Six Ways RFID Simplifies Your Shopify Omnichannel Experience
Shopify’s cool new integrations just got cooler — when partnered with Simple.RFiD
With the addition of multi-location capabilities, Shopify is providing brick & mortar sellers with improved omnichannel sales tools — or simply, a better way to allow their customers to buy whenever and wherever they want. The integration will provide sellers real-time communication between in-store and online inventories, providing sellers with a smoother transition between managing their physical and virtual stores. This is a leap forward for omnichannel sellers who are wishing to expand. But the reality is, omnichannel selling presents new problems that can bankrupt businesses if they cannot manage and scale their inventory processes effectively.
Simple.RFiD, a company specializing in Radio Frequency Identification, is filling this need by helping Shopify sellers to successfully scale their inventory management processes using RFID to easily manage their inventory in real-time, error free.
What is RFID?
RFID is similar to barcode/QR codes as in they both identify products wirelessly, however the methods of collecting this inventory data varies greatly between the two technologies.
Barcodes/QR Codes are counted using an optical “eye” which must see the barcode/QR Code to read and count the item, one-at-a-time. Due to this “line-of-sight” requirement, the process of inventory collection is painfully slow.
RFID on the other hand uses radio waves to collect product inventory data from a microchipped RFID tag, counting products at a rate of 100’s of items/second! This allows businesses to count their inventory daily (if desired), verify the contents of incoming purchase orders, confirm accuracy of online orders shipping in sealed boxes without needing to even open them, it can even help to locate lost inventory.
How is this possible?
It may seem impossible that hundreds of tags could be read, identified, and counted from over 10 to 20 feet away in an instant, but that is precisely what RFID does.
RFID labels look much like a typical sticker, however each tag contains a tiny microchip and an antenna which together are called an “inlay.” As each tag is being printed, the microchip is programmed with corresponding product data. Once the tag is “encoded,” the RFID reader can then transmit a radio signal which awakens the tag and relays its data (lot numbers, expiration dates, product name, SKU’S, etc.) back to the reader. This inventory data is over 99% accurate, practically eliminating human error. Data collected through RFID can also be synced with any inventory software to automatically update numbers and correct or prevent discrepancies.
Here is how RFID Simplifies Your Shopify Omnichannel Experience
Auburn University’s RFID Lab conducted a one-year study, between June 2017 to July 2018, to survey the effectiveness and business value of item level RFID-tagged items.
They found, with regards to purchase orders, that, “when RFID was not implemented, 69 percent of inbound orders [purchase orders] (shipped from brands and received by their retailer partners) contained errors … resulting in inventory inaccuracies and potential costly chargebacks from the retailers to the brand owners.”
Yes — you read that correctly; 69% of inbound orders were wrong and only 31% of those orders were correct during the year long study. The article goes on to say that, “brand owners and retailers who used RFID technology to optimize inventory management and reconcile product shipments were capable of achieving 99.9 percent order accuracy.” They also found that retailers who tried to find workaround solutions for those errors actually ended up creating additional errors and costs.
Simple.RFiD improves Shopify’s system that allows sellers to create purchase orders by verifying them as the PO’s arrive. By scanning the contents, the accuracy of the order is automatically verified through the serial number on their individual RFID tags. The status is then automatically changed to “Received” once all items are accounted for. If product is not tagged at the supplier, tags are applied to each item as PO’s are received and inspected.
Profitable retailers who operate multiple brick and mortar stores are well aware that the more stores you manage the more difficult it becomes to manage inventory effectively.
Simple.RFiD allows for both outbound verification of transfer accuracy, as well as automated inbound transfer confirmation. Or in other words, we automate and confirm the movement of all product within your supply network and automatically update Shopify’s Transfer Order’s status as it arrives.
3. Online Orders:
Fulfillment errors do happen, and more often than we would care to admit. When we add the element of multiple fulfillment centers, the problem compounds. According to an article published by Multi-Channel Merchant, each incorrectly filled order represents over $43 of cost to a retailer. That unnecessary expense has the potential to add up fast!
Using Simple RFID can remove that expense as it eliminates order errors completely.
The software copies Shopify online orders and routes them to a location where the requested product is on-hand.
Simple RFID then allows the user to verify the accuracy of each order being shipped with an RFID enabled reader which rapidly inspect each order’s contents. This eliminates fulfillment errors and streamlines the process.
4. In-store Inventory:
The average accuracy of your inventory is at about 63%. Since Omnichannel opens possibilities for shoppers to purchase online and pickup in-store, that number must be risen to the 95% – 100% range to effectively compete in the omnichannel world.
Simple RFIDs rapid inventory data collection capabilities allow retailers to audit their entire store-level inventory in minutes, providing complete and accurate item-level data..
5. Online Inventory:
Auburn University concluded that RFID, “Reduces retail out-of-stocks (OOS) by up to 50%” and “cuts cycle count times by 96%.”
Using Simple RFID, inventory data can be collected from each location (including stores and distribution centers), and can then be synced with Shopify Point of Sale (POS) to ensure location-level accuracy. The total of all locations’ inventories are also updated in your Shopify eCommerce inventory. This facilitates order fulfillment by routing the order to a location with the right products in stock as well as providing a fresh, combined inventory for online shoppers.
6. Missing Something?
Because every item is managed individually with a serial number, SimpleRFiD’s software allows you to locate individual items through it’s “Geiger Counter” feature. In other words, users are able to locate in-stock items (even those that are misplaced) allowing for better overall product management. This feature is especially helpful to vendors who sell on the road and must pack product inside boxes. Since the reader is able to “see” product inside the bins, users are able to locate customer requests much easier..
Simple.RFiD ensures scalability to owners and managers with a desire to transform their business into a true omnichannel system. Its capacity to effectively manage inventory, partnered with Shopify’s new capabilities, allows businesses managing both brick and mortar and online stores to operate smoothly and efficiently. Simple.RFiD truly changes a business’ relationship with their inventory and provides business owners with the tools and information they need to help their companies grow and flourish.
For more info please visit: www.simpleRFID.com