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Sales Up 3 Percent in Voice Norge RFID Pilot

The retailer has deployed an RFID solution from Nedap across its 200 Nordic stores, enabling it to display in-store products to online shoppers, thereby making both online and physical shopping easier and more efficient.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 25, 2019

Retailers are competing to more quickly deliver products or make them available to shoppers through online purchasing. Voice Norge AS had adopted an RFID system to help lead that effort, by not only providing online shopping, but also enabling shoppers to view which products are available in their neighborhood stores before going there, so that they can pick up purchased goods in their own neighborhood. The inventory data is being captured via a UHF RFID-based system from Nedap.

Voice Norge has deployed RFID technology across all of its stores to enable this feature and has found that sales are up at the pilot locations. Voice, based in Oslo, operates 200 stores across Norway, including Match, VIC and Boys of Europe. The retailer sought a system with which it could offer better product availability and thereby increase sales.

Kari Anna Fiskvik
Nedap's !D Cloud RFID software platform captures Electronic Product Code (EPC) data as goods are received and counted at stores, explains Mark Kasbergen, Nedap's global business developer. The system enables Voice Norge to share that information with customers on its website, so that they can make purchase decisions based on the products available for sale at specific locations. The rollout started in February 2018 and was completed within six months. According to Kasbergen, this is the largest RFID deployment in the Nordic retail market to date.

Voice Norge sells clothing for men, women and children. As the retailer's business grew, it began looking for a technology-based solution to make inventory management faster and more accurate, says Kari Anna Fiskvik, the firm's chief development and technology officer. Traditionally, the company counted inventory at all of its store only twice annually, and the process was slow and costly, making up-to-date inventory data hard to come by.

Accuracy was another challenge, Fiskvik says. "Though our store employees worked hard to secure an accurate inventory," she explains, "it would just never be accurate enough," since the manual processes involved in counting inventory left room for errors. By increasing inventory accuracy, the company would not only be able to improve on-shelf product availability for shoppers, but also move toward an omnichannel model since it could be confident that inventory counts at the stores nearest to online shoppers were accurate.

The company first investigated RFID technology in 2009, but it decided deployment costs were too high. Eight years later, the firm revisted the technology and found that it was proving to be affordable and effective for other companies. It then began working with Nedap to create a solution. "We agreed to focus on inventory and replenishment in stores," Fiskvik recalls, "and found a cost-effective way to start up a pilot."

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