RFID in Retail, Only for The Big Players?
Many smaller retailers are realising that the inventory management problems they want to solve are not in the warehouse, but in the stores themselves; that’s where they are losing visibility. RFID technology can be used to ensure that products are available for customers. Customer expectations have changed dramatically through online retail; most want to know instantly, what goods are available, and where, retailers need to be able to respond to them just as fast. The lack of in-store inventory visibility is hardly a new problem; the knowledge of inventory numbers is often still in the head of the store manager/owner as most, if not all, transactions go through his hands; however, this method is becoming dated and impossible to control with today’s digital administration environment.
The retail market development today is becoming primarily an omni-channel based sales model:
- The store itself
- See on line, buy in store
- Buy on line, collect in store
- Buy on line, deliver at home.
Critical to this sales model is: complete accurate inventory visibility, reducing frozen inventory to 0%, convincing the on-line customers to come in-store as well. The model clearly creates the golden opportunity for retailers to cross-sell and in-depth research indicates a high percentage of visiting customers buy more than originally planned.
Current retail discourse questions how to serve customers best, but moreover, how the customer wants to be served; the principal way to resolve this issue is with inventory accuracy. The use of RFID drives agility through better use of data from small to large-scale enterprises, especially when it is related to stock movements and customer behaviour, but additionally by promoting omni-channel, digital multi platforms for customers to connect, browse and buy.
Imagine a solution that enables total, real-time visibility of your inventory – in-store, back-office or warehouse. A retailer can scan an item and the software will instantly inform that yes, 23 blue shirts are still available, and, thanks to the data structure in the RFID chip, it will illustrate not only quantity, but also individual sizes available and where exactly they are stored.
The RFIDdirect Solution
RFIDdirect has developed this complete solution for all retailers, but always with the needs of the SME in mind. Based on a cloud system, with hand-held scanners connecting via WiFi or 4G SIM card. Many smaller retailers in town centres occupy inter-connected older buildings with thick, sturdy walls naturally impacting the WiFi infrastructure, often making it unavailable throughout the building. The RFIDdirect solution offers hand-held scanners working off-line and synchronising as soon as within range of the WiFi.
Typically, on the hand-held devices, additional, specific data can be added manually via the bespoke Android or iOS App. Hand-held devices are available in many variations and we prefer to work with smart mobile platforms.
Furthermore, the hand-held devices can be used for a speedy inventory scan, providing a daily overview of available stock, supplying information for replenishment. The store owner can, subsequently, generate and produce: management information and reports via a dedicated WebApp, reports in sales per staff member, discounts given, and available stock, sales results per day per product group – ready for comparison with the till register.
This development for retail by RFIDdirect was financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund, provided by the Welsh Government.For the retailer, a simplified, affordable and precise knowledge of inventory is now possible: removing a lot of work (labour costs) around annual inventory count, providing accurate information in real-time re-product availability for on-line and in-store services and future forecast planning and procurement.
This development for retail by RFIDdirect was financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund, provided by the Welsh Government.