Jan 15, 2018
Brick-and-mortar stores are making a comeback, but only the digitally re-defined will thrive. Luckily, tools such as IoT, RFID, beacons and analytics are giving retailers insights into operations that can give their merchandise a boost.
SATO Global Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATO Holdings, and fast-growing retail brand UNTUCKit are working on a pilot that will use data collected by RFID chips on men’s shirts, traffic counters and other in-store data points to identify the optimal merchandising mix. But the only thing customers will notice is an improvement in merchandise availability and personal service – so they get exactly what they want, when they want it, delivering on the UNTUCKit customer service promise.
UNTUCKit’s retail model provides a unique and seamless shopping experience for the customer. When a customer enters the store, store associates help them choose shirts from a selection of “try-on” shirts. Once a customer has decided on size, style and fit, the store associate can retrieve a fresh shirt for purchase. With a large volume of SKUs, UNTUCKit needs to ensure that it is stocking just the right number of garments in each SKU, based on demand.
The pilot at UNTUCKit’s recently opened Fifth Avenue, New York store will give managers visibility into merchandise movement, to better determine customer demand. Tiny RFID tags placed on the “try-on” shirts will collect real-time data on merchandise movement from showroom to fitting room (and back). Using a combination of the chip data, overhead traffic counters from RetailNext and POS data, sales managers can identify which shirts (exact sizes and styles) are being tried on and purchased, allowing UNTUCKit to continue to improve customer service in their stores.
This data sheds light on which SKUs are bestsellers so store managers can optimize inventory levels in real time based on shopper behavior. It also suggests which sizes or styles can be reduced in volume due to low demand, reducing inventory cost and allowing for UNTUCKit to redirect their investments toward more popular SKUs, or new offerings.
“Having visibility into shopper behavior is just one way we create a better experience in our physical stores – It allows us to meet expectations and retain customer loyalty,” said Chris Riccobono, UNTUCKit founder and executive chairman. “Moving from e-tail to multi-channel has its challenges, but we’ve found that our online experience helps us apply digital strategies to our physical stores and reimagine retail in a way that other traditional retailers are not yet even considering.”
Beacon-based traffic counters from RetailNext will allow UNTUCKit to accurately count, observe and measure the traffic paths of shoppers and store associates. They can also gather data on when shopper-associate interactions occur, how often, in what duration and how they impact shopper behavior. With its high-touch approach, understanding how associate behavior influences shoppers is a valuable training and service insight for UNTUCKit.
“When people ask about examples of IoT in retail, I talk about this pilot. We have the ability to “upgrade” the physical store in a way that captures the same kind of data we get during online interactions,” said Keith Sherry, COO of SATO Global Solutions. “Retailers looking to compete in brick-and-mortar have more tools than ever to understand shopper behavior. The key is then applying these insights to align the customer experience with expectations across all channels.”
About SATO Global Solutions
Fort Lauderdale-based SATO Global Solutions (SGS) is a subsidiary of SATO Holdings (TSE: 6287), a Tokyo-based pioneer and global leader in auto-ID solutions. Founded in 1940, SATO Holdings has offices in more than 25 countries and revenue exceeding US $900 million. As a key channel for the expansion of SATO technology developments, SGS develops and deploys comprehensive IoT solutions to unleash the power of information. By integrating technologies, hardware and applications, SGS helps turn raw data into meaningful and actionable insights, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions that improve visibility and profitability.
One of the fastest-growing men’s retail brands in the country, UNTUCKit was launched to solve the problem that millions of men struggle with every day - how to find a button down shirt that fits well and looks polished while worn untucked. UNTUCKit was the first to create a signature shirt with perfectly-contoured hemlines and a tailored fit specifically designed to be worn untucked, creating a way for men to look smart and polished while still being casual and comfortable. Since launching in 2011 with its signature men’s shirt, UNTUCKit has evolved to outfit the whole family with the addition of lines for women and children. Dedicated to creating an unmatched shopping experience, UNTUCKit is one of the most active e-commerce store expansions stories of 2017, opening 20 locations across the country, with plans to open an additional 25 in 2018, including international expansion. To shop and learn more, visit www.untuckit.com.