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Is Christmas here behind just one click?

Omni-channel retail has opened new sales channels for consumers to explore. Many use the given advantages especially in their pursuit for the ultimate Christmas present for their loved one. What role could Click & Collect and RFID play in all this?

It's coming again - Christmas. It means large sales volumes for retailers, a buzzing number of online orders and masses of people wandering in brick-and-mortar stores. Thanks to the Omni-channel trend, Click & Collect has gained a foothold in retail shopping, and retailers see great marketing possibilities here. In perfect implementation, the retailer manages to serve both online and brick-and-mortar shoppers and deliver the goods on time. According to JDA/YouGov research, 39% of online shoppers used Click & Collect services in Christmas 2014.

Moreover, Christmas 2014 was a success for retailers applying Omni-channel strategy. For example Tesco, John Lewis and Argos were all triumphant selecting their product mixes to match perfectly both their online and brick and mortar business. 56% of John Lewis's online customers chose to use their Click & Collect service instead of home delivery. The common denominator for all three companies above is that they utilize RFID. Could that explain these new shopping trends?

 

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Road to success

Christmas is a crucial time for retailers to achieve a sales uplift and to sell even more than before. New records of selling are acquired through optimized fill and competitive pricing. Macy's states that Click & Collect compiles to 125% of intended purchases. For customers, the reasons to choose the Click & Collect service instead of walking into a traditional store are to avoid queues and the hassle related to physical shopping, but also to guarantee the product's availability. When you click the product online, you get an estimation of your product's arrival time at the store of your choice, and when the product has arrived you get a notice. This works vice versa too for the retailer. The retailer does not experience out-of-stock situations but instead keeps the stock up-to-date. Better product availability results in sales growth.

RFID gives Omni-channel retailers a boost in:

  • Inventory accuracy: Omni-channel retailers using RFID succeed due to increased inventory accuracy. RFID provides real-time data of the stock situation, whether there is only one centralized stock in one location or several smaller ones in multiple locations.
  • Delivery accuracy: As one reason to choose Click & Collect was to guarantee the product's availability, RFID can boost delivery accuracy from 40% up to 90%.
  • On-demand inventory visibility: RFID enables locating individual SKU's all around the world. Searching for a specific item is quick as RFID enables performing the item search by one click.
  • And if Santa Claus fails - Returns: Time spent on returns handling decreases by 85%.

 

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In the Omni-channel business, sometimes the online order is filled from selected stores. This can cause challenges in keeping stock balances up-to-date in individual stores - when the stores receive an online order to fill, the system thinks there is stock in those stores. A UK-based retailer experienced an issue with this procedure when 30% of their online orders were rejected as according to their inventory they did not have the expected items in stock. Two days after the RFID implementation, the stock accuracy had improved dramatically.

As can be seen, RFID lifts Christmas sales in Omni-channel to the next level. With RFID, the retailer generates more sales than last year. Happy customer, happy retailer - and a happy Santa!

 

References

http://www.retailresearch.org/shoppingforxmas.php

http://blog.britanniapackaging.com/blog/could-rfid-help-retailers-to-improve-on-their-christmas-performance

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