The ‘pizzafication’ of Fashion Retail
I try to live a healthy lifestyle; I run a lot, I don’t smoke, eat a varied diet and limit my alcohol consumption. But, if there is one thing that is my guilty pleasure it is PIZZA. And the good thing about pizza; if you want it, you will have it delivered to your house within 30 minutes. Luckily, there are more and more ‘pizzaficated’ healthy options for a quick home delivery, but the pizza has been the good old option for a lazy day food delivery.
The rise of those delivery services, or pizzafication, for food has seen a quite steep incline over the last few years. The on-demand society of today expects to have the food they want delivered to their house within a timely manner. And not only ready-to-eat food is ‘pizzaficated’ but also your groceries are delivered to your house with Amazon Prime now.
As a millennial, I love this pizzafication, I expect to have the products I need, delivered to me fast, ideally within the hour but ultimately the same day (I am fully aware that this probably sounds very spoiled).
So, a few weeks ago I was relatively late with buying my sister her birthday present and went online to buy her a nice sporting hoody. Luckily, the retailer offered ‘Buy Online, Pick up in Store’ (also referred to as Click & Collect) so I thought I was saved by the bell and purchased the item and went to the store to pick up the item. I was caught by surprise however when I read in the confirmation email that I could not pick up the hoody right away, but that it was shipped to the store and would arrive in 3 business days, which resulted in a disappointed sister when I arrived empty handed at her birthday party; the pizza was cold when it arrived.
Within fashion retail, the pizzafication has clearly not been fully adopted yet. Many retailers offer BOPOS or Click&Collect, but typically send this to the store from their warehouse and don’t fulfill these orders directly from their store stock. More and more retailers are displaying their stock online, but exclude half of their products, because they have to apply a safety stock to guarantee the item is available. And ship-from-store is a wish that most retailers have but this often results in split shipments and late deliveries to the customer. For some reason, the pizzafication in the fashion retail world hasn’t been as easy as the delivery of a pizza.
For brick&mortar retailers, the pizzafication is the ultimate answer to the online retailers enabling deliveries within the hour, which easily beats “next day delivery”.
One of the biggest challenges that is slowing down the pizzafication in the retail sector is the stock accuracy. In order to be able to fulfill an online order from a store and send it to the customer within the hour, you want to be 100% sure that the item is available. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for most retailers today and they are typically faced with a low stock accuracy of 65-70%. Clearly this is a problem that needs to be solved first to ensure that the right ‘pizza’ is delivered.
Luckily, there is technology to the rescue. RFID has proven its track record over the last years and enables retailers to increase the stock accuracy and to unlock their omnichannel potential. Hopefully next year, the pizzafication within retail is reality when my sister celebrates her next birthday.