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The Growing Need for Higher Inventory Accuracies

The importance of having a high level of inventory accuracy is nothing new in the retailing industry. Indeed, at the beginning of 2020, retail was booming, with most retailers knowing the value of having comprehensive oversight of their product pipeline.

E-commerce and other omnichannel methods were growing faster than ever. As a result, many retailers looked to different ways to encourage customers to return to brick and mortar stores.

Demand for BOPIS

Inevitably, Buy Online, Pick-up In-Store (BOPIS) was gaining momentum, allowing retailers to fulfill orders at the store and reduce final mile shipping costs associated with delivering items to customers at home. BOPIS also encouraged customer in-store traffic, increasing the likelihood that retailers could capture additional sales as customers made other purchases during their order pickups.

However, a challenge that many retailers were beginning to see was that BOPIS models required a high level of inventory accuracy to run effectively and in a cost-efficient manner. Despite this, most retailers were still only doing full inventory counts once or twice a year, resulting in a high percentage of disappointed customers when they did not correctly fulfill orders.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 saw the rapid uptake of BOPIS models, as retail closures and social distancing rules meant that many customers were unable to shop as they usually would. For those retailers who still relied on manual counts that produced a low inventory accuracy, the switch to BOPIS was difficult for them and painful for their customers. It made it harder to meet customer demand and maximize profits.

Inventory accuracy through RFID

Through the pandemic, inventory solutions that can enable a 98% accuracy level have become increasingly popular. Retail RFID – with its ability to produce accurate inventory counts rapidly with low labor costs- is one of these technologies and provides retailers with more oversight. As a result, retailers see decreased costs through better stock control and optimized inventory purchasing, and a boost in revenue by providing a seamless customer experience.

Post-COVID, retailers must shift investments to RFID solutions as a priority to address their most fundamental operational challenges and support the foundation of their supply chain. Not only this, RFID technology will provide these retailers with a wealth of data and insight, allowing them to identify areas of opportunity to increase margin and giving them the edge over their competitors in capturing an increased market share of sales.

For more information on how item-level RFID can improve your inventory accuracy and better enhance in-store processes, contact: