Retail Security Cameras: 6 Must-Have Features
In 2021, retail businesses lost $94.5 billion to shrink, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s not great news for any retailer. What’s causing these losses? Increases in shoplifting and employee theft are partially to blame. So is a giant jump in organized retail crime, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. To protect profits and retain quality employees, you must take steps to combat theft and other crimes. That’s where retail security cameras come in.
The latest retail security systems come with surveillance cameras that do much more than record. Advanced features can be the difference between catching a crime or taking a loss. Retail security cameras can not only help you catch criminals but also stop them from targeting your store in the first place.
The Benefits of Retail Security Cameras
Consider how you might change your behavior if you knew you were being watched every moment of the day. That “being watched” feeling is one of the main benefits of retail security cameras.
When paired with retail anti-theft devices and placed strategically around entrances and exits, registers, and expensive merchandise, cameras deter shoplifters. Set them up along your storefront, and you discourage thieves from trying to break in during non-working hours.
Security cameras can also contribute to a sense of safety among your employees and customers. That’s because they counteract violent behavior. Customers, for example, may think twice about verbally or physically assaulting an employee if they know a camera is recording them.
If someone does break in, live video surveillance can also speed up law enforcement’s response. Regardless of whether you self-monitor cameras or choose professional monitoring, the footage provides valuable evidence for investigations and legal proceedings.
Finally, when you install cameras, you may also be able to save money on insurance. Most insurance companies will give you a discount if you install a comprehensive security system.
Your Guide to Retail Security Camera Features
You’ll want to install high-quality surveillance cameras at strategic points throughout the store. Start with entrances, exits, aisles, cash registers, and the storefront. When choosing cameras, look for features that offer more “bang for your buck.”
Feature #1: High-Definition Resolution (or Higher)
Resolution refers to the level of detail in an image. The higher the security camera resolution, the better the picture.
You’ve likely seen grainy, poor-quality camera footage on the evening news and thought, “Good luck catching that guy. He’s barely recognizable.” Those grainy images likely came from older, outdated, low-resolution security cameras.
Today’s newer cameras come in much higher resolutions. Choose a quality camera, and you can generate a sharp full-color image.
Resolution is calculated in megapixels (MP). You’ll see cameras ranging from 2MP (considered high definition) to 8MP (ultra-high definition). An 8MP camera provides a high level of detail. Cameras with higher resolutions generally cost more and require more data storage capacity, so choose the best resolution that you can manage.
Feature #2: The Ability to See in the Dark
If you want your camera to capture clear footage in low-light situations, look for the following:
- Night vision: These cameras capture crisp, clear footage in low-light situations. Top-quality night-vision security cameras contain specialized filters that allow them to capture clear footage during the day.
- Floodlights: Motion-activated floodlights can illuminate the camera’s view.
Better still: get retail security cameras with both features.
Feature #3: 2-Way Audio
Older security cameras might capture audio from the scene, or they might not have audio capabilities at all. Cameras equipped with two-way audio contain a microphone and a speaker. This setup allows you (or a hired guard) to talk directly to potential criminals—scaring them off.
Feature #4: Cloud Storage
Saving data to the cloud gives you access from virtually anywhere. Ideally, you want enough cloud storage for at least 40 days of footage. Your local regulations might require an even longer storage time.
How that calculates into gigabytes or terabytes depends on the camera type you install. Motion-activated cameras, for example, require less storage than cameras that run and capture footage continuously. Similarly, higher-resolution cameras require more storage.
Feature #5: Remote Monitoring
Modern cameras stream their footage to a platform that allows you or your security team to review footage live. In addition to helping you to spot criminal activity and swiftly alert authorities, remote monitoring enables you to:
- Check on that new employee as they run the register for the first time.
- Keep an eye on the parking lot for the employee who expressed anxiety about walking to their car after closing the store late at night.
- See if employees are following procedures and protocols.
Watching camera feeds is a lot of work. Professional security camera monitoring takes this pressure off your management team.
Feature #6: The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
As you likely know, artificial intelligence has transformed many retail operations. AI can power self-checkout kiosks, manage inventory, and even help locate stolen items. When it comes to security cameras, AI augments your security efforts while simultaneously reducing your costs.
To understand how it works, think of the typical movie crime drama that depicts thieves sneaking into a building while a security guard is temporarily distracted. When AI is on the job, there are zero distractions.
AI can continuously monitor multiple cameras and process millions of data points in the time it takes a human to switch their gaze from one camera feed to another. Because of superior pattern recognition, an AI security camera sorts “normal” from “abnormal” more quickly than any human. Once it picks up on a potential problem, the software alerts a remote guard who can then intervene and call the cops.
All of this takes place in seconds.
Protect Your Store with Advanced Retail Security Cameras
Now that you’ve learned about the six most important features to look for in retail security cameras, it’s time to shop for solutions. The best security cameras for retail stores combine all of these features.
Deep Sentinel offers the most advanced retail security cameras, paired with AI and unparalleled monitoring. High-definition? Of course. Two-way audio? You bet. If you’re looking for a security solution that checks the most important boxes and helps your bottom line, look no further than Deep Sentinel’s retail security solutions.