Three Technologies that can Revolutionize Retail in Pakistan


Muhammad Husnain

Retail has been slowly and steadily transforming in Pakistan with consumer interest changing from buying in small shops on high street to shopping centers.

Traditionally the retail particularly fashion was driven in the clusters of shops located in the different bazars offering customers with clothing options. Lately in past decade the retail  has seen a shift as customers prefer to buy in the shopping malls and expect experience in store.

The younger generation is more tech-savvy and aware on global trends in innovation. With increase in demand and vast geographical area retailers in Pakistan are continuously evolving to improve on consumer experience.

Three Technologies that can benefit retail in Pakistan:

RFID: Radio Frequency Identification is the world leading technology in retail, that help retailers have correct and real time inventory visibility, increases on shelf availability, helps to reduce the inventory covers and  improve sales.

The technology has been implemented in global retail groups like, Tesco, Inditex, H&M to name a few and have resulted in tremendous results for the businesses.RFID is an end to end solution from Vendor to DC receiving, store receiving and billing and as security mechanism.

With its range of benefits, RFID helps to increase inventory accuracy in stores by more then 95% which traditionally stands at 65% for  most of the retailers, resulting in over buys, wrong data visibility and  more importantly on shelf availability which leads to customer satisfaction.

The RFID chips are placed on each merchandise and are read through using RFID scanners and finally the data is interpreted through using RFID softwares. This helps to have the correct inventory information, track the merchandise movement across the supply chain even between the back stores to sales floor and vice versa leading to improved replenishments for the store.

Furthermore, this technology helps retailer build a clean inventory base, avoids the need of annual inventory audits saving time and money.

FFS:  Retail has drastically changed to become seamless Omni channel world, where consumers can buy across the channels and have services on door steps. For omni channel brands it involves lead times where the fulfillment centers are miles away and costs on customers experience.

Fulfill from store or in store fulfillment of E-commerce orders helps retailers to reach customers quicker and meet there expectations. The orders received through e-commerce channels are seen geographically and orders are sent to the closest store to the customer location for fulfillment.

The store packs the orders and ships to the customer reducing lead times to delivery. This model has proven to increase sales, NPS and customer satisfaction.

Self Checkouts:  The life has gone busy and so have the customer expectations in retail stores, as the shoppings are planned with the other entertainment for most of the customers, time is the most important factor in determining brand experience for customers.

In mid to large segment retailers, the queues on cash tills are common and seen in all stores during peak hours, customers are always willing to spend more time on shop floor but always wish to checkout as soon as possible.

The self checkout solutions help customers to bill on their own, avoid long queues, improves customer engagement with the brand. It also adds up for retailers as one person can manage multiple self checkouts therefore saving in manpower costs for the business and have better ROI.

Generally a SCO recovers its investments in the first year itself for mid- large size retailers.

The author is a Dubai based retail professional and may be accessed at [email protected]