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3 Ways Face Recognition Has Transformed Retail Loss Prevention

Loss prevention professionals have a tough job. Traditionally they’ve had to rely on their intuition and memory to catch shoplifters and organized retail crime associates. It’s therefore not difficult to see why retail deaths and retail crime continues to climb, according to the latest data from D&D Daily.

While the news from the front lines isn’t reassuring, there is hope on the horizon. Face recognition is in the process of radically redefining loss prevention for retail. In fact, retail is the fastest growing industry to adopt facial recognition technology.

There are lots of reasons why more retailers are investing in face recognition. But in short: this technology has been proven to reduce violence and crime. A biometric surveillance system can reduce shoplifting by 20% and retail violence by up to 91%!

So how does this technology work? To start with, retails build a database of suspected shoplifters and organized retail crime associates. Some companies, like FaceFirst, even offer a service to build watchlists of relevant people for retailers. Then, the moment customers enter a store, face recognition match sytems match their faces against millions of images per second, identifying which individuals are worth watching. And since loss professionals get instant alerts that tell them where to go and who to watch, they no longer have to rely on their intuition to prevent crime.

Here are three ways that face recognition has created a paradigm shift in the retail loss prevention industry.

The Loss Prevention Paradigm Shift

Precise Vs. Random

Loss prevention professionals do their best to prevent crime, but often lack hard evidence about who to monitor or observe. They have had to mainly rely on their intuition and memory when deciding who to monitor. Facial recognition has made it possible for loss prevention leaders to be able to precisely and accurately identify suspected retail criminals. By monitoring the right individuals, it’s possible to prevent crime.

Proactive Vs. Reactive

The unfortunate truth is that unless shoplifters are caught in the act, they usually get away. And once they get away, it’s next-to-impossible to stop them from stealing again. Chances are that they will steal again. Without face recognition, loss prevention teams can only react to crime. But using face recognition empowers loss prevention professionals to proactively prevent crime. They’ll finally not just know who to watch, but which times and locations are most susceptible to shoplifting and fraud. Retail companies can staff up accordingly to maximize crime prevention.

Personalized Vs. Risky

Loss prevention pros often have no data indicating whether individuals they approach might be dangerous. Approaching the wrong individual can result in associates (or even customers) getting hurt or killed. But face recognition offers the opportunity to take a personalized approach to loss prevention. Facial recognition systems can provide loss prevention associates with directives that are specific to each suspected individual, in order to accelerate loss prevention efforts and keep both shoppers and employees safe.

Got 5 minutes? Our 5-Minute Guide is packed with facts about how successful retail companies are virtually eliminating external shrink and in-store violence using face recognition.


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