To thrive in retail, you need smooth, data-driven processes that organize stock and make shopping easier, improving efficiency and keeping customers happy. For that reason, many retailers have accepted RFID with open arms with most interested but wondering when is the right time. In this blog, we will take a deep dive into the world of RFID and try to answer when is the right time to implement RFID in retail stores.
The benefits of adopting RFID
The reasons for FRID's success in retail come from the plenty of benefits it brings. First, adopting RFID in retail enhances inventory accuracy, reducing stockouts and overstock situations. This technology enables real-time tracking of items, making it easier to identify and address discrepancies promptly, thus ensuring products are always available for customers.
Second, with RFID stores can ease and automate many processes for better results with reduced labor. No more pen and paper shipment validation, no more 10-hour inventory counts. Now high number of items can be scanned at the same time without the fear of counting the same item more than once.
Moreover, RFID allows retailers to make better decisions. When retailers have real, on-time data, with full stock availability they can learn about their clients and products much better and make data-based decisions.
RFID is a useful tool for boosting their business to the next level for all the reasons listed above. It's not only a plus, not having RFID can actually cause problems.
The challenges of delaying RFID adoption
RFID provides retailers with transparency in their supply chain, meaning that without it, retailers simply operate blindly. They sell online items they don’t have, miss sales in stores, and make future decisions based on incomplete and inaccurate data. And it all starts with the stock.
Retailers without RFID tend to suffer from high shrinkage rate, causing them to lose sales and money. If you don’t know something is missing, you will probably only find out when a client wants to buy but cannot find it.
Furthermore, if you don’t have RFID implemented yet, this probably means your employees validate and count inventory manually, scanning barcodes or using a paper sheet. These tasks, when done manually, take an immense amount of time, time that your employees could devote to other activities, such as providing service to customers. And of course, manual inventory management is prone to human errors.
Future-Proofing Your Retail Business
In addition to what you might be missing now, there is also the future of retail to consider. If you wish to secure your success in the future, where online visibility and omnichannel are a must, you need RFID. If you wish to automate your brick-and-mortar store with self-checkout kiosks, wow effect, and digital displays, you need to start with RFID as soon as possible.
7 Questions retailers should ask to know if it’s time for RFID
In general, RFID is extremely recommended and necessary for every retailer's supply chain and inventory management, but to answer this better we gathered a few questions retailers should ask themselves to know if they need RFID now.
1. Do you struggle with inventory accuracy?
Assess whether inventory discrepancies, stockouts, or overstock situations are common issues.
2. Are there concerns about shrinkage and theft?
Evaluate if losses due to theft or internal errors are significant concerns.
3. Is employee productivity affected by manual inventory tasks?
Consider if staff spend excessive time on inventory management that could be better utilized for
4. Is customer satisfaction impacted by stock availability?
Examine if customers often leave the store empty-handed due to out-of-stock items.
5. Do you want to offer omnichannel?
Determine if the business aims to provide services like buying online, picking up in-store (BOPIS), or same-day delivery.
6. Are you looking to enhance the customer experience?
Reflect on whether a more streamlined, convenient shopping experience is a priority.
7. What is our budget for technology adoption and innovation?
Assess the financial resources available for RFID implementation and staff training.
By answering these questions, retailers can better determine whether RFID technology is a suitable and cost-effective solution for them.
In conclusion, the adoption of RFID technology in retail stores is not just a choice; it's a necessity for staying competitive in the ever-evolving world of retail. The benefits of RFID are undeniable, from real-time inventory tracking to enhanced customer experiences and data-driven decision-making. Delaying RFID adoption can lead to challenges such as inventory inaccuracies, higher shrinkage rates, and inefficient manual processes which translate to costs. Retailers should ask themselves 7 critical questions to assess their need for RFID adoption. The right time to implement RFID in retail stores is now.