Tag, You’re It! The Importance of Source Tagging During COVID-19 & the Holidays

by ShopperTrak on 11-03-20

It’s clear this holiday season is unlike any other. Mask mandates, social distancing and occupancy guidelines are just a few ways the in-store experience has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if there’s one thing that remains consistent every holiday season, it’s the critical need for retailers to implement source tagging technology on soft goods.

The holiday season is always incredibly busy, and the United States top 10 busiest days are expected to account for 34.2% of all holiday traffic alone. The influx of shopper traffic during the holidays creates the crucial need for retailers to make loss prevention a holiday priority. This holiday season is especially unique because record high unemployment since 2012 can lead to increased theft. As a result, retailers must keep shrink to a minimum.

Fortunately, source tagging can help. In addition to preventing shrink and organized retail crime (ORC), here are four ways source tagging can help improve retail operations this holiday season:

  1. Contactless retail: Now more than ever, it’s critical for retailers to promote contactless retail. According to a recent Sensormatic Solutions survey, 44% of respondents noted they would be somewhat unlikely or very unlikely to make a purchase if a retailer doesn’t offer contactless checkout or a physical barrier at the point of sale. While contactless checkout is important, promoting an entirely contactless experience is equally critical. Fortunately, source tagging promotes contactless retail because it minimizes “touches” and allows merchandise to arrive to the store “floor ready.”
  2. Improved fitting room security: Once customers grab items from the sales floor, the next stop is often the fitting rooms, which are a hot spot for theft. Due to COVID-19, soft goods retailers may not have fitting room checkers for security, increasing the need for products to arrive with anti-theft sensors already on them for loss prevention.
  3. Seamless checkout experience: Source tagging can promote a seamless checkout experience for both shoppers and employees. Since source tagging enables items to arrive to the store “floor ready,” this increases throughput at the point of sale. This means shoppers can be in and out of stores and spend less time waiting in lines.
  4. Optimize staffing: By having the products readily tagged on the floor, retailers can reduce the amount of staff roaming the store, which can create a safer environment for shoppers. This can also help retailers make staff more efficient because they can spend more time on other critical initiatives, like cleaning or fulfilling curbside and buy online, pickup in store orders for customers.

This holiday season, we can expect to see more sporadic in-store traffic and shoppers coming in on weekdays to avoid large crowds on weekends. As consumers look to make each in-store visit more purposeful, retailers must do the same with their in-store experiences. Source tagging can help retailers do this and allow them to truly capitalize on the 2020 holiday shopping season.

For more Sensormatic Solutions’ holiday insights, follow along on Twitter using #SensormaticHolidays2020 and stay tuned for more holiday trend blogs. To learn more about how retailers can prepare for this year’s holiday season, visit our website: https://www.sensormatic.com/

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