cost Loss Prevention Tips and Suggestions

The retail industry loses an approximate $45 billion a year due to shoplifting, organized retail crime, merchant, and clerical errors. For the small retail owner, any loss due to shoplifting puts a financial strain on their ability to do business, hire more personnel or invest and grow their business.

The competition in every industry is brutal, and the retail industry is no different.  The online option the customer has of buying whatever they need or want with the click of a button is especially hard for a small retail owner.  Their inventory and profit margins they’re dealing with are nothing compared to the big-box chains’, and any loss they suffer is particularly painful for their profits.

There are many businesses that cannot afford to invest in new technology to deter or prevent shoplifting, and they are left with the option of losing more cash and inventory or close their doors permanently, all due to this crime. But, if they cannot invest in technology, and they cannot hire more personnel, what are some low-cost options they can implement in their store to deter or prevent shoplifting?

  1. Customer Service

One of the great assets these small retail stores have compared to the big chains or online stores is the customer service they can provide to their customers.  Providing the customer with a greeting when they walk into your store and offering them great customer service has shown to decrease shoplifting and increase customer satisfaction.

A satisfied customer is also more likely to promote your business.  In today’s social network platforms, a bad experience can potentially reach thousands of customers with disastrous backlash for you and your store, but a good experience can also do the same, it can reach many potential customers that want to do business with you.  Treat your customers as a business ambassador for your business, and you will see the results in your profits.

2. Inventory

Keeping a good inventory of what’s selling and the number of items you are missing-whether they were sold or stolen-from the shelves can help you keep an accurate count of the merchandise.

Do you know at a minute’s notice what inventory you have on hand? There are software solutions that help retailers keep track of such matters, and allows them to have reports daily and online to help them make adjustments, order more inventory if necessary, and know at a moment’s notice the state of their inventory.

3. Organization

The design, cleanliness and how well your product displays are kept are important in keeping shoplifting at a minimum.  Well lit aisles, merchandise displayed properly and organized can make the shelves look pretty and the items displayed can allow you and your employees to account for the merchandise with a quick look to the shelves.

4. Diligence

Your employees are your best bet to deter and prevent shoplifting.  Research has shown happy employees are the best asset your company has for success, and in this case to deter and prevent shoplifting.  Salaries are not the only incentive your employees look for when entering a new business, treating them with respect and allowing them the ability to prove and express themselves are key to the success of any business.

Shoplifting affects every citizen and every member of society. The way you respond to a shoplifting accident and the way you treat shoplifters reflect on how you conduct yourself and your business.