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Real-time inventory visibility to be the top priority for 43% of retailers

Dallas, Texas – 17th January 2022: 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…

Dallas, Texas – 17th January 2022: 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 labour 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.”

For access to the full study and its findings, download part two of the State of Retail Insight Report: Better Serving Customers Through Technology report here.