Can RFID increase efficiency on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Nov 23, 2022

There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than the “out-of-stock” disclaimer when trying to purchase. And on big sale days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, missing stock basically means missed sales. Could this be solved with the help of RFID?

Nonetheless, going into the holiday season, the out-of-stock messages have risen by 172% compared to the pre-pandemic period, Adobe Analytics reported in an article in 2021.

Traditionally, November is one of the busiest times for retailers investing in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping events, with the inclusion of Singles Day in the past years. According to Adobe Analytics, online consumer spending in October 2023 rose to $76.8 billion (up by 5.9% YoY), a $4.3 billion increase from the previous year. This is a notable 13.6% growth from September 2023. The boost in spending was largely driven by promotional events like Prime Day and the adoption of flexible payment options like Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL). From January to October 2023, total online spending reached $759 billion, marking a 4.3% YoY rise.

Heavy discounts in electronics and apparel, reaching up to 12% and 9% respectively, attracted shoppers in October. Other categories with significant discounts included sporting goods (7%), appliances (6%), toys (5%), and home furniture (5%). Adobe predicts the best deals will be offered during Cyber Week, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The BNPL option accounted for $6.4 billion of October's online spend, a 6% YoY increase. From January to October 2023, BNPL drove $58.5 billion in revenue, showing a significant 14.5% YoY growth. Adobe anticipates BNPL usage will peak in November and on Cyber Monday. (Source: Adobe Analytics)

Despite economic challenges such as rising interest rates and inflation, consumers remain resilient, effectively managing their budgets as they prepare for the holiday season, stated Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. For real-time data on the development of the winter sales and consumer behaviour, check out the data shared by Adobe Analytics here.

The National Retail Federation predicts a record-breaking holiday expenditure between November and December, with an increase of 3% to 4% from 2022, amounting to roughly $957.3 billion to $966.6 billion. Although this growth pace is slower compared to the extraordinary retail spending rates witnessed during the pandemic due to trillions in stimulus, it still compares favorably to the average annual holiday rise of 3.6% observed from 2010 to 2019.

The global pandemic we’ve been experiencing for the past years has, without a doubt, challenged brands worldwide, putting pressure on reducing costs while keeping customer satisfaction and sales up. Challenged by supply chain issues and inefficient inventory management tools, retailers are missing out on customers due to stock-outs, which can have long-term effects. Too much stock results in overstocking, and too little leads to stock-outs and lost sales and customers.

Improved inventory management with RFID solutions

One of the most popular ways of keeping track of inventory is PI (Perpetual Inventory), but this method is not 100% reliable, and it only leads to inaccuracy, time away from the customer in the brick-and-mortar stores, inconsistency between stores and central warehouse, and a waste of resources.

Whether they are aware or not, retailers are facing a future pledged by digital transformation. Technology is no longer a luxury but a necessity. And one way to avoid the downfalls of busy times like Black Friday is by embracing the advantages of RFID technology. Consumers are changing, and they expect brands to do the same to better serve their expectations.

By combining the rise of the online with extensive transparency, brands need to invest in tools that can help them anticipate customer demand and avoid disruptive retailing in times like Black Friday. Obsolete and faulty inventory and performance solutions can no longer compete with the advantages of RFID:

  • Reduced operating costs via improved inventory management
  • Increased productivity via automatic scan of product
  • Improved theft security measures
  • Increased anti-counterfeit possibilities
  • Increased sales through on-shelf availability
  • Reduced waste via full stock visibility
  • Omnichannel retail – between online and brick-and-mortar, RFID provides an accurate and real-time image of the inventory at all times, no matter the location. The ability for an accurate stock check in the omnichannel world would also mean a customer that doesn’t end up disappointed when doing a click-and-collect sale.

Trimco Group is the trusted partner for many brands and retailers that have chosen to implement RFID and combine their trims solution with RFID for increased accuracy and efficiency across their business. We can also be yours.

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