Stories about the increase in retail theft are dominating headlines. In fact, our research found that 50% of retail associates have witnessed a theft in the past six months, and, of course, it’s costing retailers. The National Retail Federation found that external theft and organized retail crime, employee theft, fraud and administrative errors accounted for $95 billion in losses in 2022.
It’s an incredibly complex and nuanced issue where macroeconomic factors, personal safety, risk of life and state legislation intersect. And while there isn’t one specific solution to this complex issue, there are a number of things that retailers can do (and avoid doing) to mitigate the problem and prioritize asset protection—and Axonify can help.
Here are four ways Axonify’s frontline enablement solution can help retailers with their theft prevention strategy:
1. We actually reinforce the behaviors your people need to take to prevent and stay safe in the event of theft
An associate gets basic training on theft prevention during onboarding—great! But what about 10 months later, when they’re actually faced with a shoplifting situation? Will they be ready? Will they know how to apply the training they received in the critical moment of need? Can you trust your managers to keep this vital training fresh and top-of-mind?
Axonify’s approach to learning is rooted in knowledge retention and reinforcement to make sure associates can apply what they learned, take the right actions and feel confident that they’re prepared if a theft happens—because no one knows exactly when they’ll need to be ready. We combine personalized microlearning—short, focused and engaging bites of training associates can consume quickly in the flow of work—with questions that encourage workers to retrieve the learning over and over again.
2. We communicate real-time info directly to your frontline (without relying on managers to relay info)
There are a couple of things that make Axonify’s approach to employee communication unique. First, we create a direct line of communication between HQ and every single worker. We’re not only sharing the valuable intel with your managers and relying on them to relay it to their teams (hello, broken telephone!). Second, the Axonify platform is purpose-built to deliver concise and targeted communications to the frontline. Other platforms put communications in multiple places, or repeat the same message, which ends up creating too much white noise, reducing the chance that a worker will see and retain the message. Combine these two characteristics of our platform and you have an extremely powerful tool for relaying critical information in the moment of need—like when a major theft or violent event occurs.
Plus, two-way feedback channels ensure that associates have a place to be heard; to share concerns or questions about the protocols in place, and even build community with their peers across the organization.
3. We offer ready-made content to get your people trained and ready—fast
A quick TL:DR on our Content Marketplace: it’s our library full of off-the-shelf content (videos, PDFs, microtraining, questions—you name it) designed to quickly get your people up-to-speed on the things they need to know. There’s industry-specific and agnostic content, and our library is constantly growing—new content is added every two weeks!
So what does that mean for your asset prevention strategy? Your people urgently need training on how to detect and react to theft, and we can help you get that training to them faster. We’ve got tried-and-tested training content built by our team of expert instructional designers to meet your urgent asset prevention needs, including videos, PDFs and supporting reinforcement questions. Content on Loss Prevention Strategies ranges from Self-Checkout to Internal Theft Awareness for Managers. And usage is up—way up. The number of users training with our theft-related content went up almost 200% between the start of 2022 to now.
Axonify also helps to quickly and easily create custom training to support specific protocols unique to your organization. Content Assistant, our AI-driven content generation tool, builds high-impact micro-content in no time. It’s trained on millions of open-source content and our marketplace information, which it pairs with your own specific theft and asset protection protocols to generate the high-performing reinforcement content your people need.
4. We help managers audit and coach their teams before there’s an incident
A lot of our features are designed to reduce the administrative burden retail managers are faced with every day, like onboarding, ongoing training and communicating crucial information from HQ. In other words, all of the reinforcement and information that Axonify offers, everything we’ve already shared in the points above, can be proven on the floor with behavior inspections and site visits, so that managers can ensure what’s being trained on is resonating with their team.
So, what should managers be doing instead? Managing their people. With the frontline enablement and supporting tech in place from Axonify, managers can audit their teams, and track who knows what they need to know about theft prevention. And, they can make sure their people get the coaching and training they need—before there’s an incident. In other words: managers have the bandwidth to ensure their associates are ready.
Axonify has a few ways to help managers monitor this preparedness. Manager analytics ensure clear line-of-sight into the reach and effectiveness of the resources and communications being shared, identifying knowledge gaps and red flags quickly and easily. And behavioral audits enable managers to review protocol adherence and compliance right within the Axonify platform, tying task execution and protocol right back to core training.
The shrinkage and theft decimating retail is a complicated challenge, with many factors impacting retailers across the country. But with frontline enablement strategies in place to support and empower your most valuable resource—your people—retailers can start to mitigate the impact and enhance the effectiveness of loss prevention strategies.