The key for the provision of outstanding customer experience in the fashion retail industry is striking the perfect balance between the availability of the maximum no. of articles while keeping the inventory holding costs low (with reference to the stock-outs). UNTUCKit, a US-based men’s fashion brand founded as an e-commerce setup in 2011 but now operating 25+ physical stores, has incorporated the RFID technology to deliver a comprehensive buying experience while optimizing the processes of inventory management.
Use-Case of RFID at UNTUCKit
All shirts available in the Try-It section of the store are marked with RFID tags and associated readers can record their movement from the display to the try-room and back. Being tracked in real-time, the store management can get a fair amount of idea about which articles and specifically which sizes are being tried upon the most. Insight provision is further be enriched via data provided by the overhead traffic counters and point of sales (POS).
RFID Implementation at UNTUCKit – Impact on the Business
The use of RFID technology in the brick-and-mortar structure at UNTUCKit has enabled the organization to extract valuable insights into the customer’s preferences, thus inventory planning has been optimized i.e., ensured the availability of the preferred designs and sizes. It has also helped the stores avoid the stock-outs of the key articles, as it can really be detrimental to customer retention. The right inventory management has also enabled the organization to significantly squeeze the inventory holding costs as well as overheads used in travel and logistics. Synergies can also be achieved by the use of RFID tags on shirts; more designs related to the preferred designs by the customers can be developed to further increase the footfall and purchase transaction over the counter (OTC). Thus, the insights can guide the business investments into the right kind of designs, which resonates with customer’s preferences as well as the brand’s overall market positioning and unique selling proposition.
The use of RFID technology at UNTUCKit has been pivotal in ensuring variety, availability, and quality at the stores. The company initially started as an e-commerce venture (everything can be recorded and data can be analyzed) but RFID enabled it to collect and analyze the same information even in the physical stores, thus further improving the products line-up as well as streamlining the inventory management processes. One can safely deduce that technology has not only complemented the user experience at UNTUCKit but also has increased brand recognition and loyalty.