The Retail sector is facing a challenging problem: systems are old and outdated. Wearable technology can enhance communication capabilities for retailers, delivering a demonstrable ROI.
You know the truth: employees and consumers alike don’t think of retail as a particularly dangerous industry– but they’re wrong. The Bureau of Justice Statistics data indicates the retail industry experiences the third-highest workplace violence victimization rate in the United States, as reported in “Safety + Health.”
There are three major types of loss that occur in retail: crimes against employees, external theft, and– the bane of any loss prevention specialist’s career– internal theft. Your job is to minimize loss and maximize sales, not only by protecting merchandise and your retail location, but by protecting the well-being and productivity of your employees themselves.
Effective loss prevention programs leverage innovation and technology to maximize their impact…
Crime & Danger In The Retail Workplace
Regardless of what you’re retailing, there is always a risk of something going wrong. Whether you’re walking into the unexpected or the unexpected is walking through your door, giving employees the ability to instantly communicate with security personnel, and ensuring their safety is critical to minimizing losses.
These three categories of loss are explored in-depth in “The Tools of Retail Crime Reduction – How IT Supports the Process” by ABM. This data and more is available in “How Wearable Safety Technology Reduces Losses in Retail,” a white paper available for download.
- Crimes Against Employees include physical and verbal assault; battery; homicide; and more. These incidents can range from disruptive to extremely violent, and need to be prevented for the good of the employees, the customer, and the company.
- External Theft is estimated to be underreported by at least 100,000 incidents per year, according to this report. Though it is a small percentage of retail theft, it has significant and major implications for businesses.
- Internal Theft comprises a majority of theft; usually employees taking cash from the register or merchandise directly from the location. While this is a lower-risk crime, these employees take a much larger percentage of income from the companies.
Communication: The Missing Link
The retail sector is facing a common and challenging problem: systems are old and outdated, but modern technology has changed the way we do business.
Employers have used wonderful technologies to update passive security systems, like cameras and smart locks, but there have been few great leaps forward in the most important security component: communication.
Most retail employees are still stuck using radios, intercoms, outdated emergency calling systems, or at best, their personal smartphones- which they often aren’t permitted to have with them in the workplace. These outdated systems leave them divided and isolated in times of crisis and emergency.
Connected devices have made our lives easier, but until now, no one has tapped into their full potential to make us safer. What if enterprises could harness the power of smartphones to make the retail environment more connected, adaptable, and secure?
The Wearsafe Story: An Innovative, Award-Winning Solution
Wearsafe was named as a “Digital Disruptor” by Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions. Gartner analysts identify Wearsafe as a successful and exciting marriage of excellent usage of technology accompanied by a clear social need. Recognized as an emerging technology provider changing the way society helps people in need of assistance, Wearsafe was selected for the Enterprise Guide for our ability to leverage technology to “provide a social safety net for individuals that could meet with harm.”
The Wearsafe Tag and App work together to create a useful, innovative and disruptive technology. Wearsafe Labs is a leading Safety as a Service Provider that leverages a mobile application and wearable tech to dramatically enhance communications capabilities for retailers.
The company was founded by David Benoit, a tech and IP attorney, and Phill Giancarlo, a IT professional with over 23 years of experience running technology organizations, developing mobile applications, and designing public safety consumer products. Dave and Phill were passionate about making their communities safer, using the most up-to-date technology. The result? Wearsafe.
Each day we hear about people whose lives are impacted because they couldn’t get help when they needed it most. Our founders, David and Phill, realized that too often people in distress are unable to use their phones and dedicated themselves to solving this problem. By collaborating with top security experts, college students, designers, and engineers we have created a safety service that fits the way we live today. The result is Wearsafe, giving you the ability to instantly connect and get help in real time.
How Wearsafe Can Help The Retail Industry: A Case Study
For example, Wearsafe has partnered with a national pharmacy chain to equip management staff with Wearsafe Tags and Apps.
Should an emergency arise, an employee presses the Tag or Smartwatch and the Wearsafe Application will connect the retail manager not only with other employees, but also an emergency call center. The call center has defined protocols on how to respond to an alert. The Wearsafe Tag enables employees to act fast without having to scramble for a smartphone. Employees are able to make a call discreetly, keeping themselves, customers, and merchandise safer while a response is coordinated.
Wearsafe’s professional services have enabled this pharmacy retailer to customize the solution to fit their exact needs: geofenced networks, integration with an emergency call center, and pre-configured subscriptions.
What Makes Wearsafe Unique
Flexibility: Wearsafe’s Tag and App work in tandem to respond to emergencies that are both major and minor. Small thefts that may have gone unreported in the past may be caught and responded to swiftly with a Wearsafe.
Adaptability and Mobility: Wearsafe can be used in any location or country. When employees are walking the floor, in the back of the store, in the parking lot, or off premise conducting company business, like a bank run, they are equally as protected as when they are behind the counter.
Discretion: Employees wear their Wearsafe Tags on their persons, giving them the ability to communicate with emergency responders or other help without bringing attention to the fact they have requested assistance, and risk escalating a dangerous situation. Wearsafe’s proprietary technology pairs remotely with your smartphone, allowing you to signal for help while keeping your phone hidden.
Cost-effective: Each employee subscribed to Wearsafe is empowered by their own personal digital bodyguard. For a subscription fee, retailers can cover all of their employees throughout their shifts. By reducing losses due to injury, violence, and theft, Wearsafe provides a strong and demonstrable Return on Investment (ROI).
Users & Retailers Love Wearsafe
The best way to innovate retail safety systems is through using the most relevant technology. Safety is a service– a service best provided by the flexibility of wearables like Wearsafe.
There are so many professional sectors that can benefit from equipping their employees with Wearsafe technologies– and retail is no exception. Employees will be safer, happier, more productive and bring more success to each company.
Companies are recognizing that wearable technologies can significantly improve workplace safety and strengthen retail businesses by minimizing losses due to workplace injury, violence, and theft. Learn how retail businesses are using wearable technologies to keep their employees safe at retail.