Without these constant efforts to improve and innovate in retail technology, we wouldn’t have new tools to surprise and delight customers, while improving store management processes. Look at radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking, for example. With RFID tags, retailers can not only confirm that an item is in-stock, but they can also pinpoint exactly where it is located in the store.
How do these technological enhancements affect customers? With each new development that increases efficiency or lowers overall costs, customers benefit from an improved shopping experience.
Customers Make Their Decision in the Fitting Room
It is a well-established principle, customers who use the fitting rooms are more likely to buy, and they typically spend more money when they make those purchases. Therefore, it stands to reason that anything that improves a customer’s fitting room experience will ultimately benefit a retailer’s bottom line.
One way to help a customer have an enjoyable, fruitful visit to the fitting room is to ensure a sales associate is never far away. Customers are in a vulnerable state on the other side of a fitting room door. The longer they spend in that potentially uncomfortable position, the more likely it is they’re going to decide the cut their shopping trip short.
RFID tagging is one way to make sure the shopper’s trip is a successful one. Through careful inventory controls, RFID tags can help sales associates help customers in many ways.
Increase Successful Shopping Trips with RFID Tagging
When a customer asks for assistance in the fitting room, they’re not asking for help picking a new item altogether. They want a different size or the same thing in a different style or color. In a large store, even the best-trained sales associate who knows the layout like the back of their hand can’t be expected to know the exact location of every single item.
What happens when they get all the way back to the racks, and the requested item is not available? When a customer wants to try something on, they want to buy it today. If what they want isn’t available in one store, they’ll simply move on to the next one.
In a store that has implemented RFID tagging, associates can find out exactly where in the store the customer’s requested item is located, even if it is sitting on the go-back rack. More importantly, they can save the embarrassment and frustration of coming back to the fitting room empty-handed if the item is out of stock.
RFID isn’t a magic bullet, and it can’t solve the particular challenges of every store. However, with better inventory tracking, RFID tagging can start helping retailers improve the shopping experience for their customers right away.
Marge Laney is the Co-Founder and CEO of Alert Tech, expert advisor of the Brain Trust for RetailWire.com, and author of Fit Happens: Analog Buying in a Digital World. Marge is recognized as the retail industry's leading authority on apparel fitting rooms.