SML Group has released a survey of retail executives that showed 48 percent of respondents citing out-of-stock products as their biggest challenge this year. When asked about their top priority, improving the in-store experience also came in at 48 percent.
This sentiment is revealed as consumers pull back on shopping online and head to physical stores more often.
The report’s authors said the data revealed that economic and labor market conditions “are having profound impacts on key players across the sector. In fact, 39 percent of respondents claimed that labor and staffing shortages directly impacted operations at the in-store level, with retail being one of the most impacted sectors to date.”
The survey also revealed the importance of omnichannel retailing in this post-pandemic period. Regarding the top methods for fulfilling orders, home delivery came in at 48 percent, and buy online, pick up in-store, or BOPIS, came in at 30 percent. “The findings call attention to the industry’s need to focus on introducing a seamless omnichannel approach that can satisfy the renewed demands of customers across all channels,” the report stated.
Dean Frew, chief technology officer and senior vice president for RFID Solutions at SML Group, said the retail sector “continues to look for operational improvements and try and bounce back from the pandemic, and this report makes it clear that retailers recognize the need to remain agile and responsive to changing trends.”
Frew said by investing in solutions such as item-level RFID, “retailers can improve insights over inventory and stock whilst reducing the impacts of ongoing labor shortages on the existing workforce.” Frew said that as an “omnichannel revolution continues to become integral to retail success moving forward, retailers need to further consider the integration of RFID into their operations to ensure that they can meet customer demands and expectations.”