Retail’s Pursuit of Product Knowledge

The Problem

Ask any retail executive to list their top 5 pet peeves, and a lack of product knowledge within their employee base will undoubtedly make the list. Employees with little product knowledge is one of the most sales-reducing dilemmas in all of retail.

According to research, retail sales associates with strong product knowledge sell 87 percent more than peers without out. And although there are a myriad of categories that fall within product knowledge, such as knowledge about the brand, shelf life, product performance, and level of assembly difficulty, a leading problem that falls under the product knowledge dilemma is simply whether or not the employee knows if a particular item is in stock.

Stock-on-Hand issues are an astonishing problem for retailers. In fact, Stock On Hand (SOH) issues are responsible for $1.1 Trillion in lost sales annually, according to a recent study by The IHL Group. But what is most fascinating about the SOH problem identified in the study is that the retailers identified by customers as being out of stock on a particular item may actually not be out of stock at all! How could this be? There are many reasons for this, but they all boil down to a lack of product knowledge.

In a 2016 whitepaper published by the Calibration Group, LLC, entitled, Stock-on-Hand: The Retail Problem That’s 7 Times Greater Than ORC, this dilemma was explained:

“The truth of the matter is that it really doesn’t matter whether or not a retailer is truly out-of-stock. What matters is whether or not the consumer experiences that the retailer is out-of-stock. For example, if a customer comes into a store to buy a specific brand of headphones but finds the rack empty, then she has concluded the store is out-of-stock and leaves empty-handed. However, the store may have several sets of that exact brand of headphones on a special display elsewhere in the store. In this example, the store’s management team would report they were in-stock on this particular set of headphones, and they’d be right. Conversely, the consumer would report the store is out-of-stock on this particular set of headphones, and based upon her perspective, she too, would be right.”

With the magnitude of costs brought by this globally persistent dilemma, retail executives, including Loss Prevention executives, are working hard to identify the proper remedy. Imagine a world where employees had easy access to information regarding not only how many of a particular item is in the store, but precisely where it is located. This would prevent the situation described above and would increase sales and customer loyalty.

The Solution

Not too long ago, the acronym, “RFID” was a word that fostered thoughts of high-dollar technology and unknown technological challenges. But that has all changed in recent years. What RFID brings to the retail space is a competitive edge to those who embrace it. Now that this technology is affordable, retailers are using it to finally gain traction on the product knowledge and Stock-on-Hand issues. Just a few years ago, the idea of an Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system that prevents theft, while simultaneously helping retailers know the exact quantity of SKUs in any given store within a moment’s notice, was a pie-in-the-sky dream. But with technological advancements and a thirst for perfecting inventory management solutions, Nedap Retail has created this solution that is causing a paradigm shift throughout the world of retail. For those retailers using Nedap Retail’s intelligent, future-proof products, customer satisfaction isn’t the only thing that has improved. Clients of Nedap Retail are seeing sales increase as well.

What Nedap Retail brings to the industry is more than just the standard EAS system offered by their competitors. Nedap Retail understands the breadth and complexity of retail and, therefore, has successfully designed and implemented solutions that address multiple challenges within a single solution. Nedap Retail’s EAS systems do not just prevent shoplifting. When a retailer chooses to activate the RFID technology that is encapsulated within the EAS system, they immediately enjoy the spoils of an inventory management system that improves ordering, significantly reduces labor expenses attributed to counting inventory, and increases sales as employees instantly know exact item quantities and locations.

Future-Proof Loss Prevention

Nedap Retail understands that some organizations are not yet equipped to launch a full RFID inventory management system. That is why Nedap’s products are future-proof. This means retailers who select Nedap Retail’s products can simply use the system in an EAS-only capacity until the retail organization chooses to expand into the use of RFID inventory management. Future-proofing is the best option for retailers looking for an efficient, results-oriented EAS system because they won’t have to replace any equipment should they decide to enter the RFID space.

About Nedap Retail

Nedap’s retail loss prevention products include electronic article surveillanceRF EAS systemsRFID EAS systemsCustomer Counting and Retail Store Access Control systems.  Nedap’s retail solutions are based on intelligent identification and registration of people, animals and objects, or on innovative, ‘green’ electronic controls and power supplies. Innovation is driven by clients’ operations: systems are developed and adapted to optimize clients’ production and information processes.

Nedap brings 40 years of global experience, market expertise and close cooperation with leading retailers. Everything Nedap Retail does is driven by their mission to make it simple for retailers to always have the right products available. To achieve this, Nedap Retail offers industry-leading solutions for their customers’ diverse needs in loss prevention and stock management. For more information, visit Nedap Retail’s website: www.nedapretail-americas.com.

Check out Nedap Retail’s client Case Study with DSW Shoe Warehouse.

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