SML, an end-to-end RFID specialist for brands around the globe, has announced today that it has released part two of its State of Retail Insight Report: Better Serving Customers Through Technology, finding that 43% of retailers believe enhanced stock level visibility would help them better serve customers and increase the overall customer experience.
The second of a two-part series, The State of Retail in a Post Pandemic Era analyses responses from over 500 independent senior decision-makers and executives from apparel retailers across the US and UK. The report discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the retail sector, specifically highlighting the pivotal role of digital transformation in the post-pandemic retail market, potential concerns surrounding technology implementation in-store, the issues associated with a depleted workforce, and the need to find balance between online and in-store sales channels.
Retail is on the road to recovery. Even before the pandemic, much of the retail landscape was in desperate need of digital transformation. SML’s research highlights a lack of stock visibility as being one of the most prominent current issues within retail. Paired with ongoing labor shortages, this has presented new challenges to the post-pandemic terrain.
The report reflected these issues around stock visibility, and found that 48% of UK and US retail decision-makers experience that out of stock items are the primary challenge for retailers in the current climate. While a short-term fix of revamping online channels allowed retailers to stay afloat during the pandemic, the research shows that issues in back-end processes still remain. SML found that 24% of respondents see an unclear view of inventory as their biggest concern, with 21% also claiming that it takes too long to locate items in-store.
Dean Frew, Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of RFID Solutions at SML Group, said: “In a lockdown landscape, retailers now have the task of accommodating their customers back in-store, whilst retaining their online presence. Although associated with a number of early-stage challenges, the implementation of Item-level RFID technology can provide retailers with the solution to help provide improved customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and profits.
“By investing in Item-level RFID technology, retailers can have a dramatically more accurate and consistent view of their inventory. This significantly streamlines both online and in-store sales challenges and frees employees’ time, which can be reassigned to the customers’ direct needs.”