Three Ways to Use Mobile to Control Retail Shrinkage

By Michael Benedict on July 15, 2016

Customer Stealing from Retail Store








According to Business Insider, American retailers lose $45 billion annually to theft. Shoplifting alone accounts for $10 billion in losses.  To put $45 billion in perspective, that is the equivalent of building 1,800 Walmart Super Centers – every year – including land, building, equipment and full merchandising. That’s a lot of theft. And if you are an independent retail store owner, you’re wondering if there are inexpensive ways to engage employees in retail security. Here are three GoCanvas apps that provide security solutions:

First, let’s talk about the white elephant in the room. 42% of retail store theft is caused by employees.  With a turnover rate averaging 66%, how can retailers control internal theft? It starts with monitoring behaviors, and the mobile device in your hand can help. How often do you notice whether an employee never takes off an earned vacation day, or get concerned when an employee pushes back on procedural changes? These seemingly benign behaviors are actually solid indicators that an employee is engaged in theft. If you have the Retail Internal Theft Prevention Checklist app, you can quickly reference and document behaviors before they get out of hand and you start losing merchandising.

Second, get your employees and store managers actively involved in implementing best practices to prevent retail theft. But how do you do that? Well, what are most people doing while working, driving, parasailing or waiting for something to do? Checking their smartphones. The Crime Prevention and Reduction Tips for Retail Theft app is a quick checklist to reference and remind employees of strategies and tactics to prevent theft – especially in the back areas where unlocked doors, having policies about who can take out the trash, who confirms merchandise deliveries, having regular audits, etc. can mitigate shrinkage.

Third, have a Retail Shoplifting Policy. Making this policy immediately accessible to your employees via a mobile app (vs. a sheet of paper taped to the backroom wall) ensures the potential for greater compliance. This app covers everything from how you make your store less attractive to shoplifters, to guiding employees on spotting potential shoplifters, to detailed actions to take if you suspect a customer of shoplifting.

Small and mid-sized retailers don’t have to rely on expensive retail security systems to minimize loss prevention. Using inexpensive mobile apps to engage your employees in helping be part of the solution, using the smartphone they’re looking at anyway, goes a long way to deterring and lowering internal and external shrinkage.

Try all these apps, plus many more designed just for Retailers (check out our collection of retail mobile forms and apps for inspiration), by signing up for a no obligations FREE Trial.   All GoCanvas apps are free – you just pay to use the service.