Make your store teams RFID superfans

Successful RFID projects have one thing in common: the solution is embraced by the store teams. The main reasons are that the solution is easy to understand, simple to use and most importantly – it enables them to provide better service, because they never again have to say ‘No’ to their customers. While this sounds rather simple to achieve, we see that the store teams are often neglected as crucial stakeholders resulting in RFID solutions that work from a technological point of view, but that are not working out for the store teams, which has severe consequences for the retailer’s ROI.

Why you need to make RFID simple for your store staff
The foremost reason why retailers implement RFID is to be able to maximize the customer experience by always having the right products available. For RFID to deliver the desired ROI, which is usually based on improved sales through better product availability, you need to implement new processes in the store. And these processes need to be trained and followed. So if the process:

  1. is difficult to understand,
  2. complicated to execute and
  3. does not gives store staff the reward of doing their job better/faster/easier

…then the full potential of the RFID solution will never be fully realized. Therefore, it is key to make all RFID-related tasks as simple and intuitive as possible and limit the necessary training to an absolute minimum. In fact, store associates should be able to pick up the RFID device, push the button and the rest is done in the background.

“It is key to limit the necessary training to an absolute minimum.”

Gaining trust
The thing is that while your store associates are experts in advising customers on the latest fashion trends, they are most likely not familiar with RFID and how important it is to pay attention to the details. Focusing purely on the performance of the selected RFID labels, readers and the associated software is not making your RFID initiative a guaranteed success. It needs to be part of the RFID strategy to select a solution that makes your store teams trust the solution and see it as a tool that makes their life easier.

“The greatest advantage is the biggest mystery at the same time: RFID is invisible.”

User experience & feedback
There are many examples of retailers using RFID handheld readers in their stores but to varying degrees of success. Typically, headquarters asks the stores to do a weekly RFID count of the entire store or at least a section of the store. Because of the invisible character of the technology, store associates for example typically require feedback on questions like ‘am I already counting?’, ‘how far am I with counting’ or ‘which product categories do I still need to count?’.

After all, you will only get accurate stock information if your store associates find the solution easy, reliable and even fun to work with, because they spend less time searching for missing items and more time serving their customers. If you are interested to learn more about why user-friendliness is key in making RFID work in your stores, check out this video:

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About the author: Tom Vieweger

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