For some time now, we have been living in the “new normal,” where fewer people visit physical stores, and the number of online orders is ever-growing. In this context, stores are transforming into ‘mini DCs’ so they can use their stock to fulfill online orders. As a result, stores are more important than ever and have become the heart of the omnichannel shopping experience.
There is a challenge still, however, in that retailers do not entirely trust their stock files. Inventory data is often outdated and error-prone. As a consequence, they apply so-called safety thresholds when they activate store stock to be used for online shopping (“ship from store”) as well as in-store reservations (“pick up in-store”). It reminds me of the paradox faced by Schroedinger’s cat, which can be alive and not alive at the same time: products are physically in a store, but digitally they are not available. That is what I call the ‘phygital dilemma.’ So how can we solve it?
RFID ensures accurate stocks
To eliminate safety thresholds, it is essential that retailers can trust their inventory data. RFID technology is the foundation for accurate stocks. It allows for fully automated in-store stock management – resulting in nearly one hundred percent in-store stock accuracy, even on sublocation level. Retailers can only operate without safety thresholds if they can trust they have accurate stock information.
Increase online sellable stock
There are two things retailers can do to extend their online sellable product range and increase their digital availability:
- Include store inventory
- Lower safety thresholds
Practical examples had proven that retailers could extend their available product range by, e.g., twenty percentage points when they reduced their safety thresholds. This can only be achieved with full item– and sublocation-level visibility. Are you interested in the full story? Check out the whitepaper below.