Are Some Retailers Losing Sight of the Modern Consumer?

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April 6, 2017

The modern consumer increasingly demands greater flexibility and reliability in their shopping experience. Research repeatedly shows that omni-channel is the clearest way to meet this demand and succeed in consumer retail today. So it’s amazing that some retailers are happy to run their operations with little or no supply chain visibility.

According to Retail Systems Research (RSR) analyst Nikki Baird, retailers are, in large part, continuing to guess how much inventory they have in stock at any given point in time. They know even less about where it is and when it will arrive. Those companies are essentially choosing to compete with their eyes closed in the high stakes world of consumer retail.

Kibo’s Digitally Demanding Consumer report found that 95% of consumers surveyed prefer some form of omni-channel service when shopping. As much as 60% said they would purchase elsewhere if their preferred method of delivery wasn’t available, even if they’ve shopped with that retailer many times before.

Omni-channel demands visibility, and for that you need technology. Radio frequency identification (RFID) consistently ranks as the leading technology for enabling omni-channel. By providing affordable real-time, item-level, tracking, RFID offers a viable solution for retailers to create efficiency and flexibility throughout their supply chain.

RFID is about more than just visibility, it gives retailers the ability to communicate more effectively with their manufacturers, supporting quicker reordering and enhanced demand analytics. For manufacturers, RFID systems provide an 80% improvement in shipping and picking accuracy, while also improving receiving time by 90%, according to the RFID Lab at Auburn University.

The tide is turning in the modern retail landscape however. New research from Kurt Salmon concludes that awareness of the benefits of item-level RFID tracking is at an all time high. Their survey showed that 73% of retailers and brands are either currently implementing or piloting the technology. With their eyes closed, the remaining 27% risk losing sight of the competition.

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