Physical Goes Digital in Retail 3.0
As technology continues to advance rapidly, retailers have a lot of high-tech tools at their disposal — from mobile apps and social media marketing, to virtual reality and fraud detection tools. But without easy access to accurate data, all the technology in the world is useless; after all, garbage in equals garbage out. That’s why perhaps the most revolutionary technology in retail today is item-level RFID, delivering the capability to manage inventory in real-time throughout the retail supply chain with accuracy up to 98 percent or higher.
RFID technology has ushered in a new era of Retail 3.0 by enabling widespread changes across numerous processes in the retail world. Retail 3.0 creates a new operational benchmark for retailers by taking advantage of a number of RFID innovations, including item-level inventory management, customer shopping behavior monitoring, new customer experience and omnichannel execution.
A key benefit of the Retail 3.0 era is the opportunity for brick and mortar retailers to level the playing field with online e-commerce competitors. In fact, a significant proportion of physical stores are leveraging RFID technology to go digital in order to better compete. According to the 2017 Retail Vision Study, retailers worldwide are planning a number of high-tech investments over the next three to four years across a range of sectors — from apparel and specialty stores, to home improvement and drugstore chains.
As many as 81 percent of retailers surveyed will implement security sensors, 71 percent will deploy sensors for tracking customer footpath, and three-quarters of retailers will install sensors to track status of inventory. Likewise, IoT devices and networking monitoring also are gaining popularity among retailers.
By going digital, brick and mortar retailers not only keep pace with online competition and improve inventory management, they also reduce operating costs and improve profit margins. Equally important is the ability to personalize and enhance the in-store customer experience while creating an omnichannel presence, which is crucial to attracting and maintaining customer loyalty among today’s largest consumer group — Millennials, the first true digital natives.
The ability to go digital is a powerful tool for today’s physical retailer. And with RFID technology and Retail 3.0, it’s never been easier to gain competitive advantage.