The Sunday shopping ban in Poland is getting closer ? bringing the significant decrease of turnover in many shops. Boutiques in malls are especially endangered. However, there is a way to prevent losses. It is RFID, Internet of things and smart fitting rooms.
The authors of report delivered by consulting company PwC and in cooperation with Polish Council of Shopping Centres conclude that new law regulation may case 5% fall of trade turnover (9,6 billion PLN), decrease of 36 thousands job positions and decrease of income to country budget by 1,8 billion PLN annually. The fatal consequences are also mentioned in ?Shoppin Ban on Sunday? report published by the team of specialists of Warsaw Enterprise Institute. They mention such negative effects as limitation of employment in retail, partial decrease of turnover, increase of unsold and outdated food. They also underline, that Sunday ban will affect food producers and suppliers. Consumers will have to change their habits and cope with smaller comfort of shopping, caused by greater number of shoppers and longer queues on Saturdays. Consumers themselves are generally negatively oriented toward shopping ban, what is mentioned in ?The Image of Shopping Centres in the Eyes of Poles? report: 51% of Poles is afraid that new law will harm national economy.
Innovative players from Polish retail market are intensively looking for methods to reduce losses. The point is not to try to circumvent new law. Managers are seeking the solution which would become a revolutionary answer to revolutionary changes.
Smart Fitting Rooms Are Trendy
It is possible to legally, easily and comfortable both for clients and shop staff, sell products on Sunday ? says PhD. Karolina Kozlowska, Smart Technology Group CEO. ? It can be done with smart fitting room which uses RFID.
This is a solution that has already proved its usefulness and effectiveness. In West, such smart fitting rooms have been working for a long time. They allow clients to shop in a completely free way, e.g. in Zara boutiques. How does it work? Client picks from a shelf a product, which is marked with RFID tag (an etiquette or sticker), which contains detailed information on product. With that identification, product is automatically recognized when it is brought into dressing room. Its touchscreen or mirror displays such information about products taken by client as availability (size, colours), fabric or promotions. Touchscreen can also display some suggestions, which other clothes or shoes would match already picked ones.
Client can make a purchase without any assistance of shop staff. Just few clicks on screen or mirror are enough to successfully finish transaction. No law is violated. All action should be considered as on-line shopping.
Wide Range of Advantages
There are undoubted benefits of such solution. Client can personally test products, touch them, put them on. This is much more than typical on-line browsing of shop offers. Transaction doesn?t require the presence of shop personnel: client on her or his own chooses products, verifies their availability (mirror in dressing room will inform, where to look for proper size) and finishes transaction or makes an order (if that product is currently out of stock).
Smart dressing rooms are beneficial for one more reason. RFID tags bring useful information not only to clients, but to shop personnel and managers as well. The latter can ? thanks to comprehensive stats ? monitor in real time the level of customers? interest in specific products. Managers know, which clothes, shoes or fashion accessories are bought the most often and hence must be ordered on regular basis and in bigger quantities. With such information, it is easier to plan shipping and optimize profits while reducing losses. Less popular products can be less often ordered and be replaced with those more wanted.
RFID technology, used for smart fitting rooms, can be easily integrated with loyalty program, mobile applications and click&collect system. This all creates the new business opportunities. On every day of week. ? Such integration is possible with SMART RFID, the only in the world solution that uses all key Internet of things technologies ? explains PhD. Eng. Karolina Kozlowska.
Does the bright future await smart dressing rooms? ? Definitely. Polish retail proved many times that it is ready for modern solutions. Mobile applications are in common use, some companies benefit from beacons which are used for communication with clients. Why new technology wouldn?t be implemented? ? asks rhetorically PhD. Eng. Karolina Kozlowska. ? The additional stimulus is the Polish legislation that is currently changing and increasing popularity of RFID technology in the Eastern Europe.
It is true that radio identification technology is rapidly growing. It is used in hundreds of shops of biggest brands (Zara and Inditex group, Macy?s, American Apparel, Marks & Spencer or River Island) to help in stock taking (RFID reader can correctly identify hundreds of products within few seconds), in order verification and completion (RFID portal can make this process completely automatic and reduce number of people?s mistakes) and antitheft protection (an alarm is launched when somebody tries to steal product marked with tag).
Paradoxically, new strict regulations can result in modernizing Polish retail and accelerating innovation by brands.