ECR Retail Loss

Enabling the Retail Sector to Sell More and Lose Less

Marketplace Loss Prevention - Retailer Updates

The e-commerce loss working group met to discuss the challenges of managing fraudulent claims for non-delivery and returns from sales made via online marketplaces such as Amazon, Ebay, Facebook, Walmart and Tik Tok, to name but a few. After a short presentation from one of the retailers, the group shared back their questions, comments and their own learnings. The full recording of the meeting is available to retailers, if this is of interest, please send email to Three of the key highlights from the meeting include: 1) Reduced visibility: When retailers sell directly to the consumer, the full suite of fraud protection capabilities are available, with some of the tools looking at 600+ data points to identify possible risks. However, when retailers sell via a marketplace, visibility to data points that could help protect the retailer from fraud are significantly reduced, leading to a far greater risk. Retailers shared how criminals have become very aware of this weakness. 2) Limited Control: The group shared that the marketplace itself can have a bias and a tilt towards trusting customers first, and refunding the customer where there is a claim, while the retailer themselves would have been more likely to apply more caution and be more aware of the risk of fraud, especially on repeat offenders. 3) Collaboration Opportunity: Retailers reported that it was very difficult to find a person or team to contact at the marketplace retailers who could help support and investigate fraudulent claims. Where they had found a partners, they reported good success at recovering losses. For a video recap of the launch meeting, please see video below with Professor Beck.

New Research: Do Body Worn Cameras "work" in Retail Stores?

The video working group had an opportunity to learn about the findings from a new report by Professor Adrian Beck on the use of body worn cameras in retail. The group then shared back their questions, comments and their own learnings. The full recording of the meeting is available to retailers, if this is of interest, please send email to The link to the full report is here Five key highlights from the report include: 1) Growing Adoption in Retail: As a response to the more challenging retail environment, and especially in the UK, there is greater adoption of body worn cameras in retail, with interest growing in USA, Europe and Australia. 2) Staff Feel Safer with Body Worn Cameras: The report highlights how staff generally feel safer when they wear body worn cameras, there is a strong belief amongst staff that the cameras can act as a calming agent, and stop the abuse. But worst case, if there is an incident, the staff are reassured that it is on record and recorded. 3) Body Worn Cameras help retailers gather better evidence: What the report shares is how, especially with audio, the quality of the video data available can help lead to more successful prosecutions, and sometimes, with no requirement for the member of staff or management to attend the court. 4) Body worn cameras can reduce incidents by 37%. In fact, the report identified a range of reductions, with 37% the average but the report also calls out caution, the actual number of incidents were often low, often single digits, and the methods and trial design often fell below the expectations of the academic who wrote the report, Professor Beck 5) Finally, body worn cameras are no panacea, or silver bullet to the problems of violence, abuse and crime in a retail setting. They must be seen in the context of a company wide approach. For a video recap of the launch meeting, please see video below with Professor Beck.

Highlights: 2024 SCO Innovation Summit

ECR Retail Loss has been researching and promoting collaboration on self-checkouts for over a decade. Over 70 retailers were able to participate in our annual in person meeting, hosted by Carrefour, with an agenda that included store visits, speed dating with innovators, deep dive retailer case studies on technology, design and people and an informal network evening. We asked participants why they think retailers should attend this annual meeting. "Its instrumental to attend these in person meetings. Our TEAMs meetings are great but its so much more engaging in person. Ideas flow so much better, you get real conversation and debate and you can ask follow up questions to understand where they are coming from "The ECR SCO Innovation Summit Is a fantastic meeting for any retailer who is currently looking or already has SCO operations within their business. The Summit connects various retailers together to discuss the operational challenges and successes that each individual business has faced and created an environment for collaboration and problem solving. The industry insight and approaches shared through these forums are invaluable when it comes to formulating a strategy for success in this space" "The ECR SCO meeting is such a valuable space for retailers to come together to discuss current SCO challenges and SCO solutions. The networking opportunities at this meeting often lead to respected connections and partnerships that can benefit your business both short term and long term. ECR creates a jam packed agenda with thought provoking sessions and SCO/mobile scan & go innovations that appeals to both small and large scale retailers" "Its a rare and fantastic chance to gather with others who share a passion and interest in the world of self checkouts and learn from each others experiences" "I’ve rarely seen an event with such high collaboration to understand, learn and innovate. Meeting other professionals who were working with SCO offered great insights for future developments and areas of opportunities. As for the event, thanks a lot for this incredible opportunity to exchange and learn from other retailers. Definitely working to make this a yearly thing!" "As retailers continually enhance their self-checkout offerings, the opportunity to collaborate with other retailers that are at various stages of this journey was invaluable. Our team found it to be a worthwhile investment, gaining valuable takeaways for our business" Below is an interview with Professor Adrian Beck who shares his key takeaways from the meeting.

RFID: Exploring the Use of RFID in Grocery

RFID has the potential to unlock significant value to the consumer, the retailer and producers. For example, in retail, the ability to scan shelves of fresh products and identify much faster those items close to or at their expiry date not only improves accuracy but it also transforms productivity and ensures that the shopper is never presented with, or sold an item past its expiry date. In this meeting, we heard from multiple grocery retailers and their trial results and learnings on the use of RFID, where the focus categories were fresh meat. The full recording is available to retailers, if this is of interest, please send email to In the meantime, please see below three takeaways for retailers from the meeting. #1: Positive In Store Testing Results Traditional thinking has been that in the presence of water, metal, etc, RFID read rates would be too low to even merit a trial. However, technology advancements persuaded two of the retailers to undertake trials on the fresh meat category. Both were able to demonstrate 95%+ read rates. Success! Moreover, for store associates they turned a rather boring process of checking date codes into a "treasure hunt" like experience, making the task more enjoyable, fun and most of all, faster. The trials also started to illustrate the opportunities for improved supply chain accuracy. With the costs of tags reducing over time, and with some of the retailers already deploying RFID in the apparel area of the store, the business case may be getting closer. #2: RFID and 2d / GS1 Data Matrix To reduce returns fraud, where a customer may steal (say) a dress from the shop floor, and then try and return the dress for a cash refund or credit, M&S have added a 2d data bar code to the products they currently apply RFID, suits, dresses, jeans, etc. This helps them reject those return claims where there is no evidence that the product has been sold through a POS. This is instructive, and perhaps is a glimpse of how the business case for RFID on (say) fresh meat may evolve, where in addition to an RFID tag, there would be a 2d bar code, which would mean that no product past its expiry date could be sold through the POS. With the momentum building for 2d, it is important to consider how 2d can be augmented by RFID and vice versa. #3: Supplier Support As was pointed out by one of the retailers, in the fresh meat / protein category, each retailer may have over 200 suppliers, some supplying all stores, others maybe one or a few. Many of these suppliers may also supply multiple retailers, some of whom might not invest behind RFID. So unlike the fashion category, where often the suppliers are exclusive and where the retailer has near total control over the whole supply chain, for example, Decathlon, there will be a greater challenge in grocery to secure supplier support from EVERY supplier. What we did hear from some retailers is that they are trialling RFID in their in-store produced departments, such as bakery, butchery, etc. RFID in these production categories will help them track date codes more efficiently, and with 2d, help prevent sales via POS of items beyond their expiry date. We are planning an update on April 24th 2025, click here to register for this meeting. Finally, see below the interview with Professor Adrian Beck who shares his key takeaways from the meeting.

best buy
dollar general
foot locker
john lewis
river island
whole foods


The research priorities are determined by its members – they drive the agenda to ensure ECR delivers research that meets the need of the industry bringing new insights, tools and techniques that enables retailers to sell more and lose less.