Detego research flags up retailers’ data woes
The average retailer’s data is only about 75% accurate when it comes to knowing exactly what inventory is actually in stock at any particular time, according to IoT and RFID specialists, Detego.
The problem is often compounded by continually managing stock across multiple channels and increasingly having to stay on top of consumer demands for up-to-the-minute, reliable information.
Detego, which has been monitoring its own chatbot service that allows consumers to engage with retailers via their smartphones, found the most common enquiries to be about stock availability. Data inaccuracies around inventory were the biggest issue in fashion retail where ever shorter product lifecycles, fast turnarounds of stock and multiple style, size and colour combinations can play havoc with the supply chain and in-store operations.
“Customers, above all, want instant and accurate information on product availability,” says Dr. Michael Goller, CTO at Detego. “If you’re shopping for clothes, you want to be sure of getting the exact size and style you’re looking for. But many retailers fall by the wayside here; their systems might tell them that a particular size is available, yet, there’s a one in four chance that this isn’t the case.”
Continually relying on manual processes for something as vital to the retail business as stock - usually by shutting up shop once or twice a year for store or warehouse staff to do a stock-take - is madness, argues Goller. And especially given that smart technologies abound, including RFID and mobile devices.