Against the backdrop of increasing competition, retailers are continuously looking for ways in which they can enhance operational efficiencies. As a result of these business considerations, a growing number of retailers are currently using or considering multiple stacks of Automated Data Capture and Identification (AIDC) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies across their operations.
However, with the rise of smart, mobile technology, retailers must upgrade their processes to meet the changing expectations of tech-savvy consumers. The consumer now expects personalised and convenient service, whether at home, in-store, or elsewhere. Retailers are compelled to adapt to this rapidly evolving retail landscape, where efficiency and accuracy are crucial for success.
To ensure business continuity and meet customer demands, forward-thinking retailers should prioritize investing in purpose-built technologies like data capture, enterprise mobility, RFID, and IoT. These technologies are designed to thrive in busy and demanding environments, enabling improved productivity, efficiency, cost savings, and reduced total operational costs. By embracing these advancements, retailers can enhance their competitive edge and deliver a seamless customer experience.
Two technologies that have revolutionised the retail industry are Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the Internet of Things (IoT). RFID and IoT offer numerous benefits to retailers, enabling them to streamline processes, gain real-time insights, save costs and deliver personalised experiences.
RFID in retail helps in superior customer experience with better product visibility, hassle-free returns, superior brand positioning and better service levels. RFID technology ensures a delightful customer experience while increasing retail supply chain visibility, accuracy, and speed.
RFID allows retailers to accurately manage stock counts, analyse variances, place stock inquiries, and streamline replenishment requests. Faster cycle times, improved out-of-stock management, search and location capabilities, and plan-o-gram compliance contribute to near-perfect inventory accuracy.
RFID is particularly valuable for protecting high-value and luxury goods against counterfeiting. By implementing item-level RFID, retailers gain the intelligence needed to track and identify items throughout the supply chain, effectively preventing the introduction of counterfeit items. RFID safeguards retailers’ brands and businesses by minimising shrinkage and illegal activities.
IoT condition monitoring in retail offers significant advantages in asset management, inventory control, energy efficiency, customer experience and predictive maintenance. Retailers can gain real-time insights, optimise operations, reduce wastages and costs and provide better product experiences for their customers.
Retailers constantly face cost pressure and margin erosion due to losses during long and complex supply chain cycles, especially for temperature-sensitive products and lack of temperature visibility. Perishables, cosmetics and many products are often quality compromised as proactive management and monitoring of the cold chain is missing; retailers require a combination of new-gen technology and business processes across the storage and transportation of these products.
Any failure to keep cold chain products at the required temperature will render them unusable, leading to product wastage. Cold chain monitoring solution gives retailers complete end-to-end transparency and control over cold chain networks with real-time data.
In addition, IoT-based cold chain solutions play a crucial role in achieving sustainability goals by reducing perishable product waste and optimizing energy consumption. By leveraging IoT, retailers can identify disruptions proactively, preventing outages and ensuring product integrity. IoT enables real-time inventory visibility, accurate stock status information, power consumption regulation, and optimal storage conditions.
These advancements in IoT technology significantly boost productivity, accelerate operations, and enhance customer satisfaction. Retailers can achieve greater operational efficiency and sustainability while delivering a seamless experience to their customers.
The combination of RFID and IoT generates vast data that retailers can analyse to gain valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences and trends. By leveraging this data, retailers can make informed data-driven decisions regarding inventory management, plugging leakages, reducing waste, improving margins and achieving sustainability goals leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
RFID and IoT have become indispensable technologies in the retail sector, revolutionising inventory management, supply chain operations, customer experiences, loss prevention and data analytics. Embracing these technologies enables retailers to stay competitive, enhance efficiency and deliver exceptional customer experiences. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, RFID and IoT will play a pivotal role in shaping the industry’s future.