During a period of stress and uncertainty such as we face now, some people are prone to act irrationally, recklessly, and even with criminal intent, eager to take advantage of an unusual situation.
This means that retailers must adopt new measures to ensure the safety of their staff and of their customers.
In-store, protective shields now safeguard checkout clerks. Customers are directed to maintain safe distances. Common surfaces such as shopping carts must be cleaned regularly. Outside the store, the newer retail model of online ordering and curbside/parking lot pickup has shifted from a service of convenience to one of necessity.
Every time the retail model changes – whether through the adoption of a new technology, a new way to initiate and complete a transaction, or both – it creates fresh challenges related to loss and shrink, physical and/or digital security, and personal safety.
Curbside pickup is the perfect example. Customers place orders online to avoid the contagion risks associated with entering the store. Staff fulfill the order, either from the stores shelves, or through “pick and pack” in a warehouse setting. When a customer’s order is ready for pickup, they come to the store, pull into one of the designated pickup spots, call to tell store staff they have arrived and which spot they are in, pop the trunk and wait.
This poses several safety and security challenges:
- More staff are spending more of their time working in the parking lot, surrounded by moving vehicles, putting their personal safety at risk.
- Staff must ensure they are loading the right order for the right customer – are they verifying the customer’s ID, even if just by confirming an order number through the car window?
- Customers must wait their turn for pickup and be patient – how can the retailer defend itself against liability if tempers flare and people act unreasonably?
- What about the employees themselves – are any of them taking advantage of the situation to steal because this new world order gives them more opportunity to do so?
The need to cover the curbside pickup area of a retail operation with a robust video surveillance system is therefore just as important as it is instore:
- It provides visual verification that staff have followed proper procedures to confirm customer identity and maintain social-distancing measures.
- It can track via time and date stamp, of when a customer arrived when they departed if their vehicle was loaded, whether the employee secured the trunk door and if they confirmed with the driver that all was good to go.
- It can catch wrongdoing in the act and serve as evidence for legal proceedings or criminal investigations, whether it is theft by an employee or unacceptable behavior by a customer.
- It can help the retailer defend against claims and liability.
With so much activity now happening in the parking lot, it’s vital that the retailer deploy outside of its store a modern and intelligent video management platform that is able to keep up.
Learn more about how Solink’s cloud-based remote monitoring capabilities can help your retail business.