It is no secret that retailers are investing in technology to gain a competitive edge. Retailers are embracing technology to take advantage of mobile apps like cell phones and iPads, for example, to communicate with customers in the store and to better understand consumer buying habits. JC Penney CEO Ron Johnson went on record this summer as saying that his stores will eliminate traditional check-out areas in favor of an Apple-like mobile checkout approach, where customers can purchase their items from any location in the store.
This strategy calls for a heavy investment in technology, from tagging all items in the store with radio frequency tags (RFID), to installing a massive wireless infrastructure and outfitting store associates with mobile devices.
Many retailers that have already deployed RFID technology have improved inventory accuracy from 65% or so to 98% or better. That increased product visibility has led to additional sales volumes.
Technology beyond the retail floor
Leading retailers are beginning to understand that they can have better visibility into their marketing operations and drive inefficiencies out of their processes as a result.Walmart, Tesco, Walgreens and Home Depot represent four of the largest 10 retailers in the world, according to Deloitte’s 2012 Global Powers of Retailing report. All have deployed cutting edge technology that allows them to proof marketing materials and catalogs seamlessly from the cloud.
By utilizing ProofHQ’s online proofing system, speed-to-market for some retailers improved by 56% as reviewers worked more effectively together on each revision and the overall number of revisions were reduced.
Depending on the customer surveyed, project delivery time increased by a minimum of two days to several weeks, a crucial factor in a retail environment where product obsolescence is a major concern.
And by collating reviewer feedback in one place and streamlining workflow, online proofing reduced time spent managing reviews by an average of 59%. Overall, the number of revisions was reduced from 3.9 to 2.8, a 29% reduction.
Online proofing also enables retailers with new ways of working. For example, more than 50% of customers used online proofing to enable remote working by staff and introduce new ways of working with suppliers. In particular, colleagues were not physically tied to their desks for proofing.
Margins are incredibly thin in many retail segments, and competition is fierce. While retailers celebrate the ability to better manage their inventory and increase sales by having more products on the store shelves, improving operational efficiencies can be just as crucial to profitability.