RFID technologies in retail applications allow retailers to improve on-shelf availability, increase sales, cut labor costs and improve customer service.
To maximize sales opportunities, retailers need to make sure that the right product is on the shelf and available for the customer at the right time. Item-level RFID applications can help retailers address this age-old problem while improving inventory and replenishment processes, increasing visibility into shrink, and automating tasks to reduce labour costs.
Inadequate stocking levels translate into missed opportunities and sales — while overstocking to ensure that the right product is available at the right time leads to excessive capital requirements that can reduce profitability. Product availability is a significant factor in customer satisfaction and loyalty — industry studies reveal that consumers are likely to switch retail stores if they experience out-of-stock items just two or three times.
Faster, smarter replenishment of sales floor
With RFID, the sales floor can be quickly scanned and “pick lists” automatically generated, making it easier to keep stores properly stocked. Store managers can even be alerted when the amount of “putback” merchandise in the fitting rooms gets excessive.
Greater inventory accuracy
Retailers who base their statistics on total piece count typically underestimate the variance between POS-driven figures and their actual on-hand positions. Instead they should be measuring accuracy at the SKU level. RFID is enabling retailers to elevate this to 99 percent or more.
Greater location visibility
RFID tells you what is or is not in stock and where it can be found in the store. In many cases this shortens the time spent searching for merchandise or eliminates trips to the stock room.
Receiving can be automated, meaning cartons can be processed in minutes, allowing new shipments to become sellable sooner. RFID can even be used to flag or locate cartons with merchandise that needs to get rushed to the sales floor immediately.
Fewer items sold at markdown
A surprising number of items never reach the selling floor until they have already hit their first markdown. Not only is this a lost revenue opportunity, your labor must be devoted to locating and re-ticketing merchandise slated for markdown.
Identifiable and reduced shrink
The ability to count your inventory once or more each day allows you to detect shrink more effectively; and then take action to reduce. Since each item gets assigned a unique serial number, RFID lets you spot backward-moving merchandise to better deter dishonest employees. RFID can also be used to defend against dishonest customer activity in fitting rooms.