For businesses today, the need to increase efficiency and reduce costs is more important than ever. There are few industries where this is more critical than retail — particularly for brick and mortar retailers under constant threat from more nimble, online-only stores. As a result, retailers are turning to RFID solutions t o significantly improve the efficiency of their operations.
In order to maintain competitive advantage and profitability, retailers feel the pressure to reduce overhead at all costs. But at what cost to their business? Drastically cutting sales staff or reducing inventory too much can be detrimental to customer loyalty and sales revenue.
For many retailers, one option has been to shed excess inventory and the associated carrying costs by streamlining inventory management with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology. More importantly, deploying RFID solutions in retail doesn’t just reduce costs, but it also reduces out-of-stocks, improves omni-channel fulfillment, enhances the customer experience and reduces markdowns… all of which contributes to increased sales.
The key factor to a successful RFID in retail strategy, however, is the way in which the technology is implemented and deployed in the store.
Store employees armed with handheld RFID readers have become commonplace in recent years. The industry has come a long way from the days of taking stock with manual inventory counts once or twice a year. Unlike yesterday’s barcodes, RFID tags don’t require direct line of sight, allowing for fast and accurate reading of items in batches, instead of one at a time.
Yet, inventory management with handheld RFID readers still requires personnel to take stock. And paying sales staff to take inventory, instead of serving customers, typically results in a poor customer experience. Moreover, the inventory data gathered this way lacks location information and reliability, typically collected in non-repeatable snapshots every few weeks by employees who are often interrupted in their task.
Overhead RFID solutions provide reliable analytics, improve customer experience and increases sales
A growing number of leading retailers are turning to another deployment option for improved RFID implementation: Overhead RFID solutions. With discreet, fixed RFID readers installed in ceilings and doorways, a continuous stream of valuable real-time data is automatically collected.
Overhead RFID solutions provide more accurate, up-to-the-minute visibility of inventory available in the store, as well as on-hand in the back room and in receiving, without taking up valuable floor space. With a fully automated system, sales staff are free to focus on customers, improving the customer experience while increasing sales. Moreover, pervasive visibility into inventory enables more efficient and effective omni-channel fulfillment.
But fixed RFID solutions don’t just take stock of static inventory sitting on shelves and hanging on racks. Overhead RFID solutions can cover a wide area, reliably distinguishing between moving and non-moving tags to track merchandise in key traffic areas and at exits. Linking the RFID solutions with the store’s EAS system helps improve loss prevention, identifying when theft occurs, as well as which items are stolen for faster stock replenishment.
Unobtrusive, overhead RFID solutions allow retailers to seamlessly collect repeatable data in real-time for a more accurate accounting of what is in the store at any given time, where it’s located and when it moves. This rich data not only improves inventory visibility for improved SKU assortment and reduced out-of-stocks, but it also provides insight into conversion rates by tracking which items were taken into the fitting rooms and returned to the rack.
In short, deploying fixed, overhead RFID solutions deliver on the original promise of RFID in retail, providing reliable analytics in real-time with automated, repeatable, inventory visibility. Learn more about how your business can strengthen competitive advantage and profits with fully automated, overhead RFID solutions from Mojix.