Spot checks should be an essential component of any solid loss prevention strategy. These controls fall under the categories of technological as well as psychological loss prevention. The technological aspect comes from the algorithm that is used to trigger spot checks, which can be set up according to a number of different parameters or thresholds, including a totally randomised selection. The customer receives a notification that they have been selected for a spot check and are encouraged to seek out an employee.
The spot checks themselves are carried out by employees, who are alerted to their duty by a standalone application for staff. There are several different methods of validating a basket once it has been identified by scanning the customer’s receipt code:
- Eye-check: this is a quick comparison done by comparing the physical items in the basket with the information about the digital basket. This works especially well for smaller baskets where the items are easy to count and highly visible.
- Partial re-scan: if the basket is larger, the employee will have to start scanning the products again to verify the basket. However, they are able to mark the basket as valid or invalid at any point during the scan, such as when they can clearly see the remaining items and are confident they match the digital basket.
- Full re-scan: this is the most thorough check which includes scanning every item in the basket to guarantee validity.
To fully incorporate the psychological component of loss prevention, customers should be made aware of the fact that they might be selected for a re-scan at any point. This is best achieved through in-app notifications and reminders or some form of physical signage.
Finally, since the spot check is carried out by a member of staff there is a human component to this safety measure. This can also be used to help customers familiarise themselves with Scan & Go in cases where there has been an honest mistake that could be eradicated with further instructions.