When you invested in self-checkout kiosks, you knew it would help provide customers with a convenient option to avoid long checkout lines, especially if you were short-staffed. But now you’re seeing shoplifting numbers increase. Fortunately, you’re not the first retailer to encounter this problem, so you have options to combat this situation.  

This article will provide you with solutions to self-checkout theft techniques. We’ll list options that’ll work with various budgets and tackle small to larger theft problems. 

Shoplifting Trends for Self-Checkout Theft 

While self-checkout kiosks offer many advantages, one of the most significant disadvantages is increased theft, especially among amateur shoplifters. Unlike professional thieves who steal with a purpose, amateur thieves will use all types of excuses to justify their theft.

  • A need to care for themselves and their family
  • Peer pressure
  • “I can, so I will” attitude 
  • A sense of entitlement

Also, knowing the methods these thieves use will help you better select the self-checkout technique that will best solve your situation. 

  • Fast Scanning – Only scanning select items in their shopping cart
  • Replace Barcodes – Cover the item’s barcode with another cheaper barcode
  • Double Scanning – Scanning a cheaper item multiple times instead of each item
  • Reusable Shopping Bags – Placing extra items in the bag without scanning since the bag is large enough additional items may go unnoticed

Now let’s dive into the theft techniques to help deter shoplifters from stealing at self-checkouts. 

Self-Checkout Theft Techniques for Common Theft Methods 

A quick online search will show thousands of solutions to shelf-checkout theft. To make it easier on you we will break down your options to make it simpler for you to choose a self-checkout theft technique that’s right for your needs. 

Observant Employees 

Why: Having someone watch customers as they checkout will significantly reduce shoplifting attempts. 

Size of Theft Problem: Minor shoplifting concerns 

Cost: The additional cost of paying an employee to watch self-checkout stations 

How to Implement: Have employees: 

  • Monitor kiosks
  • Actively engage with customers
  • Assist customers who are having a slow time checking out 

Potential Concerns: Employees assisting one shopper may overlook a theft at another kiosk. To help combat this problem, consider having multiple employees working in the area during busy shopping hours. 

Install a Scale 

Why: Weighing the checkout items will help send a red flag if the weight doesn’t match the scanned items. 

Size of Theft Problem: Moderate shoplifting concerns 

Cost: It varies depending on how many checkout stations need a scale, but it can be an affordable option.  

How to Implement: Install the scale next to the bags so that whenever the shopper scans an item, they have to replace it on the scale to bag it. 

Potential Concerns: Purchase the scale from a reputable manufacturer because some scales are too sensitive or small to catch every incident accurately. 

Place CCTV or Cameras at Each Kiosk 

Why: Monitor for suspicious behaviors or checkout methods that can indicate someone is stealing. You can have employees monitor the cameras or purchase AI equipment to identify data patterns that point to potential theft incidents.

Size of Theft Problem: Moderate to large shoplifting concerns 

Cost: This varies depending on the type of equipment you choose to implement, but it’s usually a considerable loss prevention investment. 

How to Implement: Install the device to see both the customer scanning the products and the bagging area. 

Potential Concerns: Just like using an attentive attendant, the human eye can overlook things. Meanwhile, AI is improving at seeing and finding shoplifting patterns, but you’ll have to make a considerable investment to use that type of advanced technology. 

Add Extra Security to High-Theft Items 

Why: If you have merchandise that’s prone to theft, you can increase its protection to reduce the likelihood of someone stealing it.  

Size of Theft Problem: Moderate to large shoplifting concerns

Cost: It can be an affordable option depending on the number of items you need to secure. 

How to Implement: Purchase reusable bottle caps, security tags, baby formula caps, collars, or wraps that employees can add to merchandise as they stock shelves. Then, during the self-checkout process, the on-staff employee can remove the device and ensure it’s rung up correctly. 

Potential Concerns: These devices require extra time to add and remove. If you purchase from a reputable supplier, these devices can be reused for many years, providing a significant ROI for the investment. 

Learn More About How Security Devices Can Deter Self-Checkout Theft

If you know specific merchandise is prone to theft, consider adding extra protection. There are many loss prevention devices that can deter shoplifters before they even enter the self-checkout kiosk. 

Contact us to learn how we can help you to deter theft while securing your bottom line!