Beauty retail is an industry at a crossroads. A sector resilient to crisis and change compared to other retail categories, cosmetic brands are beginning to feel the effects of the pandemic and ongoing industry changes.

 In recent years, apparel and sports retailers have undergone digital transformations to stay competitive, and now beauty brands have an opportunity to follow suit. Read this eBook to discover how and why beauty retailing is set to transform into the industry of the future. 

Beauty retail: An industry at a Crossroads

The apparel and sports retail industry have undergone mass change over recent years. Such retailers have undertaken digital transformation journeys in their store and distribution networks to adapt to digital-first customers and eCommerce competition. The beauty sector, however, is still behind the curve.

In most major beauty-industry markets, in-store shopping accounted for up to 85 per cent of beauty product purchases before the COVID-19 crisis – (McKinsey&Co) making the level of eCommerce penetration lower than in other retail sectors. While retailers in other categories have been forced to innovate and adapt in the face of falling brick-and-mortar sales, competition from eCommerce and direct-to-consumer models, brick-and-mortar beauty sales were more resilient.

But this is changing. Not only are eCommerce levels steadily increasing year-on-year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this drastically, driving five years of change in a single year, according to
IBM. This leaves brick-and-mortar beauty retailers on unsteady ground. Beyond this, brands will have to navigate a more digital-centric environment and optimise margins to cope with reduced sales.

The good news is many of the challenges that are now facing beauty have been facing apparel or CPG for years. The digital solutions and strategies that have allowed apparel to adapt are well established and ready to deploy to the sector. The digital transformations that many apparel and sports retailers were forced to undergo will not only fit beauty retailers but will also help them solve older challenges. Beauty retailers may need to go on a similar journey to apparel, but the tracks are there to follow.

What is in the eBook?

  1. Beauty retailing at a crossroads
  2. Bringing beauty operations up-to-speed
  3. Accuracy redefining margins
  4. Fixing beauty’s shrinkage problem
  5. Catching up with the omnichannel trend
  6. Countering the Gray Market
  7. Becoming digital and analytics leaders
beauty retailing ebook pages

We are a year on from the start of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the world is still firmly in the grips of the crisis. But with vaccinations being rolled out globally things are certainly improving, and the end may well be in sight.

For retail, the outlook is similar. While more than 30 major retailers filed for bankruptcy last year (almost double that of 2019), the first green shoots are starting to appear. Most major brands have successfully pivoted to stay afloat during the crisis, and across both the US and Europe the rebound of the brick-and-mortar store seems imminent.

But what will post-pandemic retailing look like? How has the industry shifted in both the long and short term, and what can brands do to prepare for and capitalise on the beginning of retail’s recovery?

Early Signs of Retail’s Recovery from the USA and Europe

While nothing is for certain, most signs point towards this current period being the latter/final stage of the pandemic, particularly for Europe and the USA. With vaccinations beginning to roll-out at scale and many European countries beginning to ease restrictions and lockdowns, many experts are hopeful regarding the outlook for retail over the next few months.

Europe’s recovery: a mixed bag

Across Europe, the outlook is mixed. According to analysis from Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Co, whilst demand for struggling categories like fashion is predicted to increase, the ongoing effect of lockdowns is cause for concern. So, whilst recovery is expected, it will likely be to a lesser extent than other markets.

However, we have seen some encouraging signs despite lockdowns, as the BRC-KPMG retail sales monitor found that in February UK sales increased by 1% year-on-year. As stores are allowed to open back up the numbers will continue to improve, H&M said sales in the March 1st to March 13th period were up 10 per cent in local currencies as many countries, including single-biggest market Germany, began allowing some stores to reopen.

US recovery: encouraging signs for fashion and brick-and-mortar stores

For the United States, the signs are fairly positive, with retail sales in 2021 expected to perform significantly better than in 2020, according to McKinsey and BoF. Additionally, recent findings from Coresight Research’s US Consumer Tracker found that, for fashion retail, the proportion of consumers that are purchasing clothing and footwear in-store was higher than those buying online for the first time since the pandemic – a major milestone for the sector’s recovery.

The report found several reasons for the US apparel industry to be optimistic, as 13% of respondents reported buying more clothing and footwear than pre-crisis, the highest level surveyed so far this year. Meanwhile, the apparel category witnessed the largest decline, of almost 6%, in consumers that are buying less than pre-crisis. Sales in apparel and other ‘discretionary’ categories were the worst affected by the pandemic, so these early signs of recovery are encouraging.

Graph depicting US in-store purchases v online sales

How have brands have shifted in the last year?

It’s been well reported how the global pandemic has affected shopping habits and caused a major increase in eCommerce penetration. According to data from IBM’s U.S. Retail Index (2020), the pandemic accelerated the growth of digital shopping by roughly five years.

This paradigm shift is reflected in the strategies of major retailers since the pandemic. With online becoming, at least temporarily, the primary shopping channel many retailers leant into and reinforced their eCommerce operations. But for the majority of retailers with significant physical store footprints, this was not enough, and the most successful brands developed their omnichannel offerings to better leverage their stores in the new digital-first world:

 

Buy Online, Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) is here to stay

Many retailers were investing in omnichannel services like BOPIS/Click and Collect well before the pandemic, but since then it has become something of a must-have and may remain so well beyond the pandemic. Retailers that had invested in Omnichannel before last year have reaped the benefits, as BOPIS saw YoY growth of 130% in June 2020. These retailers include US powerhouse Target who saw their curbside delivery service grow 500% year-on-year.

 

Stores as fulfilment centres

Similarly, brands with the infrastructure and agility to do so have been investing and leaning into in-store fulfilment throughout the pandemic. The advantages of this are considerable as it allows retailers to leverage their stores to service online customers. Target again made massive gains from this last year, reporting fulfilling 90% of their online orders directly from their stores, cutting fulfilment costs by 90% and contributing to a 100% increase in online sales compared to 2019.

 

Major fashion retailers are betting on Direct to Consumer (DTC)

Another major strategic shift that we have seen accelerated by the pandemic is the direct-to-consumer model. Although this model is nothing new, the fact that major global fashion retailers like Nike, adidas and Levi’s are evolving their strategy to become DTC-first is hugely significant. At the height of the pandemic, adidas saw their eCommerce sales increase by 93% but don’t think of this as a temporary shift – adidas recently announced that they’re aiming for DTC to account for 50% of their sales by 2025.

Long-term strategies taking shape?

So, what can we learn from these changes? Are these simply temporary shifts to navigate unprecedented times, or are they indicative of long-term industry change? The answer seems somewhere in the middle. Although the huge increase in digital sales that were seen at the height of the pandemic is already starting to fall away, the consensus is that a proportion of this change will be ‘sticky’ and digital sales will permanently remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.

As for brands exploring new models like DTC and Omnichannel, there is no doubt that these strategies will continue and remain relevant well beyond the pandemic. The demand and benefits of such models were there pre-COVID, and these changes have simply been accelerated.

The fact that many of these examples of omnichannel success come from the US is no accident. With the states having had fewer full lockdowns than their European counterparts, the success of these strategies could make a valuable lesson for European retailers looking to navigate the coming year – as consumer sentiment remains unstable and may well be signs of a more long-term shift in retail globally.

Preparing for Retail’s recovery: Short-term priorities

Taking Stock: Inventory Control will be Vital for Reopening Stores

As stores come out of lockdown across Europe, taking control of inventory will be a top priority. The first step will be taking stock and ensuring brands know exactly what they have in their inventories. For some stores, inventory management may have broken down due to lockdowns, particularly if stores have been used to fulfil online orders but do not have the IT infrastructure to keep effectively manage this.

Beyond this, the question of older or out-of-season products will present a challenge. Stores will already be dealing with bloated inventories due to lower sales and shutdowns, so maintaining optimal inventory levels and potentially selling marked-down products to make room for new stock will be a priority.

 

Continue to leverage online

Retailers should have invested in their digital channels at the start of the pandemic (and ideally before this). Even with stores opening back up, the increase in digital sales will remain high initially, and some will be sticky post-pandemic – just how much remains to be seen.

Retailers who continue to invest and develop in their digital and omnichannel offerings will profit post-pandemic. We have seen plenty of evidence supporting this from both the US and Chinese markets, so European retailers should follow suit and continue to offer flexible options to customers, many of whom may remain sceptical about returning to stores for some months to come.

 

Mastering fulfilment

With this consumer uncertainty and ongoing eCommerce penetration – making sure retailers deliver on fulfilment remains a priority. We can again look to target as an example, their same-day delivery sales went up 218% this quarter, showing the opportunity is there for retailers who can go the extra mile with their fulfilment, and even dare to compete with the eCommerce powerhouse of Amazon.

Detego Retail Store Application

Cloud-hosted RFID software

Stock accuracy, on-floor availability, and omnichannel applications in stores.

Detego Store is a cloud-hosted RFID solution which digitises stock management processes, making them more efficient and more accurate. Implemented within hours, our multi-user app can provide intelligent stock takes and a smart in-store replenishment process. Later, you can scale the solution to offer omnichannel services and effectively manage your entire store operations with real-time, item-level inventory visibility and analytics.

Beauty retail is an industry at a crossroads. Read this eBook to discover how and why beauty retailing is set to transform into the industry of the future.
Hear from the leaders in retail RFID solutions, Detego, and the experts in retail IT integrations, Spencer technologies as they layout the simplest and most effective path to success with RFID.
It’s not another buzzword – How item-level data has changed retail for good.

If you’re always reading about item-level data or item-level inventories but aren’t sure what all the fuss is about, we’re here to explain. It’s not just another retail tech buzzword, it tells the story of an industry transforming, the first step in a global shift from analogue to digital retailing (and we aren’t just talking about Ecommerce here).

When a retailer’s IT systems work on an item-level, they can identify, count, track and trace each individual product. While it sounds simple enough, in theory, it’s harder to do in practice and has only recently been made possible by new technology like RFID.

The benefits are huge, and while we will explore them in more detail, they include running leaner and more efficient stores, stronger supply chains and powerful data and insights.

Before we do that, lets briefly cover the current (or old, arguably) alternative to this: a stock keeping unit or (SKU).

What is a stock keeping unit?

A Stock Keeping Unit uses a basic code that specifies the identity of a product – for example, a plain white t-shirt, size L.

One of the main differences here is that an SKU can (and should be) logged and counted multiple times, for example, if you are counting those 10 white t-shirts, you are counting the same SKU 10 times.

Barcodes tend to operate on SKU’s, and you can scan the same barcode over and over.

  • Specifies the product type and size
  • Is counted multiple times

What does item-level data mean?

For retailers, working on an item-level simply means treating each item as a unique, identifiable piece of merchandise.

On the technical side, that means each item must have a unique code – called an Electronic Product Code (EPC).

Effectively, item-level data means being able to tell the difference between 10 medium white t-shirts. With EPCs, you could replace one of those 10 with another of the same item and be able to identify the new one from its unique code.

This might seem arbitrary, but it is one of the key drivers of transformation and change in the way retailers manage their stores and supply chains in recent years. Removing the human error element is one thing, but the unique ID’s open the door to much more.

These unique product codes are what makes RFID possible, as hundreds of radio signals can be emitted and read at once. Since each item has a unique ID there is never any risk of counting something twice. This means its possible to do store stocktakes in a matter of minutes, and verify items going through the supply chain without even opening up the box!

Additionally, the item-level data makes the world of difference when it comes to the supply chain.

If you were to track items on an SKU level within the supply chain, it would only tell you how much of each product passes through. Even this is too time-consuming, however, as it would require opening boxes and scanning individual bar codes, so instead DC’s and factories scan boxes, and operate on a carton level.

With item-level verification inbound and outbound at DCs, the individual contents can be counted and checked (via radiofrequency). These unique product IDs mean another whole layer of data, individual items can be tracked and traced from source to store.

  • Can’t count items more than once
  • Makes rapid inventory counts possible
  • Individual product codes mean you can track and trace items across the supply chain
  • More accurate data across the supply chain

The benefits of item-level retailing

 The Detego Platform – Delivering item-level data to retail

The Detego platform is the definitive solution for delivering and utilising item-level data for retailers. The RFID platform covers every step of the item journey, from factories to distribution centres, to stores. Track and trace individual products across the supply chain, perform store stocktakes in minutes and take the guesswork out of retail. If you’re a retailer with several or even hundreds of stores, the Detego platform is purpose-built to get the most out of your stores and supply chain.

Detego Retail Store Application

Cloud-hosted RFID software

Stock accuracy, on-floor availability, and omnichannel applications in stores.

Detego Store is a cloud-hosted RFID solution which digitises stock management processes, making them more efficient and more accurate. Implemented within hours, our multi-user app can provide intelligent stock takes and a smart in-store replenishment process. Later, you can scale the solution to offer omnichannel services and effectively manage your entire store operations with real-time, item-level inventory visibility and analytics.

Beauty retail is an industry at a crossroads. Read this eBook to discover how and why beauty retailing is set to transform into the industry of the future.
Hear from the leaders in retail RFID solutions, Detego, and the experts in retail IT integrations, Spencer technologies as they layout the simplest and most effective path to success with RFID.
For many retailers, stocktaking is considered a necessary evil. But physical inventories come at great cost: time, money, and overall efficiency. As a result, many stores only perform an annual or bi-annual stocktake,but is there a better way?

Knowing what’s in your store is essential to running a profitable retail business, whether it’s an independent boutique or a store in a chain of thousands. There are two things that keep stores ‘In the know’ when it comes to their inventory, stocktakes and their inventory management systems. A stocktake allows you to establish your view of inventory (at reasonable expense and effort) whereas the better your inventory management system is, the longer that view of stock stays accurate.

Even if your inventory management is top quality, without regular stocktakes accuracy will begin to slip. Factors like theft, admin errors and stock movement will mean that before too long the stock file and the physical inventory become increasingly out of sync.

This problem is multiplied the bigger a retailer’s footprint is. When looking at hundreds or even thousands of stores, stock inaccuracy can add up to unthinkable amounts of capital. Just look at British retailer Ted Baker who last year discovered a £58M hole in their business, entirely due to inventory mismanagement!

For many retailers then, stocktaking is considered a necessary evil. But doing a wall-to-wall count of every individual product in a store is no mean feat. Physical inventories come at great cost: time, money, and overall efficiency. As a result, many stores only perform an annual or bi-annual stocktake, but these leave a lot to be desired.

Let’s go through how and why annual stocktakes can be so expensive to perform and even ask, can retailers afford to go on like this?

The cost of annual stocktakes

The upfront cost  

Physical inventory counts are big operations that are expensive to perform. Doing a wall-to-wall stocktake of everything in a store (backroom and salesfloor) takes a lot of time and manhours. To perform a physical inventory count, retailers have two options:

 

Carry out the stocktake internally

One option is for a store to carry out the inventory itself. This is tricky but not impossible, provided the staff are organised, attentive and know what they’re doing. The major downside is how labour intensive it is, requiring a lot of store staff, making working around opening hours difficult (more on this later).

For independent or particularly well-staffed stores, internal stocktakes can work. The issue is it does not scale. For a retailer with hundreds of stores, asking every one of them to perform such an operation once or twice a year puts a lot of pressure on store management – and the results will be inconsistent at best

 

Use a third-party service

Using a specialist service to perform the physical inventory does have its advantages. First off, the accuracy of the stocktake is likely to be more reliable, and it is easier to scale up the use of such a service to more and more stores. The major downside is the considerable cost. Whilst it depends on the service used and the size of the store, these stocktakes can cost around $2000 – $3000 per store. Assuming each store only performs such a count once a year, when scaled across tens or hundreds of stores, the cost becomes immense.

The disruption to stores

Regardless of who you have performing the physical stocktake, the other question is when. A full inventory takes time, whilst it naturally depends on the size of the store and the team, it will likely take half a day at a minimum.

If the store is closed once a week, then this is the obvious choice. However, larger brands can often operate seven days a week…

So that leaves retailers with another difficult choice – close the store, or perform the stocktake overnight? Naturally, closing the store means losing sales and disrupting customers. While performing the inventory count overnight can make for a tight schedule.

An overnight inventory count is more doable (and common) when using a third-party, but it is not always feasible if you are using internal staff. Not only are you asking (and paying) for staff to come in out of hours, but you also will not be able to use that set of staff of either day either side of the overnight stocktake – making it incredibly difficult for smaller teams.

The suboptimal results

So those are the implications for actually performing annual/bi-annual stocktakes for retail stores, but there is something else to consider…

The fact is manual inventory counts give you subpar results. Even with supporting technology like barcode scanners, the margin for manual error is still significant meaning right from the outset you will still have errors and discrepancies. A much bigger factor – performing stock counts once or twice a year is simply not enough anymore. Sure, you may have 90% accuracy every 6 months, but what about the time in-between?

Typically store inventories run at 60-80% Item Level accuracy. However, stores will rarely report such low numbers because:

 

A) They only calculate accuracy after a stocktake

 

B) They are working on an SKU (stock-keeping Unit) level, and not an item-level.

 

C) Errors in stocktaking procedures mean stock file and actual inventory do not match, i.e., the accuracy quoted is not accurate

 

This level of stock inaccuracy also comes at a cost – and it’s a steep one. Stock inaccuracy causes three problems for stores.

Overstock – Excess stock, a result of the inventory list not showing items that are present in the store. Often compounded by stores carrying ‘safety stock’ for key products.

UnderstockA lack of product, a result of the store inventory showing items that aren’t really there. Also called ‘phantom stock’, one of the main causes of this is theft. Understock leads to products becoming out-of-stock altogether, meaning lost sales and revenue.

Dead StockFor perishable products, dead stock means products that can no longer be sold. While sectors like fashion don’t have this problem having stock sat unsold in backrooms can lead to products falling out of season, resulting in mark-downs and profit loss.

The bottom line of this inaccuracy? 10-15% higher working capital in stores, as a result of bloated inventories, and 5-10% of sales being lost simply due to stock not being available for customers to buy.

The alternatives to annual stocktakes

Cycle counts

A cycle count is where a store performs a partial count of a specific portion of store stock. Instead of performing an annual stock take once or twice a year, you might perform a cycle count several times a quarter. Essentially, you are breaking down the annual count into several mini stocktakes.

This has many benefits over annual stocktake – less disruption to the store, less labour intensive and (since it can be done by store staff) it’s cheaper. It can also help avoid the large variation that you get when there is a larger gap between takes.

While this is certainly better, cycle counts require a lot of coordination and still have the same problem as all manual stock counts: they are time-consuming and inaccurate. So, whilst cycle counts will reduce the costs compared to annual stocktakes, the cost of the inaccuracy will stay the same.

 

RFID   

Having looked at the costs and problems associated with manual yearly stocktakes, you’d be forgiven for thinking successful large-scale brands don’t operate like this – and they don’t.

Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that allows stores to perform rapid inventory counts, via product tags that emit a small radiofrequency. Stores that have implemented RFID can perform weekly or even daily stocktakes, as a single member of staff with an RFID reader can count thousands of items in minutes. The result of this is RFID stores have typical inventory accuracy of 99%, and no more need of annual stock takes.

Installing RFID in stores is a reasonably big project and requires some upfront investment. However, if you look at the cost of performing third-party stocktakes every year alone that money could be used to fund the RFID project and it delivers a stronger return of investment than regular physical inventories. This without mentioning the various other benefits of the technology, which you can read about here.

Detego Retail Store Application

Cloud-hosted RFID software

Stock accuracy, on-floor availability, and omnichannel applications in stores.

Detego Store is a cloud-hosted RFID solution which digitises stock management processes, making them more efficient and more accurate. Implemented within hours, our multi-user app can provide intelligent stock takes and a smart in-store replenishment process. Later, you can scale the solution to offer omnichannel services and effectively manage your entire store operations with real-time, item-level inventory visibility and analytics.

Beauty retail is an industry at a crossroads. Read this eBook to discover how and why beauty retailing is set to transform into the industry of the future.
Hear from the leaders in retail RFID solutions, Detego, and the experts in retail IT integrations, Spencer technologies as they layout the simplest and most effective path to success with RFID.
It's been a year like no other; we recap an eventful year for retail by looking through our best content from the year. From COVID-19 to retail's ongoing digital transformation, and our major updates along the way.

Discover how retail RFID is changing the industry for good. This eBook will guide you through the top 10 needs identified by retailers to ensure sustainable success in the modern environment. Explore the common challenges preventing retailers from achieving their goals and learn how applying smart RFID-based solutions delivers consistently good results.

What is in the eBook?

The retail industry is currently ruled by change. The digital age has seen a huge growth in competition from e-commerce and a rapid shift in consumer preferences. This shift has altered the industry greatly with modern ‘omnichannel’ customers demanding to shop where they want, how they want and when they want. Delivering such an experience is a challenge, one that requires brick-and-mortar retailers to change.

To compete in an increasingly digital environment, brands need the right supporting technology to establish full transparency between their shopping channels and offer consistently excellent service online and in-store. On top of this, the extreme competition within the industry and the subsequent pressure on retailer’s bottom lines means finding ways to reduce or shift costs and eliminate inefficiencies at scale is a priority – again, technology may provide the answers here.

Retailers then are faced with the challenge of providing a better experience to customers while scaling back and consolidating in order to stay financially viable, how do you achieve both at once without overstretching resources and risking multiple technology projects? Obviously, a focus on the specific problems that need solving is key but with the scale of these challenges, you need a transformation that affects the core of the business and isn’t putting lipstick on a pig.

In this regard, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is somewhat unique in the retail technology market, due to the sheer versatility of the technology and its ability to solve so many of retail’s most common needs. It is this scope of use cases that have seen RFID become increasingly prominent in the retail environment.   Whilst the basic principle of RFID, tagging inventory with its own unique radio signal, is deceptively simple, its uses and applications are incredibly broad.

In this eBook, we analyse the top 10 needs identified by retailers to ensure sustainable success in the modern environment. Within each of these needs, we identify the challenges often preventing retailers from achieving them, and how applying smart RFID-based solutions can deliver consistently good results.

Improving key metrics in stores

The ebook will teach you how RFID revolutionises daily processes like stocktakes and replenishment in stores. Learn how retailers are using the technology to deliver higher inventory accuracy in-stores (increasing from ~70 to 99%) and to ensure the right product is always available for customers to buy on the shop floor (known as increasing product availability). The eBook will also show you how retailers can achieve these results whilst actually lowering the labour intensity (and costs) of operational store processes like cycle counts and processing inbound shipments.

  • How retailers use RFID for quick and efficient stocktakes and cycle counts
  • Improving stock accuracy in stores
  • How smart solutions are being put to use for item-level replenishment, ensuring products and sizes are always available to be sold.
Results of RFID Retail

Delivering to customers with retail RFID

Find out how retailers use RFID to reliably deliver to their customers by removing common friction points as well as offering new services and shopping experiences. Common pain points eliminated by RFID include: customers being unable to find the right product,  staff not being available to help with requests and service due to lack of time for the customer, or unreliable stock information. On the other end of the spectrum, advanced RFID retailers can wow customers with new shopping experiences both in-store and online.

  • How stores can reduce common customer friction points
  • The relationship between RFID and effective omnichannel services
  • The advanced retail RFID solutions that improve the in-store customer experience like chatbots and smart fitting rooms.
RFID Omnichannel Retail

Optimising supply chains from source to store with automated processes

Learn how advanced RFID retailers have moved upstream to cover their entire supply chains, from stores to warehouses, distribution centres and even factories. The eBook covers how RFID is used to achieve complete supply chain visibility and what additional value this unlocks for retailers due to the advanced item-level data and analytics available.

  • How to achieve supply chain visibility with real-time info on the movement of products inside and across individual stores and distribution stages.
  • How RFID is used to aid logistics at distribution centres, including automated processes like exception handling and order picking.
  • What RFID means for retailer’s data and analytics capabilities, such as advanced supply chain traceability and new KPIs for stores and DC’s.
Retail Supply Chain

Protecting brands and products from theft, counterfeits and the grey market.

Finally, gain insight on how retailers deploy RFID solutions to protect their products, and their entire brand, from illicit activity including theft, counterfeit products and the grey/gray market. The eBook explains how retailers can use the technology to identify individual products and trace them across the supply chain, allowing them to identify where problems are occurring, and stop them at the source.

  • How RFID can be used to monitor and reduce shrinkage, including theft, both in stores and across the entire supply chain.
  • How brands are combatting counterfeit goods by tagging and tracing their products with RFID.
  • What the Grey Market means for retail and how several major brands use RFID traceability to locate and stop the source of grey market products.
The Sources of retail shrinkage

How is a Detego stocktake different?

For retail stores using the Detego platform, the stocktake is where it all starts. While typically stores would only perform a full stocktake, also knows as a cycle count or an inventory, a handful of times a year, the RFID-powered Detego application allows stocktakes to be performed bi-weekly or even daily.

Staff perform a stocktake through the Detego mobile application, connected to a handheld RFID reader. The application guides staff through the process, displaying the current count, the differences from the target list and the stock accuracy percentage. Stocktakes are vital to maintaining an accurate inventory – with the Detego platform stores can reach as high as 99% stock accuracy.

What problem does it solve?

 

Regular stocktakes are essential to maintaining a high level of stock accuracy and maintaining On-Floor Availability (OFA) of products.

 

Performing regular stocktakes:

  • Is the key to achieving high stock accuracy and shop floor availability
  • Enables store managers to uncover stock discrepancies
  • Provides insight into product performance and enables review of pricing strategies
  • Exposes theft

However, a manual count of inventory or a barcode cycle count is incredibly time-consuming. Counting items individually takes at least several hours and often means closing the store or working around opening hours. As a result, cycle counts in retail stores are typically only performed a handful of times a year, meaning lower stock accuracy in stores – the average being between 60-70%.

The Detego platform changes this. Powered by RFID, staff using the stocktake feature can perform a stocktake of both the backroom and salesfloor in around 30 minutes (depending on store size). The RFID reader can read product signals all at once, so it can count hundreds of items in seconds. A Detego stocktake can also never count a product more than once and is far less likely to miss items as direct line of sight is not needed. The result of this an increase of stock accuracy to ~98%.

 

The Detego system:

  • Makes stocktaking much more efficient, easier, and faster
  • Brings more accurate stocktake results
  • Reduces operational costs of doing a stocktake

 

‘We scan every day, giving us the accuracy of the exact stock we have in the store, in roughly 35 minutes’
Manisha Hassan, Reiss Store Manager

 

Why is having a high stock accuracy in stores so important?

Stock accuracy for stores has become a core KPI for retailers. At the most basic level its vital for maintaining the availability of products on the salesfloor and preventing out of stocks which in turn increases sales – our customer, Reiss, increases sales by 4% by increasing their stock accuracy. Stores without such accurate inventory must compensate to maintain sales, so they will often carry excess stock to prevent out of stocks and lost sales. Increasing stock accuracy in such cases results in a significant reduction in inventory size, reducing working capital by as much as 30%.

When you look at more advanced retail trends, like the increasing connection between online and offline – high stock is simply non-negotiable. Offering online customers real-time store stock information naturally requires the retailer to know exactly what is in stock, and advanced services like buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) built off of poor stock accuracy are destined to fail.

How does it work?

  1. Each staff member selects the stocktaking option on their handheld device.

  2. As each staff member reads the items in their designated area, their handheld device reflects the number of items that they have read and the current stock accuracy.

  3. If more than one person is performing the stocktake, the devices are synchronised, and the stock accuracy is calculated using all the counts.

  4. Once most items have been read, staff can see the number of differences between the actual and target counts and can attempt to resolve the differences (for example, re-reading an area and replacing any missing tags).

  5. When a staff member has completed their read and resolved as many differences as possible, they confirm the result on their device.

The Detego stocktake in action

Our customers, fashion retailer Reiss, implemented the Detego platform in their 50 UK stores. They moved from doing 2-3 cycle counts a year to a stocktake every day. The result was an average store stock accuracy of 98%, and a resulting 4% uplift in sales.

Types of stocktake with the Detego platform

Guided Stocktake

A guided stocktake is the most common method for a Detego cycle count. Guided means that the handheld readers used for a stocktake show the number of items that the device has read and the calculated stock accuracy based on the number of products read by all devices and the expected stock of the store.

After reading all of the items in the store, staff can investigate the differences between the actual and expected counts, a process called difference clarification.

For example, staff may realise that they missed an area in the location they were reading, or there may be a surplus of a specific product on the salesfloor. Once staff have resolved as many differences as possible, they confirm their final count.

Guided Stocktake app

Blind Stocktake

A Blind stocktake works the same way as a guided one except that the handheld readers only show the number of items that the device has read. They don’t show the expected number of items or the current stock accuracy and staff can’t investigate any differences on their handheld device. Staff simply read the items in their designated location and confirm their count when their read is complete.

  • May be required for regulatory reasons
  • Enables the store manager to control the stocktake as individual store staff cannot investigate differences on their own
  • Reduces the risk of items going missing during a stocktake
Blind stocktake app

Partial Stocktake

A Partial stocktake checks a subset of inventory, for example, a category of items, such as footwear, or a specific product. Partial stocktakes are useful if there is not time to perform a full stocktake, or if there are issues to resolve with certain types of stock. Partial stocktakes are useful in the following situations:

  • A full stocktake would take too long to complete in the time available
  • A full stocktake has highlighted issues with a particular item or location that need further investigation
  • A full stocktake for large stores would be complex and difficult to manage, so it’s more efficient to check individual locations separately
Detego Retail Store Application

Cloud-hosted RFID software

Stock accuracy, on-floor availability, and omnichannel applications in stores.

Detego Store is a cloud-hosted RFID solution which digitises stock management processes, making them more efficient and more accurate. Implemented within hours, our multi-user app can provide intelligent stock takes and a smart in-store replenishment process. Later, you can scale the solution to offer omnichannel services and effectively manage your entire store operations with real-time, item-level inventory visibility and analytics.

Data by nature: Why eCommerce analytics are steps ahead

Online retailing not only created a new way of shopping, but it also changed the game when it comes to tracking and analysing the shopping journey. There is almost nothing that is not being evaluated while surfing the webshop. Digital-heat-maps of individual online sessions are analysed, showing every click and scroll through the online store. Every possible KPI is monitored: Conversion rate, click-through rate, average order value, the relation between new and returning visitors, bounce rate and retention to name a few. The really powerful thing about this is that analysis is always followed by action, to improve both the effectiveness of the webshop and the experience of its customers.

Data by design? Time for brick and mortar to take some lessons

Naturally, eCommerce has a significant advantage when it comes to analytics, a digital channel is always going to produce more data. Brick-and-mortar stores need to adapt to compete however, and technology is trying to bridge this gap between the physical and digital. Some of the more hardware-heavy options include AI-powered cameras, smart shelves or even aisle-roaming robots.

While hardware-intensive solutions like customer-tracking smart cameras are available, with the right software supporting it, a technology that simply tracks products (such as RFID) and leverages the IoT (Internet of Things) can revolutionise analytics for stores. These technologies and their supporting platforms are a big driver of ‘Digital transformation’ which delivers the analytics and data that brick-and-mortar stores are desperate for.

Here are 3 lessons from eCommerce for improving analytics in retail stores….

The need for real-time data

For years, brick-and-mortar retailers have been complaining about imprecise stock-figures and unreliable historical data. Unhappy with its purchasing decisions based on last year’s sales figures, retailers would prefer to have real-time data and inventories that allow for reliable and economically viable decisions. After all, it is important to avoid high-security stocks in order to reduce capital tie-up.

But why do we actually have this problem? Are the data points offered by the ERP systems not enough? Unfortunately not – it is not unusual that the ERP system shows higher stock than actually available on the sales floor. This so-called “ghost stock” is the cause for various problems in sales, e.g. the ERP system says a certain article, for example, a red skirt in size S, is in stock, but in reality, it is not. It can neither be sold nor refilled from the central warehouse – a classical out-of-stock situation. Or vice-versa, the ERP displays a lower inventory level than is actually available. The reason for these deviations is insufficient accuracy in individual processes that dangerously sum up over time.

Today’s intelligent article management is based on three pillars: fast, RFID-based article identification on item-level, tracking of every movement in real-time and proactive analysis with concrete recommendations for actions to take for the sales personnel. This is the foundation for optimum customer service and efficient processes.

What does real-time data mean for Brick and Mortar Stores?

  • High Stock accuracy
  • Increases product availability of the shop floor from accurate replenishment
  • Allows for convenient omnichannel services like click-and-collect
  • Equips store staff with up-to-the-minute stock information – allowing them to assist customers better

Meaningful KPIs in the store

When measuring KPIs, the practical benefits for retailers are paramount. Three areas of data in the store can be distinguished:

KPIs for Store performance

 

Inventory Accuracy

Whether five or 800 stores, KPIs for measuring inventory accuracy are significant for every retailer and still represent one of the main challenges in today’s business. Retailers, on average, can actually make accurate statements on just about 75% of their inventory (based on SKU level). However, this is not enough to meet customers’ expectations for omnichannel services. Therefore, inventory transparency and corresponding KPIs are essential for retailers´ success.

 

Product availability

Product availability on the sales floor, also known as on-floor availability, is the second central parameter. Initially, it is less about the exact position and more about the fact that the articles are on the sales floor – after all, only items that are actually available can be sold. This key figure can be combined with an alert system that makes sure not to fall short of the defined minimum availability. Complementary to classical ERP-systems, RFID-based merchandise management takes the data granularity to the next level, by knowing exactly at each moment in time if products are really on the salesfloor or still lingering in the backroom of a store.

Detego RFID Software Dashboard

KPIs for individual product & campaign performance

 

Product dwell-time on salesfloor

Having data on item level, store managers are also given important information on the dwell times of articles on the sales floor. This information is more valuable than simple sales data, as it tells us the average time individual products spend on the sales floor before being sold. This can be used to gauge whether products are performing & corresponding with the sales plan. Common recommendations made from this data include moving items do a different location on the salesfloor (i.e. adjusting the planogram)  or relocating excess inventory to another store – both of these measures reduce profit-sapping inventory bloat and end-of-season markdowns.

 

Fitting room conversion rate

One of the most famous KPIs in e-commerce is the conversion rate that describes the ratio between purchases and website visitors and also provides information on certain items that were already in the shopping cart, but for some reason have not been purchased in the end. Specifically, this aspect was incredibly difficult to measure in the store for a long time but can now be measured in fitting rooms using IoT and RFID technologies. This provides meaningful insights into how many, and above all, which articles does a customer take into the fitting room and which one does she/he actually buy?

Detego Reports - Fitting Room Conversions

KPIs on customer engagement and service quality

On an operational side, KPIs can also be used to manage service quality. We’ve already covered product-availability and stock accuracy, which affect the customer just as much as the store with out-of-stocks or unavailable sizes being all-too-common pain points. The replenishment rate provides another angle to combat this, as it shows how quickly articles are replenished on the sales floor.  On the other hand, the fitting room response time describes how quickly sales personnel handle customer requests coming from the fitting room. The KPI “Conversion rate per campaign” shows the success of a campaign and if campaign-specific countermeasures are necessary.

Detego Retail Analytics Dashboard

Turning data into actions

The final lesson brick-and-mortar retail should learn from the webshop? Turning data into actions. Since nobody needs a data graveyard, any analysis needs the goal of creating immediate actions to improve. Today’s systems help the management team as well as the store personnel with concrete and automated recommendations for actions to take. This saves time in the decision-making process, unburdens the sales personnel, and enables them to do the right things at the right time.

KPIs should be suitable for everyday business use. Presented visually and self-explanatory, they need to be linked to clear recommendations for actions to take. This frees up store personnel time and provides a data-driven way of optimization. Examples range from simple in-store replenishment advice, i.e. “The minimum stock for article #47699-0010 has been reached – please refill three pieces” to more advanced topics, e.g. to choose a different placement in the store for a specific article when the dwell time on the sales floor is too high compared to other stores. Advanced systems can even utilise AI and Machine learning to automate and refine certain processes, like adjusting store planograms and creating optimal pick paths when replenishing stock.

Detego Instore Edition Refill Advice

Conclusion

Brick-and-mortar retail needs support and an update to the toolbox when it comes to analysis and measures. Not only does the sales personnel benefit from intelligent recommendations for action, but the management team also gains efficient control mechanisms across the entire store network. Decisions are made based on real-time data and therefore allow timely action. Ultimately, the end customer is pleased about a first-class service, which – thanks to the individual and informed advice through the sales personnel – even exceeds the standards of the online retail.

Webinar

Item-level Reporting from
Source-to-Store

Register for this webinar where we outline the impact of digitisation on supply chain analytics and operational efficiency. Covering the wealth of item-level data unlocked by RFID, the presentation will explain the new KPI’s available for modern supply chains and their impact on retail operations.

Complete Supply chain visibility was once an optional bonus for retailers, but in the modern industry it is becoming more and more of a necessity.

Whilst in the past, limited tracking of shipments in the supply chain was commonplace, in the modern environment with its more complex supply chains, delivery options and increasing customer expectations, retailers need to do more.

This isn’t just us saying so, retailers recognise this too. According to a report by Zebra Technologies, 72% of retailers are working on digitizing their supply chains in order to achieve real-time visibility.

What Is Supply Chain Visibility?  

Having visibility means being able to accurately track products and shipments throughout the supply chain, from the manufacturer, to the distribution centre and finally to the store. Having this visibility prevents shipping errors, improves operational efficiency and allows retailers to leverage products to service their customers better.

See also: a single view of stock for retail

Extent of supply chain visibility

Why Do Retailers Need Visibility?

Managing supply chains effectively is always a priority for retailers. But as these supply chains get bigger the challenge becomes more daunting. Visibility is needed to align such large operations, and this is before you add new pressures like omnichannel, traceability and online orders.

Additionally, supply chain visibility is arguably even more important in ecommerce than for pure-play brick and mortar retailers. Not only do you need to know exactly what stock the fulfilment centre has, but what stock it is due to receive and when. And since pure-play brick and mortar retailers are now few and far between , this now means that most retailers’ supply chains need to be more advanced and transparent than previously required.

This is before mentioning the divisive omnichannel word, which often requires even greater transparency and synergy between stores and distribution centres and includes multiple delivery options.

There are also more classic supply chain challenges that can be helped by achieving visibility. General inefficiencies and inaccuracies can be reduced by adding more checkpoints throughout the supply chain – particularly when these are done at an item level, and not shipment or carton level.

Adding this visibility also makes better communication between different stages of the chain possible, which leads to smoother operations. Having visibility at an item-level also makes traceability of items through the supply chain possible. This can make a massive difference in combatting supply chain shrinkage, and in some cases the grey market.

3 reasons supply chin visibility is important

The ‘New’ Challenges:

 

Multi/omni-channel businesses – It seems like an age ago, but traditional retail supply chains went in one direction and to one place – stores. Now almost all retailers also run their businesses online meaning their they operate on multiple sales channels, therefore, their supply chains service far more destinations than before.

Multiple delivery options – A relatively recent challenge created by the growth of online and the already mentioned omnichannel purchasing options. Retailers want to offer their customers as much stock and as many purchasing options as possible, but without the technology to support it, this can cause problems. In an Accenture survey, respondents claimed that 31 percent of their Ship from Store orders triggered a split shipment.

Customer expectations – Customer expectations has shifted. In a 2019 report, it was found that Half of shoppers reported abandoning a purchase due to a lack of cross-channel buying options. This is a major impact on sales, and many retailers are starting to adapt to the change in expectations.

The Old Challenges:

 

Supply chain inefficiency – Supply chain inefficiencies and miscommunication through “Chinese Whispers” are costing UK businesses over £1.5bn in lost productivity according to analysis of industry data from Zencargo.

Supply chain shrinkage – According to the National Security Survey, businesses in the United States lose $45.2 billion through inventory shrinkage a year. Whilst retail stores make up the majority of this, supply chains still experience large amounts of inventory shrink, particularly when they have no visibility of products.

What are the benefits of having supply chain visibility?

  • Better customer service

  • Improved inventory control

  • Shorter cycle times

  • Smoother operational processes between stores and DC’s

  • Better data for more intelligent business decisions

  • Reduce out of stocks

  • Track and trace products

  • Offer effective omnichannel services and delivery options

Detego Retail Track and Trace

How Do You Achieve Supply Chain Visibility?

  • Implement a system that works at an item-level (not whole cartons)

  • Accurately track products at as many points as possible during shipping

  • Inbound and outbound counts at every stage of shipping

  • Implement effective exception handling

  • Use a cloud-based system to integrate all stages of the supply chain and achieve as close to a real-time view of merchandise movement as possible

  • Send advanced shipping notices (ASN’s) so warehouses and stores now exactly what they’ll receive

  • Use this visibility to enable traceability of each item throughout its journey

Retail Supply chain tracking

The Detego Platform allows retailers to gain complete visibility over their operations

If you’re looking for a solution or partner to help achieve better supply chain visibility, consider our platform!

Using RFID item level-tagging, the cloud-based Detego platform gives each individual item a unique digital identity. Items are then tracked from factory to shop floor using radio frequency identification (RFID) methods. RFID makes this possible as inbound, outbound and even exception handling can then be done through RFID reads – which are fast, accurate and can be done without opening cartons.

Since RFID works on the individual item-level, the result of this is complete visibility of the supply chain. The platform utilises the IoT to create a complete overview of every single product in the supply chain, as its cloud hosted this can be close to real-time and is the ‘single point of truth’ for the entire business.

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Online returns have been a challenge for retailers since the beginning of eCommerce. This is because of both their volume compared to normal stores, and the costs associated with processing them. In the wake of COVID-19, this problem could prove more critical then ever, as online becomes retailers’ singular sales channel. There is already early evidence of this, with preliminary data from Quantum Metric showing that eCommerce associated with Brick and Mortar retailers saw an average revenue weekly growth rate increase of 52%, and Nike Inc.’s digital sales went up by 36%.

The eCommerce returns dilemma

Online shopping is popular for a reason, but the convenience and choice of eCommerce comes at the price of not being able to ‘try before you buy’ for customers.

This simple difference is the reason online returns are so much more prevalent than for Brick and Mortar stores. In eCommerce the customers’ homes becomes the fitting room. And, just like any fitting room, products end up back on the shelves. According to Happy Returns, while shoppers return only 10% of what they buy in stores, they send back up to 50% of what they buy online.

This is compounded by customers accounting for this when ordering online. A survey from Barclays found that 30% of shoppers deliberately over-purchase and subsequently return unwanted items. Additionally, 20% regularly order multiple versions (often sizes) of the same item so they could make their mind up when they are delivered, all of which is facilitated by the retailer at great cost.

While it might seem logical to have stricter returns policies, or make customers cover the cost of returns, consumer expectations make this a risky strategy. According to the 2017 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper survey, 68% of shoppers view returns policies before making a purchase. This leaves retailers with a catch-22 situation when it comes to losing out on online sales or losing profits from processing the inevitable returns that comes with those sales.

Retail returns by product type

What are the challenges of retail returns?

So why are returns such a strain on retailers?

Cost of returns First and foremost is the simple cost of returns. Since returns are in themselves essentially lost sales, the added cost of returning them, which according to CNBC is on average 30% of the purchase price, can heavily impact retailer’s margins.

Processing returns and reverse logisticsOn top of this is the resources and effort of processing returns and getting the stock back available to be sold as quickly as possible. This reverse logistics can be particularly challenging and can result in returned stock not being available for purchase again for some time, often leading to out-of-stocks on the webshop. According to the Barclays report, 57% of retailers say that dealing with returns has a negative impact on the day-to-day running of their business.

Contamination concerns with COVID-19? – A unique and recent challenge, particularly for apparel retailers, is dealing with the potential contamination and contact of returned good with the COVID-19 virus. Initial research suggests that the virus can only survive on fabric surfaces for 24 hours, but for up to 72 on plastics like packaging. This will need to be addressed by eCommerce retailers who continue trading throughout the epidemic.

Return fraudThis is a challenge shared by brick-and-mortar stores. Fraudulent returns cost the US alone 27 billion dollars a year. This can involve the ‘returning’ of stolen merchandise for cash, stealing receipts to enable a false return or using someone else’s receipt to return unpurchased store stock. Naturally, using receipts for returns presents a risk, APPRISS found that receipted returns are more than twice as likely to be fraudulent as other methods.

Summary of retail returns fraud US

How to reduce the impact of returns on eCommerce

So what options are there for retailers looking to tackle their returns problems?

  1. Reduce the likelihood of returns, without harming customer experience or sales: Include accurate and detailed product descriptions. Use uniformed/standard sizes where possible and provide a more specific sizing filter. Offer virtual ‘try-ons’ with augmented reality/3D imaging.
  2. Set clear and accessible rules regarding returns: Make sure customers know what and how they are allowed to return items, this reduces spending resources processing illegitimate returns.
  3. Improve visibility: Maintain a single view of stock with item-level inbound and outbound processes, this will also allow for online returns back to stores, and ship-from-store. Make this visibility accessible to your entire team and your customers.
  4. Improve efficiency of inbound and outbound processes: Utilise reliable & efficient technologies and automated processes like exception handling. One of the leading technologies for this is RFID, which prevents the need to open any boxes or packages as it can count and verify items without direct line of sight.
  5. Improve internal processes: Ensure returns processes (and supporting software) enables additional layers of merchandise management such as grading items based on quality and tracking when the item was returned.
  6. Counter Return Fraud: Verify legitimacy of returns as much as possible, best practise involves unique item-level validation like RFID or unique serial numbers.
  7. Ensure returned stock is safe to sell: Implement processes to ensure returns are not damaged in any way, implement a policy to account for safe handling of merchandise during theCovid-19 pandemic, either sanitising products or leaving them a set amount of time before adding back into webshop stock.

Using RFID tagging and looking to improve return processes?

NEW: eCommerce returns module

eCommerce/ DTC is increasing due to COVID-19. This causes an over proportional increase in returns which normally would require a ramp up of staff and equipment to handle the process – Detego’s new RFID enabled return process provides an approx 90% productivity increase.

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Beauty retail is an industry at a crossroads. Read this eBook to discover how and why beauty retailing is set to transform into the industry of the future.
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Summary of Reiss and Detego’s UK project

 

Luxury high-street brand, Reiss, has been operating in the UK for almost 50 years with 160 stores globally. Their reputation for quality and service is what sets them apart, and they recognised that in the modern environment, serving their customers to the highest possible standard requires strong digital foundations.

To achieve this, Reiss has initially implemented the Detego platform across its 50 UK stores. Digitising their view of stock as well as increasing their stock accuracy across all stores were priorities, as these would provide an important baseline for future projects as well as allowing them to continue to serve their customers with a high level of service.

The rollout was completed in 8 months and has since seen results of 99% stock accuracy in stores and a consequent 4% uplift in sales.

 

The Challenge:

Responding to shifting customer expectations, Reiss looked to begin a ‘digital transformation’ of their inventory to secure stock accuracy, efficiency and stock visibility for their growing omnichannel portfolio.

The Solution:

Reiss began RFID tagging individual products at source, giving every item a unique digital ID that is readable via radio waves from several feet away. They then implemented Detego’s cloud-hosted inventory management software across their store network to digitise store processes with fast and efficient RFID methods. This meant they could perform accurate, daily stocktakes of their stores, rather than doing a just a few each year.

The Result:

Reiss saw their stock accuracy increase to 99% in their stores with a 4% sales uplift as a direct result of this. Additionally, they now have a complete and accurate digital view of stock across their store network. Not only does this mean Reiss staff know exactly what is in their stores at all times, but it is a solid foundation for future expansion into the digital arena.

4% Increase in Sales

99% Stock accuracy

Reiss store

The Steps to RFID success

Best Practise Implementation

Detego worked alongside Reiss to understand their business goals and implement a phased approach to the use of RFID. An initial pilot project involving 5 stores allowed Reiss to understand the implications on process change whilst proving the business case to their stakeholders. Following that, an efficient rollout of the remaining UK stores was enabled by our professional services team and cloud-hosted solution. Reiss chose to focus on the fundamentals of stock accuracy and product availability for their customers first. This allows them to set the foundations for new services and feature additions following the success of this initial implementation.

Transforming stock takes

With the application live in stores, Reiss staff now perform stock takes daily, rather than a handful of times a year. This can be done due to the speed and ease of a Detego stocktake. Because RFID reads can be done without direct line of sight and at a distance of several feet, Reiss staff can do a cycle count of their entire stores in around 30 minutes. Naturally, daily stock takes will drive accuracy but the fact that the Detego stocktake removes human error and is displayed on a user-friendly mobile app means Reiss achieve near-perfect levels of inventory accuracy.

‘The use of the Detego app has really improved our daily processes. Having a stock take every day as opposed to only twice a year really streamlines the accuracy of our stock file and the replenishment process.’

Giorgio Leone-Mazza, Reiss Store Manager

Stock accuracy

As a result of implementing the Detego platform, Reiss now have on average 98% inventory accuracy in their stores. This has a huge impact on Reiss and their customers. Reiss stores’ backroom inventories are very lean and they replenish directly from their central DC. Having an accurate view of stock is crucial in such a system, as inaccuracies mean incorrect replenishment which in turn creates out-of-stocks and unsatisfied customers. With accuracy close to a 100%, Reiss can be confident that their merchandise is leveraged with total precision.

With very few inaccuracies, customers are rarely disappointed by items being unavailable and they can continue to serve their clientele with the same level of service that they’ve been renowned for almost 50 years.

Reiss’ merchandise itself is their second most valuable asset, behind only their customers, so it is important to leverage it as effectively as possible. Having an accurate view of stock is the only place to start this and ensures that they can prevent end-of-season markdowns as a result of ‘losing’ stock for a season due to inaccuracy.

‘We scan every day, giving us the accuracy of the exact stock we have in the store, in roughly 35 minutes’

Manisha Hassan, Reiss Store Manager

The road to Omnichannel

One of Reiss’ main long-term goals for their technology investments was to offer a top-class omnichannel experience, opening up more inventory for their customers to choose from and utilising their stores as miniature distribution centres. Having a highly accurate view of stock is a non-negotiable requirement to offering good omnichannel services, inaccurate stock means inaccurate omnichannel. With an accuracy of near 99%, Reiss will be able to deliver services like click and collect and ship-from-store with confidence.

Reiss’ merchandise itself is their second most valuable asset, behind only their customers, so it is important to leverage it as effectively as possible. Having an accurate view of stock is the only place to start this and ensures that they can prevent end-of-season markdowns as a result of ‘losing’ stock for a season due to inaccuracy.

‘The RFID project at Reiss has focussed on simplicity, driving accuracy very early in the cycle, using software as the base level.’

Martin Schofield, CEO of Retail 247

Reiss RFID with Detego

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