Not long ago I attempted to stop shoplifting of a laptop charging cord that our store sells but I was not able to intervene in time. The suspect was able to remove the cord from the box it was in, close the box back up and put it back on the peghook. The suspect had done all of this before I could get to him to deter the action and he was already on his way out the door. I had reported the incident to the manager on duty and followed company procedures. Unfortunately there was nothing else that could be done at the time. This was the second time I had witnessed a theft or attempted theft of this particular item. When I saw the store manager next I talked to him about the incident. Though the company has specific guidelines on merchandise protection standards I suggested we use an anti-shoplifting device on this product since the store is already equipped with a Sensormatic security system. He agreed and immediately took action to protect the remaining charger. But the discussion we had led to an interesting observation by the store manager. He wondered if Protective devices add a perception of higher value or quality to a product. I had never considered that before.
I have always looked at a Sensormatic security system as a way to stop shoplifting and to improve shortage results. Just like Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. founder Bill Bregar, I also believe the systems enhance sales by giving customers access to high shortage merchandise that would otherwise be locked up in a display case or stockroom. I also know that Sensormatic labels and tags are a visual deterrent to criminal activity. It had never crossed my mind that a security device or tag could send another message to shoppers. That message being this is a high quality item that is so valuable it has to be secured with anti-theft devices. What an incredible insight! Are you potentially selling more merchandise by using visible protection while at the same time you stop shoplifting? It may not be a totally crazy thought.
In a document from labelvalue.com titled, “Influence of Packaging on Consumer Behavior “ they reference a study published by the University of Miami and the California Institute of Technology. Quoting the labelvalue.com website, “…packaging has a proven and important impact and influence on the consumer purchasing decision…Researchers proved that aesthetic aspects like color, brightness and typography influences where the shopper’s eyes land on the shelves.” (pg.6). In an article from snowberrymedia.com titled, “How Consumer Perception Influences Buying Decisions”, November 28, 2017, the writer discusses how product packaging can influence shopper perceptions about an item. “Packaging for expensive tech products will usually be sturdy and secure, to reflect the quality of the product.” They also point out that “luxury” items could “…be packaged in black and gold while budget options stick to basic colors like black, white and red.” Using this same line of reasoning it would make sense that a retail anti-theft device on one laptop powercord and the lack of one on a different model next to it could influence a shopper. A customer might easily assume that if one is protected it MUST be better than the other even if that is not necessarily the case.
Does a Sensormatic tag on merchandise stop shoplifting? The answer is a resounding yes. I have witnessed the deterrent effect of tags and labels on products and I have recovered merchandise when tags set off a Sensormatic security system. Devices influence thieves. Do they also influence customers to purchase items with retail anti-theft devices on them? That I cannot definitely answer. We have seen that packaging can make things appear more valuable. But I think after reflecting on it my Store Manager may have hit on something. Sensormatic tags may be giving your store an unintended perception of value in the eyes of your customers. So what are you waiting for? Get tagging today!
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