Getting Connected Is Retail’s Future… And It’s Already Here

Getting Connected

November 6, 2017

In a recent article, Chain Store Age contributor Matt Joe of Avanade, does a great job articulating how retail will look in the future. But many of the technologies he discusses are already deployed or being piloted with hundreds of retailers and retail brand owners around the world. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) and radio-frequency identification (RFID) are already enabling retail with a world of connected devices and objects. As Joe states, “The fusion of these technologies will lead to a smarter, more integrated shopping experience benefitting consumers.” Here are just a few examples:

Supply Chain Digest writes:

Lululemon’s primary objective for RFID was elevating the customer experience. “The best way to make customers happy is to give them as many choices as possible,” a spokes person says. At the beginning of the rollout, the company found that it typically had about 250 SKUs out of its 15,000 SKUs in store that were in the stockroom and not available on the shop floor. Today, with RFID fully enabled the number of SKUs languishing in the stockroom stands at about 25 — roughly a 90 percent improvement.

Adidas deployed RFID in 450 Russian stores over nine months, focusing first on “fixing the basics” of stock accuracy and on-floor availability before rolling out omni-channel capabilities, which has had a positive impact on NPS, says Tobias Steinhoff, senior director, business solutions, global sales, direct to channel and franchise for the Adidas Group. The company had discovered over the years certain “detracting factors” that kept customers from recommending the store to others, including assortment width and depth, and slow customer service. RFID has helped get the NPS score up. “On-floor availability is directly correlated with size availability,” Steinhoff notes. “Speed of service is faster with RFID integrated into POS.”

Supply Chain Dive writes:

Thanks to RFID technology, especially in apparel, Target has displayed greater operational efficiencies and better cost management over inventory and payroll, reported Retail Info Systems News recently. While the retailer has already increased online sales by 20% within the past year, it expects to grow another 50%  this holiday season. Particular attention has been paid to the “Buy Online, Pickup In Store” (BOPIS) option, with staff displaying easily identifiable shirts serving that department, and also by providing customers with reusable bags.

RFID Journal writes:

Ralph Lauren opened eight RFID-enabled interactive fitting rooms at its Polo Ralph Lauren flagship store located on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. The company plans to install such fitting rooms in additional stores as well, following an evaluation of their effectiveness at the New York location. The interactive technology consists of a smart mirror with a touchscreen and a built-in RFID reader to identify the RFID tag of every garment brought into a fitting room.

Read full Chain Store Age article here:


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