RFID is Essential for an Omnichannel Deployment
For the past few years, omnichannel has been repeatedly referred to as the future of retail. More and more retailers are adopting omnichannel strategies to keep their customers happy and encourage sales using the ever-increasing shopping methods currently available to consumers. However, without RFID technology as part of these strategies to vastly improve inventory accuracy, retailers who try to implement omnichannel could find that their strategy is ineffective or even counterproductive.
What Is Omnichannel and Why Is It Important to Retail?
Omnichannel is all about creating a seamless, simple buying experience. The main focus is to ensure that a customer will have the same, positive experience regardless of the purchasing channel they use. These different shopping channels include computers, smartphones, and brick and mortar stores, as well as different product delivery options such as parcel, pickup in store, or shop in store.
A true omnichannel deployment will allow a customer to begin researching or purchasing a product using any channel, while being able to seamlessly switch to another channel at any point in the process. This should be a top priority for retailers, as it’s been reported that a whopping 91 percent of customers want – and will soon expect – the ability to do this.
Half of all retail customers also expect that they’ll be able to place an order online and pick it up in the retail store. In addition, same-day delivery is important for more than 50 percent of online shoppers. Retailers that cannot fulfil these expectations may get left behind in the near future.
Why RFID Is Required for a Successful Omnichannel Deployment
In order to provide these benefits and successfully implement omnichannel, retailers must have a constant, accurate picture of their inventory throughout their entire supply chain. This real-time, item-level inventory visibility can be accomplished through RFID. RFID technology allows for the fast, accurate and efficient management of inventory data, allowing staff to focus more on helping customers instead of trying to locate items. In fact, an RFID solution can ensure that your inventory is over 98 percent accurate.
Without RFID, trying to implement omnichannel could potentially lead to disappointed customers and a damaged reputation as well as bloated inventories to prevent disappointing these customers. For example, a customer researches a product on your website and decides to make a purchase. Rather than buying online and waiting for the item to be shipped, the customer checks the availability of the product at the nearest store location to get the item immediately. The website shows the item is in stock. After driving to the store, however, the customer spends significant time trying to find the item and takes the time of an associate for help, only to learn that the item is not actually in stock. The customer leaves frustrated and empty-handed, while you lose out on a sale – all due to inaccurate inventory data on the website. RFID can prevent situations like these by providing the most up-to-date, accurate inventory data possible.
Omnichannel is a Win-Win
An omnichannel deployment is a customer-centric strategy that uses the latest technologies to make shopping simpler for both consumers and retailers. With an effective RFID solution, retailers will have accurate stock counts at all times, ensuring that their omnichannel strategy is successful. No matter how a customer decides to make a purchase, RFID ensures that you’ll close the sale and that the customer will leave happy.