Intelligent Inventory Transforms Retail
The apparel and footwear industry, with its more than 200,000 stores and over 35 billion items sold each year, has been managing inventory using the same SKU based methods and technology (barcode) for over 30 years. However, consumer purchasing behavior has dramatically evolved, and several things are driving this unprecedented change. Some examples are new omnichannel buying models, increasing competition between retailers and the need for a step-function improvement to inventory accuracy to name a few.
The combination of item-level product schemas, standards-based RFID technology and innovative software applications is becoming the next essential element in how retailers manage their inventory and raise the level of service to their customers. And the resultant return-on-investment (ROI) from using these solutions is accelerating the migration of retailers and brand owners to this transformational change within the enterprise. When one looks at the change within the market that these item-level RFID solutions are and will continue to drive, it truly is a New Era in Retailing.
With billions of encoded RFID tags already in the market and with thousands of retail stores daily using the technology, the industry is well past the point of wondering if the technology will work. Now it is about how best to make it work for each retailer.
Benefits in Apparel and Footwear Solutions
Item-level RFID for inventory management solutions allows the retailer to know precisely what they have therefore being able to deliver exactly what the customer wants, when they want it. This is accomplished because they have confidence in a 98% accurate knowledge of their current inventory This inventory accuracy and the resultant reduced out-of-stocks translates into dramatic enterprise operations improvements:
- Sales lift in stores between 3% and 9%
- Reduction in inventory in entire supply chain between 5% and 12%
- Reduction of BOPIS cancel rates by over 50%
- Reduction of internal shrink by over 50%
- Elimination of need for physical counts (non-RFID)
Retailers using these solutions experience real and tangible returns-on-investment (ROIs) resulting in a cascading benefit across the entire retail enterprise.
Challenges in Apparel and Footwear RFID Solutions
There are a number of challenges that must be addressed for the apparel and footwear retailer and/or brand owner to realize these unprecedented benefits. But these obstacles can be eliminated by partnering with SML and leveraging the years of experience, innovative solutions and global footprint to support these transformational projects.
These challenges and questions that need to be addressed include:
- How do I determine the right type(s) of RFID tag(s) to use?
- What is the most cost effective, non-disruptive way to get encoded RFID tags to the factories?
- How do I find the right use case to begin with in order to drive the most benefit?
- How do I build an item-level business case?
- What does integration with my existing systems look like?
- How will the solution scale over time?
In this New Era in Retailing, consumers are looking for an experience that enables them to buy products when and where they want to. And they want to do all of this with the confidence that the sale process will meet their high expectations.
RFID Tag Products for Apparel and Footwear Solutions