Access control for retail stores protects merchandise like this.


Key takeaways

  • The best access control system for retail use is the ButterflyMX keypad.
  • Benefits of retail access control systems include improved security, less insurance liability, and employee arrival data.
  • Retail access control includes biometric systems, smart locks, and cloud-based systems.


Commercial businesses and retail stores need security measures to protect employees, earnings, and merchandise. However, finding the best access control for retail stores is difficult. You need a system that meets all of your security requirements but also doesn’t restrict customers from coming and going. In this post, we’ll point you to the best access control system for your retail business.

First, we’ll go over one of the best access control for retail examples. Next, we’ll review the benefits of physical access control systems. Lastly, we’ll cover the different types of access control systems that you can buy for a retail store.

This post covers:


Discover every company that ButterflyMX integrates with.


The best access control system for retail

The ButterflyMX keypad is one of the best access control systems for retail stores because it utilizes the latest in access control technology while still being simple to use. ButterflyMX products are currently installed in over 10,000 buildings and have over 20,000 five-star reviews.

The ButterflyMX keypad is one of the best retail security products because it features:

  • Cloud-based software. This allows you to store user data in the cloud and avoid needing cumbersome physical storage servers on the premises.
  • Mobile controls. You directly control the ButterflyMX keypad from your mobile device. When new employees are hired or move on, you grant and revoke access from your mobile device.
  • Entry options. Users operate the keypad keylessly by downloading the ButterflyMX app and tapping a button. Alternatively, ButterflyMX offers encrypted key fobs and key cards that can’t be copied. Furthermore, users have the option of using a unique PIN code on the keypad. Guests may be given a temporary PIN code that expires after a set amount of time.
  • Remote entry. Management and staff may unlock the keypad remotely from their mobile devices.
  • Integrations. CCTV camera systems and other security hardware integrate naturally with the keypad.

In addition to the ButterflyMX keypad, the ButterflyMX elevator controls are extremely useful if your property has an elevator. With elevator controls, you can ensure that only verified users can access restricted floors, such as loading bays and management offices. Additionally, you can allow unverified customers access to multiple retail floors without slowing down their access to these areas.


What is access control in retail?

Access control in retail is the system in which you manage and verify access to the store and to staff-only areas. Access control allows you to secure your building without turning away customers. Usually, access control devices are paired with other security systems.


An isle at a store that needs access control for retail.


Is retail theft really increasing?

Unfortunately, retail theft is on the rise. New York and Los Angeles have respectively reported a 64% and 61% increase in theft and shoplifting.


Benefits of access control for retail

Benefits of access control systems in commercial stores include:

  • Improved security. Security is the biggest benefit of access control systems. You will be able to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to staff-only spaces. This allows you to secure cash earnings and merchandise from being stolen. Furthermore, access control also prohibits access to physical servers that might contain private customer and employee information.
  • Health requirements. Access control for supermarkets ensures that perishable food such as meat and dairy products are only handed by professional staff members before appearing on store shelves. Controlling access to food storage areas reduces the risk of contaminated products.
  • Shift changes. Access control systems help manage staff members’ arrival and departure for shift changes. Furthermore, as management, you can monitor who has entered the property and when they did so.
  • Insurance liability. All of the products you offer at your retail store are covered by insurance. Additionally, an efficient access control system helps you if you ever have to make an insurance claim. This is because installing an access control system is a sign that you have taken all proper precautions to protect your belongings.
  • Legal liability. An access control system is proof that you have taken security precautions to protect both staff and customers on your property.
  • 24/7 protection. Your retail space is likely closed with no staff members present for roughly as many hours as it is open. An access control system gives you peace of mind that your property is safe during closing hours.


Discover how access control systems work: 


The types of access control systems for retail

While each individual access control system has unique features when it comes to building security, there are generally three different types of retail access control systems that you will encounter.

The three types of retail access control systems include:

  1. Biometric access control
  2. Smart locks
  3. Cloud-based access control


1. Biometric access control

Biometric retail access control systems grant users entry after scanning a bodily identifier such as their face, eyes (retina), or fingerprints. This is often a highly secure and foolproof security system that is trusted when securing highly sensitive spaces.

However, for a retail store, a biometric access control system might be too much. You want employees to be able to enter your property and restricted areas both easily and quickly. Furthermore, you want to be able to control your access control system on the fly, even when you’re not present at the store. In addition to those negatives, you also want a system that doesn’t take a long time to register new users.


Some access control for retail stores takes the form of biometric locks like this.


2. Smart locks

Smart locks are a feature-limited yet effective access control method for some retail stores. As the name implies, they can lock down a specific area, and they feature a number of entry methods aside from a traditional physical key. If you have only one room that you want to lock down, a smart lock might be a viable option. However, smart locks are recommended for securing an entire property. This is because they lack some of the user verification methods that more feature-heavy access control systems tend to have.


3. Cloud-based access control

In our professional opinion, cloud-based access control systems offer the best entry systems for your retail store. This is because cloud-based systems are the easiest to use and give you the most control as a manager. Notably, cloud-based systems are designed to handle a large number of different users. Additionally, they can be customized and managed easily from mobile devices. A biometric lock, for example, takes longer to program for new employees or temporary users than a cloud-based system would.

Cloud-based access control systems often feature remote entry, which is particularly beneficial for retail stores. This is because retail stores receive a lot of deliveries. With remote and temporary access, delivery drivers can be let into the building securely without troubling any on-site staff members.


access control system

Profile image for Nick Manzolillo


Nick Manzolillo

I'm a Rhode Island-based writer fascinated with real estate development, the inner workings of the real estate industry, and how real estate and technology blend together.

Follow Nick on LinkedIn