Smart Shield2017-08-22T09:00:00+00:00

How Perception RSS Smart Shield Reduces Retail Store Theft

Woman chooses shampoo in cosmetics department

Most retail managers today spend considerable time focusing on the issue of shrink, or inventory loss, resulting from theft. This has led to various security measures, including cameras and on-site guards to help reduce shoplifting.

More recently, retail stores have begun to employ smart shelf technology to protect high-value merchandise.

These shelves can track how many product units are removed over a set period of time. Or perhaps they automatically lock after so many products are removed, requiring an employee to unlock the shelf for the next customer.

Despite their advantages, smart shelves have some drawbacks because they:

  • Aren’t necessarily customer service friendly
  • Are expensive to purchase and install
  • Pose limitations with the shape and size products that can be loaded into them

However, Perception’s Smart Shield module can help overcome all of these obstacles. When a Smart Shield sensor is mounted on any kind of shelving unit, it helps deter theft and can improve customer service at the same time. Each time a customer reaches their hand through the invisible “shield” created by the sensor, it makes an audible beep at the shelf and/or triggers an overhead announcement to which store employees can respond.

Integrating Smart Shield with an Existing Smart Shelf

When Perception’s Smart Shield module is interfaced with an existing smart shelf, product removal can be programmed to trigger an overhead paging announcement.

Example: you are using a smart shelf to protect razor blades; when X amount of razor blades are removed from the shelf in X number of seconds, an event is triggered.

An overhead announcement is activated, such as “Customer service REQUIRED at the razor blade display.” This alerts a potential thief sweeping the shelf that an employee will soon respond to the area, which discourages them from continuing to take items.

Smart Shield also comes with a local call button near the smart shelf that the employee responding to the alarm can use to reset the announcement. The customer call button effectively doubles as a way for customers to request assistance in that area of the store unrelated to the smart shelf event.

Smart Shield: Now Turn Any Fixture into a Smart Shelf

By mounting the Smart Shield sensor above any set of shelves, regardless of design, the system can detect any movement by customers to remove merchandise. The system can emit an audible beep at the location each time the invisible shield is broken, letting the thief know someone or something is observing him or her.


The Smart Shield solution gives an employee the opportunity to approach the potential thief and ask if they need assistance, before they have actually committed a crime. This type of interaction is often enough for a thief to abandon their plans to steal merchandise, and they simply walk away.

When you can intercept the would-be thief at the shelf, it is just a friendly customer service conversation—as compared to a confrontation once they are walking out the door with the product. We all know that the goal is to avoid a confrontation with a thief walking out the door, since it could become an unpredictable situation and endanger both employees and nearby customers.

There is a reset button at the shelf so you can monitor how quickly your employees are responding to these types of announcements. This information is graphically displayed in Perception’s custom reports for store management.

Read about overhead announcements

Learn about wireless retail call buttons

Protect an entire department with Geo-Fencing