After the upheaval of 2020, we’re all welcoming the arrival of 2021, hoping for a better year ahead.
Many things are slated to change this year, and security technology is no different. Customer demands and habits are evolving constantly, and businesses are leveraging new technologies to streamline their processes and meet customer expectations.
Check out these new business security trends for 2021.
Expansion of Curbside Pickup
Curbside pickup has helped reduce the need to go inside of stores during the height of the pandemic. But even when masks are no longer the accessory of choice, the convenience of having your purchases brought to your car is here to stay.
As the sidewalk has become the point of sale, it’s just as vital to have visual security there as it is at the cash register. Video surveillance will not only inform you of when customers arrive but also deter the curbside thieves who have begun to capitalize on the pick-up-outside-the-store trend.
Unification of Disparate Security Systems
Ideally, the information your system gathers—whether sign-ins, video surveillance, card swipes, or remote lock control—should enable you to spot any weak points and make changes to strengthen your security plan.
That’s difficult to do if your information is in separate boxes that don’t communicate. Marrying the data from your video system, sign-in system, and door-locking system would be a time-consuming nightmare. You can’t make sound business decisions from information that you can’t interpret correctly.
Going forward, solutions that integrated all security functions a business needs into one system will be the gold standard. Business owners will no longer have the time nor patience to consult information from disparate systems and will opt for the time savings and accuracy of an end-to-end solution.
Increase in Delivery Services
Uber Eats. Postmates. Same-Day Amazon Delivery. Company after company is tapping into the new trend of having everything from lunch to office supplies delivered directly. Like curbside pickup, this creates a new, unparalleled convenience, as well as new challenges.
Given all the additional deliveries these days, securing your business’ front porch is no longer optional. Whether you need to secure your building in the event of a lockdown or simply keep an eye on arriving parcels, having adequate security is essential.
Mobile App Integration
Need to lock down your establishment remotely or grant access with the tap of a button? Want to use the intercom to tell a suspicious person on the property to leave? There’s an app for that.
In 2021, owners of security systems no longer have to use access cards or key fobs that get lost and broken. It’s easier than ever to change employee access if someone takes on a new role or leaves the company.
Mobile app integration assures that proprietors and approved personnel always have access to the security system, whether they’re at work, at home, or in between.
Keying into the Customer Experience
These days, there’s a store on every corner (and dozens of websites) offering the same products for similar prices. How does a company compete anymore? Customer experience may be the final frontier of differentiation for companies in 2021.
Security analytics tools allow you to be the proverbial fly on the wall and to see your customers’ journey through their eyes.
Play back your security footage, and you’ll see the route your customers take through your store. You’ll know whether they stop to read your advertising or just breeze past without noticing it. You’ll pinpoint where your staff creates streamlined transitions and where there are service bottlenecks.
With the right application, security can be as much for the customer as it is for the proprietor.
Audio is an often-overlooked element of security, but a two-pronged approach with audio AND video gives you eyes on the ground to detect losses and security threats as well as the capability to make live or automated announcements.
Video provides a wealth of information, but it’s mainly a passive security measure. It can catch criminals in the act but does little to prevent them from committing crimes. Audio, by contrast, gives you the ability to stave off security threats. Set up geofencing to trigger an audio event, such as a warning for an unauthorized person to leave the area. Using an audio intercom to let the man in the red t-shirt know that you see him approaching your building with spray paint will make him think twice about whether he wants to use it.
Audio can also help you interact with your customers in an emergency, directing them to exits or warning them to take cover. Audio confirmation provides an additional verification step in alarm response, eliminating many false alarms.
Advancements in audio now allow you to train your system to detect sounds like breaking glass to alert you to problems as they are happening.
Due to state-regulated occupancy restrictions due to the pandemic, a people-counting feature in video analytics has transitioned from luxury to necessity. Knowing exactly how many customers are in your store is no longer optional, and the alternative is to post a bored, disgruntled employee to count people at the front door — an expensive, unreliable, and morale-deflating method of regulatory compliance.
However, people counting goes beyond a simple headcount; it will also give you insight into your customer experience. How long are your lines? Do they move quickly enough so your customers don’t get frustrated and leave? What are the busiest hours in your day? Do you have enough staff to meet customer needs during these times? These important questions and more are answered by a basic people-counting function in your video surveillance system.
Some additional benefits of video analytics retailers enjoy are heat mapping and dwell times which allow them to better understand their traffic flow so they know where to place products for maximum exposure or know when someone suspiciously stays in a particular area of the store for an unusually long amount of time. The value of the data that can be gathered can sometimes even justify tapping into the marketing budget to help pay for this technology.
Even a basic security system produces a mind-boggling amount of data. Storing and securing it on site can be a challenge, especially for smaller businesses without a dedicated tech team.
Many businesses, small and large, are opting to store their data in the cloud rather than on their own servers. Things like encryption, backups, and hardware updates are taken care of for you by the cloud storage provider. Cloud storage frees up your own system and employees to do what can only be done in person: help customers.
What’s more, the off-site redundancy makes it nearly impossible for a criminal to intentionally (or an employee to inadvertently) destroy incriminating security recordings.
Managed Services (Outsourced system monitoring)
Modern businesses are adopting a new maxim of productivity: do what you do best and outsource the rest. If you’re a car dealership, you have to be excellent at one thing: matching your customer with the perfect car at a great price. You don’t have to be excellent at gardening the flowers out front, insuring the building, or repairing your staff’s computers—you hire others with specialized skills to be excellent at those things.
The same goes for your security system. Small businesses who have outsourced the installation and monitoring of their security systems now have access to a dedicated team of security specialists, something that was once only available to large corporations.
With outsourced monitoring, trained security experts monitor your business 24/7 so you can get back to doing what your business does best.
The right security solution and provider is a key piece not only to protect your people, customers and assets but also for your business’s profitability as well.
If you’re looking to boost your business’s security in 2021, contact the security experts at NAVCO. With decades of experience serving establishments large and small, NAVCO provides end-to-end security solutions to protect your business and create a streamlined experience for your customers.