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Key Takeaways From Retail Technology Show 2023

Returning for its second year with over 8,400 retail professionals, 300 exhibitors, and 100 speakers in attendance, the Retail Technology Show (RTS) took London by storm on 26th and 27th April.

Returning for its second year with over 8,400 retail professionals, 300 exhibitors, and 100 speakers in attendance, the Retail Technology Show (RTS) took London by storm on 26th and 27th April. The go-to event for retailers and industry thought leaders, RTS 2023 enabled attendees to find the right tools, solutions, and advice to enhance their customer experience capabilities, increase operational efficiency, and drive sales.

With a focus on how retailers can continue to adapt to new approaches, become more resilient, and continue to push the boundaries of innovation, three key themes emerged from 2023’s event: the long-term impacts of the returns dilemma and resultant solutions, a deeper focus on utilizing data for enhanced personalization, and the continued development of customer experience technologies.

As we reflect on a successful show, here are three key takeaways from RTS 2023…

Retailers Adjust to the Returns Dilemma

The returns dilemma has been well documented by now, and it continues to have a lasting impact as we continue through 2023. In fact, Part 2 of SML’s recently launched State of Retail 2022/23 report found that 42% of returned items are re-sold at a discounted price, with 12% never even making it back to the shop floor.

This has forced retailers to find a solution – which was evident at RTS. Returns management solutions are not only enabling retailers to streamline their fulfillment operations but are also significantly improving the customer experience.

Technology significantly streamlines a number of back-end and in-store processes. With SML’s enterprise-class RFID software ClarityⓇ and certified RFID Inspire™ Tags, retailers can remove the need to manually process returns and manage inventory levels, saving in-store associates a significant amount of time, but also minimizing wastage and optimizing re-sale value.

Personalization Through Data

Exhibitors at RTS 2023 took the time to demonstrate the importance of having access to visible, accurate data. With deep analysis tools at their disposal, retailers can improve supply chain efficiency, but also utilize real-time information to determine in-store promotions and offers that benefit the customer.

Visibility of accurate data is vital to efficient processes for retailers. In a highly competitive market, being able to analyze information quickly and accurately allows retailers to make smarter decisions faster and gain the edge over their competitors.

RFID Improves the In-Store Experience

Part 1 of SML’s State of Retail 2022/23 report found that half (48%) of retailers see improving the in-store customer experience as a top priority throughout 2023. Across the entirety of 2023’s RTS event, it was clear that customer interaction has become a top priority for retailers.

With an abundance of holographic and digital signage dotted around the show, vendors were demonstrating the latest in virtual try-on technology, adding to the appeal of the in-store experience. Customer experience technology is clearly still a high priority for retailers looking to gain an edge over competitors. Solutions such as RFID-powered self-checkout, which significantly streamlines the checkout process and minimizes queues for customers, are playing a key role in facilitating that.

Instead of scanning individual items, retailers can leverage item-level RFID technology to scan all items in a shopping cart at once, enabling shoppers to complete their self-checkout transactions within seconds.

Looking to the Future

The overall theme that appears to have dictated these three trends is the customer. Today’s consumer decides how retail will evolve, and those striving for success will follow consumer trends closely. With the customer experience on the mind of many retailers, it is important to recognize the role that RFID technology can play in delivering efficient processes from the supply chain to the shop floor, while creating exceptional experiences for customers.

To speak with SML about its participation at RTS 2023, and to find out more about how RFID can benefit your business, email