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,” comments 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,” says 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.”