This article is about the many customer experience added value features that come with installing an RFID system at your retail business. RFID helps you to give your customers more customized shopping experiences and helps you to ensure that you always have what they need in stock. The bottom line is that with RFID, you aren’t only cutting costs, but you are also selling more to happier customers who are getting their individual needs better met. In the modern economy and retail landscape, this is more important than ever. According to an InMoment Research report with 30,000 participants,
“Customers’ access to information, desires for personalization and immediacy and cravings for true connections are up-ending millennia-old business models.”
Smart fitting rooms can now make automated suggestions based off of the selections that a customer brings in. Imagine that a customer can instantly be updated about whether the garment they are trying on comes in the next size. They can also get outfit suggestions based off of the items that they have already brought into the dressing rooms.
Polo Ralph Lauren implemented Smart mirror dressing rooms in 2015. The mirrors can show customers what an outfit would look like in another color, or show alternative choices that match their tastes. The retailer reports that engagement has been 90%.
Another benefit of smart fitting rooms is that you can discreetly know what items are going in and out of your dressing rooms. If a potential high purchase customer goes into a dressing room, staff can be alerted and work to close the sale or offer appropriate service based off of what the customer has with them.
This feature can also help you to figure out if certain items are tried on often but rarely purchased. In theory, you could create a heatmap of items that are frequently tried on and purchased versus those that are tried on but not purchased. Imagine how this could help you to make smarter ordering decisions.
Info kiosks around your store can display a brand story (or any information you would like to tell) for the item presented. All a customer has to do is walk up to the kiosk display with an item. Like smart fitting rooms, they can tell a story, relay available sizes or even make outfit suggestions based off of what is currently available in the store.
Better staff availability to customers
One of the biggest benefits of RFID is that your staff has more time to be on the floor helping customers and selling. In the past, you might have one or two staff members tied up doing inventory for a week. If a customer wanted a certain pair of jeans in a certain size, it could take up to 10 minutes just to locate them “in the back”.
We all know the experience of being a retail customer and needing assistance, but finding that staff is busy counting inventories or endlessly searching for a random pair of socks for another customer. Have you ever had to walk away without buying something because you simply couldn’t get a question answered?
Good customer service is essential to any retail business. According to the InMoment study with 30,000 participants, good customer service and positive interactions with staff increases customer satisfaction by 33% in overall retail, and up to 70% in fashion retail. The research goes on to emphasize that satisfied customers are the customers who always return to you.
Imagine how much better your staff can serve customers now that inventories are done in 10-15 minutes. Staff can also now instantly find the exact location of any item at any time, so the endless searching is over. They can also give more customized help to customers in fitting rooms, because they know exactly what items and sizes the person already has with them.
According to a Retail Info Systems interview with Tobias Steinhoff, the senior director of Adidas,
“The company had discovered over the years certain “detracting factors” that kept customers from recommending the store to others, including assortment width and depth, and slow customer service. RFID has helped get the NPS score up.”
The bottom line is that RFID is taking care of countless administrative tasks, so your staff can now truly help your customers and focus on selling.
Revolutionizing check out
We all know the unpleasant experience of being a customer in a store where the lines are ten minutes long and only half of the registers are in use due to staff shortages. With RFID, You can reduce queue time by 90% or even have fully automatic checkouts. Here are a few examples of how that can work in practice.
Because RFID readers don’t need to scan each item individually, they can sense everything that is already in a customer’s bag. Imagine a self check out where all a customer has to do is put their bag on a reader, and it instantly tallies up the entire purchase.
If you want to keep your staff at registers, they can also instantly scan all of the purchases that a customer has in one read and quickly process payments without the tedious and time consuming task of scanning every individual barcode.
Let’s think a bit about the future. It’s also possible for people to use their own shopping bags, simply put what they want into the bags and walk out of the store. In the past this would have been called stealing, but with RFID it can be an ultra convenient reality, and it’s already being used at Amazon Go stores. Since RFID readers can automatically read everything that goes in an out of the store, they can even automatically charge customers for their purchase when they walk out.
More cost efficient and effective security is also a big plus. Traditional bulky plastic security tags (EAS) are extremely expensive. Not only do you have to invest in the system, you’re also charged every time a tag is removed from a piece of clothing. With RFID the reader can now pick up on tags that haven’t been sold, because every item has a unique code. Automatic alerts can also alert you to potentially high value theft (or a high purchase customer) when someone takes over €500 worth of merchandise into a dressing room, for example.
Just by eliminating the regular cost of an EAS system, you are already bridging the investment gap of getting RFID in the first place. Once you have your RFID system up and running, there is no additional cost to maintaining the security of every item in your inventory.
The bottom line is that happy customers are returning customers. With RFID integration, you can offer more personalized service that is always on point, and that is exactly what modern customers are looking for. The accurate real time data on your stock, provided with RFID, is also helping you to stay on top on your stock situation. Learn how in our blog “5 Ways that RFID and Automated Real Time Inventories Dramatically Cut Costs for Retailers“.