7 Reasons Smartphones Are Invaluable for Fashion Retail

| Retail

stock taking fashion retail

Right now, fashion retailers are simultaneously facing challenges and big opportunities.

As our guide ‘How Fashion Retailers Are Redesigning Their Digital Future‘ showed, the shift to online shopping has put fulfillment systems under immense pressure.

Consumers increasingly want contactless shopping. While stores also need to ensure customer and staff health.

As this blog shows, smartphone scanning – empowered with Scandit’s high-performance barcode scanning technology – is the ideal solution to these challenges.

Here are seven reasons why your store should be integrating smartphone scanning into your operational workflow.

1. Give staff the tools to keep inventory and data up to date

stock taking fashion retail

Inventory management is crucial – highlighted in McKinsey’s State of Fashion 2021 report. If brands are to keep up with the rise of online orders, they need up to the minute data accuracy around inventory. 

Handing barcode scanning-enabled smartphones to staff allows them to scan products in the store regularly. If an outfit or product is unavailable in the online fulfillment center, the store can send it directly. 

The conversion of regular outlets into fulfillment centers has massively increased in 2020. Smartphone scanning can also help in these dark stores. It can provide staff with the means to manage products for click and collect.

2. High-performance scanning at a cost-effective price

Dedicated devices have made great barcode scanners. But they are expensive and have traditionally needed to be shared between staff. However, current smartphones (with Scandit’s barcode scanning technology) can match the dedicated scanner performance.

The difference is smartphones come with a substantially lower total cost of ownership, which means that each team member can potentially have a personal scanning device. Crucial in the current environment where sharing devices can lead to infection.

3. Fast and straightforward integration for IT managers

There are no two ways about it; integrating new technology with existing infrastructure can be a major headache for IT professionals. It’s up to the latest tech to work with legacy infrastructure, not the other way around.

Smartphone scanning provides an easily implementable interface between the product and IT infrastructure.

4. A single device strategy offers stores and staff more flexibility

mPOS smartphoneIt makes little sense to weigh staff down with multiple devices, whether they are scanning inventory in the warehouse or the store. A dedicated barcode scanning device just scans. But a barcode scanning smartphone device does this and so much more.

Store assistants can use them to communicate with the head office and other stores. Or they can use them to visit the e-commerce store for product reference and availability.

5. Smartphones are a contactless solution for both staff and customers

The shift to contactless technology has been one of the most critical drivers in 2020. An excellent indicator of this is MasterCard’s announcement that contactless payments were up 25% in May 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.

Covid-19 is still with us, and consumers and staff want to minimize their contact in-store – either with other people or indirectly through unnecessarily touching products.

For staff or consumers, smartphones offer an excellent way to interact contactlessly within the store. From a consumer perspective, people know and trust their smartphones.

By adding smartphone scanning to your app, you can provide Self-Scanning or Product Information Lookup services, allowing people to contactlessly interact with products.

At the same time, the reduction in sales assistant-customer interaction helps keep staff safe. While smartphone scanning potentially allows each team member to have a personal barcode scanning device.

6. Consumers love and trust their phones

The idea of adding another interface between the customer and the store might seem illogical. But as shoppers have increasingly moved online, brick and mortar stores need to offer the same amount of interactivity.

Research has shown consumers plan to continue shopping with digital devices when life returns to normal. According to US retail consultancy Acosta, 59% of US shoppers said they were comfortable using digital or online tools to help with grocery shopping. In 2015, it was 35%.

So a store that brings the best of online into a physical store space can only make itself a stronger retail proposition.

The best way to achieve this is by creating smartphone scanning applications for the consumers’ devices. That way, they can interact with or pay for products.

7. Take smartphone scanning to the next level

With smartphones, barcode scanning is just the start. Scandit’s Barcode Scanner SDK can also be enabled with augmented reality and MatrixScan.  So the device can scan multiple items at once. Then it can scan a shelf and overlay information on the screen about a whole range of products at once.

There are many ways customers and staff can use AR and MatrixScan. For example, shelf management – here, a store assistant can scan the shelf to check prices.

While consumers can scan a shelf to locate even the smallest product. Or they can receive offers based on their previous shopping behavior.

Bring smartphone scanning into your fashion retail store

The pandemic may have hit fashion retailers, but it has also provided an opportunity to upgrade their operations and utilize stores. Doing so can allow retailers to re-engage with consumers while keeping them safe.

Smartphone scanning is the way to do it.

If you are interested in allowing your staff and customers to interact with the physical environment through smartphone scanning, contact us to find out how.