Advances in technology not only has transformed the customer service experience; it also has prompted an influx of theft. Bar code fraud, in particular, has led loss prevention departments to seek out alternatives and take safety precautions to minimize theft, which ultimately can cause an increase in prices for consumers.
Detecting the Fraud
Bar code swapping, although often the work of professional retail criminals, can run rampant when consumers are aware of how UPC coding works in retail outlets. In fact, individuals with knowledge of how to switch UPC codes so that an item scans at checkout for a lower price than the actual one have found ways to make this theft possible.
As a result, several retail chains have ramped up their loss prevention efforts with the incorporation of Digimarc technology to enhance the customer service experience and to reduce bar code theft. Digimarc CMO Larry Logan explains that this technology places the bar code over the entire packaging of the product instead of incorporating a universal product code that covers only a small section of the item for sale. This new technology, currently in beta testing with grocery retailers, The National Retail Federation claims that this technology helps to minimize or reduce the amount of bar code swapping and administrative errors that skew prices scanned.
Customer Service a Bonus Option
Digimarc technology not only helps loss prevention departments reduce theft, but it can also enhance the customer service provided by manufacturers and retailers. According to CMO Larry Logan, consumers can scan the Digimarc bar code to access product information, instruction for use, online recipes and details about how the product was manufactured, produced or grown. Manufacturers also have the capability to add marketing messages that reach consumers scanning the Digimarc bar code.
Technology as a Service
In-store shoppers are often a prime target when companies are developing customer service strategies. Technology, such as a Digimarc bar code, can reduce frustration, keep costs low when theft is under control and offer expanded resources for shoppers. Businesses embracing advanced technology to enhance the customer experience have the opportunity to offer convenience for consumers. For example, more retailers are launching apps to simplify online shopping. In addition, these apps also allow in-store shoppers to scan products, find nearby stores with products in stock, and price-compare to take advantage of savings. The average shopper has access to a smartphone, which is why company strategies must focus on technology to remain competitive both in store and online.
Fraud is a primary concern for retailers. Technology, such as the Digimarc bar code, not only helps to reduce threat and address loss prevention loopholes, but it can also enhance customer service to satisfy existing consumers and attract new shoppers both in store and online.
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