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Are you missing out on sales due to poor stock visibility?

James Knowles

With the peak trading season now staring us all in the face and key selling dates such as Black Friday just around the corner, are you feeling confident about your ability to efficiently manage your stock holding and maximise profits?

It’s no doubt one of the questions keeping retailers up at night as sales begin to pick up. A lack of stock visibility means achieving a lower full price sell-through on bestsellers and customer disappointment in orders are not able to be fulfilled because a retailer thought they had the stock but didn’t, and is then unable to fulfil the order, or has the stock but doesn’t have sufficient item-level visibility to be able to locate it within its holding.

This was the topic of conversation in recent Drapers webinar RFID in Retail – Learn why apparel retailers are adopting RFID at such an accelerating rate, held in association with RFID provider SML Group.

RFID might be a mature technology, but as retailers accelerate their omnichannel strategies it is now really coming to the fore as they look to fine tune the way they operate to reduce costs and boost profits.

SML’s chief technology officer and senior vice president Dean Frew explained that only 6% of the apparel market was RFID penetrated as of 2015.

Frew explained that SML’s customers describe not having clear visibility of stock as “driving through the fog”, often only being able to achieve 80% accuracy at style, colour and size level. It can also cause out-of-stock, hide true shrinkage and bloat inventory. “It’s not a good place to be,” he said.

Quite. By contrast, SML’s customers are now achieving 98% stock accuracy. Clearly, inventory management is critical. It not only improves profits but also impacts the customer journey. Being able to serve them the product they want means a retailer is more likely to keep that customer longer term. The customer will then go on to influence those around them.

To find out more about this subject, listen to our webinar for free by clicking here. All you need to do is register your details.

James Knowles is head of commercial projects at Drapers

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