The coronavirus crisis has turned the retail sector upside down. Consumer behaviour has changed abruptly and dramatically - now and perhaps forever. Retailers have to work hard to to stay relevant and meet the ever-changing demands of customers. What can we learn from 2020? And how can technologies like RFID contribute to an improved customer experience?
Omnichannel strategy is essential
The past year has been a roller coaster for many retailers. By now, most companies have adapted to the new reality and embraced new technologies wherever possible, meaning that the digital transformation has accelerated.
Pre-pandemic, many retailers were already making great strides in the transition to an omnichannel strategy. The crisis has made it clear that this way of doing business is necessary to be future-proof. This new consumer behaviour encompasses all aspects of daily life, from how we work to how we shop, and the latter is particularly evident in the rise of e-commerce. When customers were unable to physically visit shops due to lockdown restrictions, they moved their search and purchasing online.
Distinctive customer experience
Another trend is that consumers are now shopping closer to home and prefer familiar brands, according to a study by McKinsey. Something else is striking: people shop less frequently, but the content of their (digital) shopping basket is actually larger. These shifts have caused many retailers to struggle to effectively serve customers through other channels.
McKinsey predicts that retailers with a flexible omnichannel approach that can create a distinctive customer experience will recover fastest from the pandemic. Many retailers are trying out 'new' models, such as buying online and picking up in shop. The expectation is that these types of models are permanent and that consumers will continue to use them after the pandemic.
Maximising efficiency with RFID
After a challenging year in 2020, it is now essential to continue serving shoppers in a way that meets their preferences. In today's omnichannel world, it is more important than ever to offer the right products, in the right place, at the right time.
Technologies such as radio-frequency identification, or RFID, are exceptionally popular in the retail environment. Checkpoint Systems developed the HALO platform, an RFID solution that helps retailers improve the consumer experience, which makes restocking easier, faster and more efficient. For example, it is possible to track stock from factory to shop, giving store managers full insight into where their stock is and when it will arrive. This saves retailers time, improves the customer's shopping experience and increases sales.
Build brand loyalty
If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it is that a hybrid approach to retail is crucial to survival. The integration between online and offline outlets is a unique opportunity to create the same customer experience everywhere. A consistent brand experience makes customers want to return. According to McKinsey, the "winners in the fashion industry" are the retailers who listen to consumers' needs and expectations and translate them into a carefully crafted omnichannel strategy. These retailers will know their customers better than their competitors and build trust for the long term. With the right tools and partners like Checkpoint Systems, they maximize the customer experience and build brand loyalty by helping customers buy what they want, when they want it.
About Checkpoint Systems
Checkpoint Systems is a global leader in shrink prevention for retail. The company provides smart solutions that deliver clarity and efficiency anytime, anywhere. These solutions build on 50 years of expertise in radio frequency technology, innovative theft and theft prevention systems, industry-leading software, RFID hardware and comprehensive labeling solutions to identify, secure and track items from source to shelf. For more information, please visit: www.checkpointsystems.com