New inventory tracker reveals how retail and IoT can be the right fit

California software firm Manhattan Associates has launched an Internet of Things-based (IoT) solution that helps retailers maintain their store inventories accurately.

The average level of inventory accuracy in the warehouse is nearly 99%, says Auburn University's RFID Lab. It says that the accuracy is below 65 per cent in retail stores, which is mostly imprecise and misses order fulfilment commitments, resulting in loss of sales.

The newly introduced IoT-powered solution enhances the store inventory tracking and order picking capabilities of the company’s existing Store Inventory and Fulfilment (SIF) solution that supports RFID, which considerably improves store inventory accuracy, expedites store order fulfilment, and increases efficiency levels that were not achievable earlier. The solution can work with any RFID solution provider.

Manhattan’s first RFID partnership is with Zebra Technologies’ Smart Lens solution.

RFID provides precise information on inventory location that helps in 60 per cent reduction in time store associates spend on locating and picking material. Manhattan's mobile SIF application uses the location data from these RFID tags to show store associates with dynamic visual maps of the location of every item in the store, along with the most efficient route for picking order items.

A study published in January argued that stores should mix physical and digital strategies, like IoT and AR to offer consumers a unique personalised shopping experience in every retail channel. According to the report, customers are interested in trying new technologies if they find improvement in their in-store shopping experience. It found 32% of consumers are likely to shop at a store offering an AR experience over a retailer that does not offer the service; 29% would like to experience VR in their shopping environment.

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