Retailers creating an omnichannel selling environment need a better understanding of their inventory than those that just have a brick-and-mortar presence, according to Jason Sain, a senior manager with Accenture Strategy and one of the report authors. RFID can provide this understanding.
Without RFID, retailers tend to have inventory accuracy close to 70% to 75%, but RFID can increase this to over 95%, Sain said. Brick-and-mortar retailers rely on shipment data and point of sale data for inventory levels which can suffer from shrinkage as the result of loss. But RFID can provide more real-time information on inventory.
When a retailer has accurate inventory, that means someone can "execute an order right now and you truly can say, 'Hey, you could buy this and go pick it up in the store, it'll be ready for you within an hour,'" Sain told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.
Accurate inventory levels can help retailers avoid stockouts and avert split shipments (when an order has to be fulfilled from multiple locations), the report noted.
And as RFID becomes more common, maybe omnichannel will too. The survey found 59% of retailers not using RFID had one omnichannel offering while 96% of retailers that adopted RFID had one omnichannel offering.