Many established athletic apparel brands have adopted RFID in the past decade. Over that decade, Nedap has gained extensive experience in athletic apparel retail by teaming up with both brands and multi-label retailers and is excited to share some of the learnings with you.
Retailers leverage RFID source tagged items to unlock omnichannel
As technology embedded itself in customer behavior, shoppers can switch between online shops, physical stores, social media channels, and marketplaces. As a result, brands and retailers are faced with the challenge of how to make this a seamless shopping experience.
To fully unlock the omnichannel experiences major sports retail brands have adopted or are currently implementing RFID. As a start, they are looking to create full inventory visibility. This ensures product availability across all channels, which builds the foundation for omnichannel. Well-known leaders in the market in that respect include adidas, Asics, Converse, Nike, Superdry and Under Armour.
So how can you further leverage RFID source-tagged items to optimize your omnichannel strategy? Here are a few use cases we can help you with:
The rise of athleisure
Athleisure was a megatrend before COVID-19, but the pandemic has further blurred the lines between work and free time, and the result is a rising acceptance of comfortable wear in previously more formal contexts. With apparel and fashion brands increasingly entering this segment, sporting goods players should leverage their innovation abilities and market knowledge in order to be successful and fend off new entrants.
Leap forward in online
The past year has seen a leap forward in online shopping, with many first-time users who we expect will stick with their new habits. To address those trends, the brands need to migrate from wholesale to Direct-to-Consumer, putting digital commerce and the need for cross-channel inventory visibility at the center of the business model.
Supply chain flexibility
More agile supply chains have become a permanent topic on company agendas. In a post-COVID-19 world, characterized by shorter demand cycles, longer logistics timelines, the rise of e-commerce, and closer DTC relationships, they will be table stakes in some markets. Amid persistent uncertainty, it will make sense both to build stronger supply chain partnerships and explore alternatives such as near-shoring, but above all, the ability to locate and track inventory in the supply chain, in real- or close-to-real time would be a major enabler of agility.
Collaborate on stock
While footwear and sports brands take more control of their sales channels in order to increase their direct-to-consumer activities, a significant proportion of most brands’ revenue comes via wholesale retail partners. To be successful together, they are more and more moving towards a win-win collaboration and cross-company visibility. Ultimately, brands and retailers share responsibility for an excellent customer experience.
RFID: from sports retail’s best-kept secret to goldmine
Brands are evolving from pure suppliers to active business partners. Based on a study by Forrester Research, this requires system upgrades, process re-evaluation, and closer working relationships with retailers across four key areas:
Product information and content
Shared customer experience (CX)
Interested in learning more about the mutual benefits of RFID for sports brands and multi-label retailers? Read our e-book.
JD SPORTS PLC. SUBSIDIARY WILL BE ABLE TO SHIP-FROM-STORE SOURCE TAGGED ITEMS FROM A.O. NIKE AND ASICS
Sports Unlimited Retail
“Our foremost goals are to raise our in-store inventory accuracy and improve the on-shelf product availability, which will lead to improved sales both in-store and buy-online and ship-from-store orders."
Footwear and sports retailers are able to quickly prove their business case for supply chain collaboration, agility and visibility. Loss Prevention and Sourcing departments do not necessarily need to be on board to start a project. Oftentimes only an RFID reader, a mobile device and a cloud-based software provider are needed when the project commences. And the other areas of collaboration listed above can be better addressed once the technology and data is in place.
A key benefit for multi-brand retailers who are looking into implementing RFID is the fact that the tagging costs are a lot lower, compared to similar projects at vertically integrated retailers since brands are taking care of their own source tagging.
High stock accuracy and stock visibility enable brands to make merchandise simply available and “be ready to sell” across all sales channels. Achieving (total) stock visibility across the multiple channels is the foundation to route and orchestrate customer orders, wherever they come from, or they need to be delivered to.
Why keeping track of your inventory flow is crucial to make both shoppers and resellers happy
Retailers are more likely to give premium placement to brands that provide accurate access to inventory and replenishment, thus helping retailers to optimize assortment at minimal cost.
By using RFID, brands can easily keep track of which retailer gets which product to sell to keep tighter control over potentially (re-)selling to unauthorized resellers.
Tracking & tracing products (in real-time), e.g., with RFID, can help to stay ahead of the product’s flow and guarantee origin and authenticity.
Knowing what is in stock allows us to provide better product availability, improving our customer proposition.
Head of Retail Operations, Mountain Warehouse
Everything you need to know about RFID benefits for footwear and sport fashion