Ensuring Connectivity Across Retail Environments July 7th, 2021
Achieving a sense of connectivity and visibility throughout the retail pipeline is critical, especially in the time we’re currently living through. Providing even just a glimpse of transparency into the supply chain, all the way through to the consumer receiving their transaction can help retailers improve their business functionalities. Thanks to COVID-19, many retailers have had to shut down in-person operations as they suit up for battle to keep their employees safe while also navigating around the many lockdown restrictions put in place across the globe to help slow and halt the spread of the virus. With such an overload of online sales taking place to redirect against the physical shopping slow-down, many retailers experience an unawareness of audience members in their targeted groups, delivery issues and can come into contact with customers who lack a sense of trust in their e-commerce methods. This is where a connected system can come into the picture to help improve such scenarios.
IoT in Retail
It’s been found that IoT can minimize the potential for inventory errors that may pop up, thanks to prevalent human-made mistakes. Supply chains can be optimized more specifically, cutting back on labor costs with the help of this resource. IoT can assist retailers by pushing even further by providing their brick + mortar stores with a better fighting chance against their ever-evolving omnichannel counterparts, the great online e-commerce store. Through these means, one can enhance their customer service. Moving into 2021, there’s much that this range of connectivity can do to increase the entire retail industry better.
One of the most important steps on the list would be to create a better realm for checkout experiences, and with IoT, retailers can set up a tag reading system that will simplify this process…with social distancing measures kept in mind. Such a thing could be classified as an automated checkout system that could tally up the items in one’s cart, deducting the total amount from the shopper’s mobile payment app. This way, less human-to-human contact occurs, and people within the store can continue to shop safely and at their own risk.
RFID Behind the Scenes
A heightened sense of visibility into the backend of retail environments so the supply chain can help to enable smart manufacturing measures for all, including the furtherance of better shipping and transportation operations. Larger retailers can better track and trace hundreds and thousands of items coming in and leaving their shipping facilities. With smart asset tracking capabilities, real-time insights are absolutely achievable. A well-formulated tracking strategy can help managers better identify issues occurring on the production line so that more informed decisions can be mapped out in the future.
An RFID tag can contain 100 times more data than a barcode. Hence, employees know more about each package than traditionally, so having access to that much more data about the product can allow faster scanning while also enabling a greater sense of accuracy amongst tracking and tracing procedures. With increased visibility into the process, companies can see through any fraudulent activity occurring along the line. At every point, from the e-commerce level working with customers to shipping out parcels to reach a customer’s very hands, RFID, amongst other resourceful tools, can allow a heightened amount of insight and visibility, providing ease of mind for both the retailer and the customer.
Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation.
Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.