I once went to packed retail shoe store where I asked for an Adidas Samba OG in Black, size UK7.5. The whole process went like this;
The salesperson told me to hold on while he went to the store room to check on the stock. (5 minutes)
He came out with the Adidas Samba Velosamba in Black, size UK7.5.
I told him that I’m looking at the Samba OG and not the Velosamba so he told me he’ll go back to the store room to check again. (Another 10 minutes)
He came back and told me that he only have stock for UK7 and I told him I’ll try it on but it was too tight.
He went in to see if there was a size 8. (5 minutes)
He came out with a size 8 but it turned out to be in cream instead of black.
So, in total, he spent 20 minutes on one customer and not be able to make a sale for a customer that already had intent on buying a shoe from them if they had it in stock while missing out on other customers that they might have the stock for.
Next, I went to JD Sports, which is also packed to the brim with customers. Picked out the Adidas Samba OG in orange as they only have that on display, and asked the salesperson if they have it in black and in UK7.5. And this is the process for JD Sports;
He used a Newland MT90 smartphone with an in-built 2d barcode scanner and scanned the barcode that was on the shoe. Found out that there is a size UK7.5 in stock in the back room, used a walkie talkie to inform the back room to bring it out to the front, and I was trying on the shoe in under 5 minutes. Add another 5 minutes at the cashier and I was out of the store in under 10 minutes hoping to look like Gigi Hadid.
Next, I went to Uniqlo to complete my Gigi Hadid look with a black cardigan. Went straight to a salesperson to ask for my size in black, so she used the company-issued iPhone to check on the stock status and found out that the stock was in the back room. She used her walkie talkie to ask someone from the backroom to bring it out in my size and I was out of Uniqlo within 15 minutes with what I wanted and rocking my Gigi Hadid look today.
Utilising Your Existing Device to Save Cost
What JD Sports and Uniqlo retail stores did as opposed to the first store was, they capitalized their productivity by using technology to check on stock status, and Uniqlo even went further by connecting a smartphone to a UHF RFID scanner to find a particular piece of inventory on the racks, instead of sifting through the entire wall to find a particular size.
With such devices already present in retail stores, and with companies already using existing application/in-house applications for their day-to-day operations, it doesn’t make any more sense to use a separate device for barcode scanning, inventory management AND communication. Why not streamline all aspects of the operations on one device?
And how that scene would work out would be;
A customer walks in the store, picks up a shoe and asks sales person for the right colour and size.
The salesperson scans the barcode on the shoe, sees that it’s available in the back with the size and colour requested, and uses the same device to PTT the people at the back of the store for the said model and size, people at store room uses the same device that they received the PTT voice message, uses a UHF RFID device to find the said shoe instead of reading the model and colour and size out of hundreds of shoe boxes, finds the item and hands it over to the salesperson. All on One Device.
Because of the modular nature of these accessories, companies only need to get the accessories that they need for specific operations. A gun-type RFID scanner for the back of house, a hand strap 2D scanner for front of house, and earpieces with TASSTA Push-to-Talk application for everyone to communicate with each other.