Is Biometric Tech the Future for the Retail Industry?

07 Jan Is Biometric Tech the Future for the Retail Industry?

Both on and offline, the retail industry is constantly changing and retailers are always on the lookout for new ways to enhance the shopping experience and streamline processes. As more brick-and-mortar retailers head online and integrate ecommerce-linked systems within their stores, the need for efficient fraud prevention and the simplification of processing payments is needed.

How biometric technology can help make processes in retail more effective

Stock Management and Protection

Biometric technology can help to assist you in complying with store security, safety and loss prevention guidelines. By providing accurate logs of who has access to a particular area in your premises at a certain time, there is a fundamental benefit to reducing potential unknown loss that plagues retailers on an ongoing basis.

Due Diligence

Biometric systems can work to control physical access and provide time and attendance monitoring to the overall premises, storage rooms, high-value asset storage areas, staff areas and more. This helps to keep an accurate track record of who has accessed which areas within your business and when, helping you with many aspects of your operations, from payroll to security.

Warehouse Access

Controlling access levels across your employees is important to monitor your secured warehouse premises. Biometric technology allows you to provide various levels of access to your staff, allowing certain people access in multiple areas. This depends on which doors are secured by biometric technology and you can vary the access levels with an ievo system by installing several across your premises and programming these accordingly with an access control system. For example, you may wish some staff to have access to the building, stock rooms and offices and others simply to have access to the building, so you are able to restrict access by individual permissions.

Identify Any Theft and Vandalism

If any incidences of theft or vandalism were to occur, then you would be able to check your logs to see who scanned themselves in and at what time. This enables you to have maximum authority over your premises and assets and helps prevent in-house crime from occurring. The robust biometric security systems also ensure that non-staff members or those without the appropriate clearance are unable to gain entry to your business and its secured areas.

Decrease Vulnerabilities

Credentials like PINs and passwords, swipe cards and fobs are easily shared and are also vulnerable to theft. This leaves you with the risk of easily granting access to those who shouldn’t have it. By implementing biometrics, you eradicate the possibility of human error. There is no longer a risk of any loss of authentication methods and this prevents them from being compromised by non-staff members. With biometric technology, there is also no risk of access methods like keys and cards being shared or reproduced, and therefore your high-value assets and inventory become more secure than ever before.

Saving on Costs

Implementing a biometric access control system can help to cut costs within your security efforts. It’s simple to install and can be tailored to the access levels and permissions you wish to provide across your employee base. There is no need for replacement as the authentication ‘key’ cannot be lost and this means less on-site engineers, easy maintenance and more practical solutions. It can also assist with HR issues like managing payroll more accurately and keeping a log of health and safety records.

Flexible Protection

No matter the size of your premises, biometric technology can be used as part of your security process. Whether you require single door access management, multiple door access management, car parking access, turnstiles, or secure environments, you can implement one integrated, streamlined measure across all of these. At ievo, we’re able to tailor our range to your business’s exact requirements.

How biometrics can personalise the in-store retail experience

Optimising the customer experience is now a top priority for the retail sector, as consumers say they expect retailers to know their individual needs and personalise the experience in order to cater to them. According to the results of a recent study by Walker, 86% of consumers are also willing to pay more for this kind of experience, deeming it more important than both price and product.

Ecommerce stores have long been paving the way in customer experience, as they have the insights available at their fingertips to be able to do so. This data is often obtained by monitoring shopping habits through account information, loyalty and points schemes and also leveraging national and store-specific sales data. This means that ecommerce stores can tap into the browsing and purchasing history of each individual customer and provide recommendations accordingly via marketing and on their next visit(s) to the website.

Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar stores often lag behind when it comes to applying data to personalising the shopping experience. Staff can’t follow each individual shopper around to monitor their buying habits and creating an account is not always something customers’ want to do when at the till. So how can this same kind of personalisation be introduced in physical stores?

Loyalty programmes or customer membership cards do provide an element of in-store data capture and therefore, personalisation, showing that customers are valued, however it doesn’t enable a business to reach the same potential of personalisation that ecommerce metrics can deliver.

However, if a customer could enter a store and be identified at the point of sale, this could gather data and provide analytics on the types of items they purchase in-store. Companies that have both a physical and online presence could even combine these analytics to monitor the ways the customer’s shopping habits differ in-store and online.

This can all be achieved by implementing biometrics. If the store is able to recognise a frequent shopper through their unique genetics, the store can then notify them when items they may like arrive in the store, personalising the experience and helping customers to find items suited to them with very little effort.

Not only can biometrics be used to personalise and enhance the shopping experience, but it can also streamline the online and physical shopping world and simplify the payment process. If the same piece of biometric data, say a fingerprint, is used when in-store and when logging in to an app for example, then the company can then recognise the individual customer in both places. The customer can then register their payment cards with the retailer and whenever they transact using their biometrics this will speed up the checkout process and the retailer can use this information to create even more bespoke experiences for this customer.

This also adds an element of convenience as it removes the need for customers to carry around cash or payment cards, and have their payment method with them wherever they go as it is their physical identity they will use to pay. This makes it safer for the customer too, as their payment method cannot be duplicated by fraudsters.

A recent study by Visa found that 68% of people already want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. In fact, many of us already use this form of payment every day, when purchasing items through Apple Pay, in-app payments and even when banking with a smartphone.

This means it’s likely that in the near future, retailers, hospitality venues and many more transactional businesses will begin to implement this kind of biometric payment authentication within stores in order to simplify the process and make it both easier and safer for customers to shop with them.

With all of the above in mind, it is entirely plausible that biometric technology is the future for the retail industry, as current security methods of passwords and pins just aren’t cutting it any longer. There has been a 40% rise in the number of credit and debit cards being hacked across the UK in the last year alone, including pins being stolen, and it takes just six seconds for a card to be compromised.

Biometric technology is able to serve as a more secure payment authentication method. A piece of biometric data is near impossible to compromise and only the individual user whom the data belongs to will be recognised by the fingerprint readers, meaning criminals are unable to steal the payment method.

It may take time to implement, but this change has already begun and it’s predicted by the year 2020, 90% of businesses will use biometric security methods in some form. Don’t get left behind, enhance your customer experience today. Get in touch with us for more information on making the switch to biometric technology.


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