All of us have experienced frustration when we cannot find an item we are looking for at our favorite store. Not only does the store lose the sale, we the consumer lose faith in the store. This stock-out scenario plays out daily, costing retailers millions in lost revenue and missed opportunities for building customer loyalty. This is why best-in-class apparel, footwear, and accessories retailers are turning to item-level RFID tagging to:
- Streamline promotional tracking
- Improve inventory accuracy
- Ensure on-shelf availability
- Prevent theft
- Lift sales
Until recently, most RFID uses focused on pallet and case-level tracking. Instead, item-level tagging reaches all the way to the consumer. Today, major retailers are rolling out item-level RFID systems across the nation at an accelerating rate. In fact, retailers implementing tracing technologies know that they can boost inventory accuracy from 65-98 percent, which leads to more sales. Some retailers are realizing 99.9 percent inventory accuracy, a 50 percent reduction of in-store labor requirements, and a 15 percent lift in sales.
Here’s how it works. As the retailer receives products, an RFID reader automatically scans each item in the packing material, updates the retailer’s computer system, which then verifies product type and quantity. Employees stock the items in the appropriate locations. Scanners in the store track the item’s purchase, or if the item leaves the store without the shopper paying for it. Real-time tracking reveals if shoppers or employees misplace items in the store. This enhanced visibility allows the retailer to reduce stock-outs, boost the shopping experience, and increase sales. In addition, RFID-based electronic article surveillance (EAS) tagging can provide the retailer loss-prevention intelligence regarding what item left the store, and when the theft took place.
Not only does item-level RFID enable precise inventory management, store execution is better, and customers can shop and find the product they want faster and easier. Plus, implementing traceability technologies can also improve overall supply chain efficiency by delivering better inventory control, faster processing, and faster turn rate on items that have seasonal- or style-dependent windows. Most important, RFID solutions scale easily as the retailer’s needs evolve. No doubt, precise inventory management offers a great way for a retailer to differentiate and authenticate their brand.
For more details about RFID in retail, take a look at this recent announcement in http://www.rfidjournalevents.com/fashion/.
Do you see opportunities in your retail enterprise to improve inventory accuracy through precise traceability?