Fashion Retail and RFID

The perfect couple

RFID: Real-time data at the item-level

Today’s fashion shoppers, who are always online, expect immediate information on article availability at all times, as well as a consistently positive shopping experience, whether he or she purchases online or enters a brick-and-mortar store. These expectations, combined with managing several collections per year and at least as many marketing campaigns, mean that fashion retailers face numerous challenges. Extremely large quantities of merchandise – in a variety of colours, styles and sizes – have to be moved along the entire supply chain in ever shorter cycles. This involves special requirements for processes, technologies and employees in the retail industry:

  • Being able to provide customers with information at all times. This necessitates knowing the exact locations of all articles at the item-level at any time.
  • Efficient processes in the store. i.e. fast goods-inbound, permanent inventory and notifications if articles are no longer available on the sales floor, but in the backroom.
  • Being 100% customer-oriented. Keeping the promise of providing reliable information on article availability on individual items at any time.

Low input but great outcome:

RFID for article transparency and more…

Many fashion retailers have already realised the benefits of RFID-based article management: knowing the exact location of every article at all times builds the basis for efficient store management as well as omni-channel retailing. Retailers who have taken the first step of implementing simple RFID labelling on merchandise are soon able to see other worthwhile benefits: for example, real-time analysis based on new in-store KPIs or omni-channel services. Given the fact that RFID-based store and supply chain solutions are highly scalable, innovative and seen as a safe investment, the use of RFID in fashion retail is inevitable.

Reasonable development path: From accurate article transparency to retail analytics and efficient omni-channel services.

The hidden potential of RFID

RFID stands out with distinct and innovative advantages over other article labelling technologies: RFID-labelled articles can be read in bulk and even through closed boxes.

Fixed readers on the sales floor, in the back-office, in the fitting room or in certain areas (for example, near NOOS articles) provide data on the article availability ratios and article movements in the store. If these are evaluated, valuable insights are gained about customer preferences e.g. what are popular combinations of articles; or how attractive are individual article placements in comparison to others.

Mobile RFID reading devices can be used for store-processes such as store-to-store transfers, goods receipts or returns to the warehouse. Furthermore, mobile devices support the sales personnel extremely well, especially when it comes to customer consultations, or for initiating a direct order or reservation.

All data generated in the store can be analysed in real-time. And back-end systems, such as ERP or CRM and Loyalty programs, are enriched with information that was hitherto unavailable, allowing a far better understanding of the customer.

If retailers use the power of real-time data and, for instance, relocate articles more quickly (or present certain articles as outfit combinations; or provide product recommendations on an interactive screen in the fitting room), turnover will be increased immediately. With the information coming from data on article aging structures for each and every item, retailers can take precautions earlier so that they sell more articles at full price and increase their margins. These timely actions give a competitive advantage, especially if competitors are still using historical data and making decisions that do not meet customers’ wants and needs.

RFID provides real-time insights into the link between customers and merchandise.

RFID sensors in the store: Goods movements are transparent and analysable.

Advantages of RFID in fashion retail:

  • Increased article availability (never-out-of-stock)
  • Article transparency through Single-Point-of-Truth stock view
  • Targeted store(s) management using real-time analytics
  • Fewer safety stocks and improved supply chain processes
  • Automated article recommendations for the promotion of active cross-selling
  • Sales according to planned margins through fast replenishment processes
  • Basis for efficient omni-channel services (click & collect, online article availability check, ship-from-store, return-to-store)
  • Sales personnel have more time for the customer

Webinar | How RFID benefits Fashion Retail

The perfect couple

Find out how international fashion retailers lay the foundations for their successful strategies and how the use of RFID helps to successfully differentiate themselves in the highly-competitive fashion industry.

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