At last week’s GS1 Connect Conference in Las Vegas, GS1 was distributing a sheet showing the various levels of risk associated specifically with poor data quality in supply chain operations, in-store operations and sales, and e-commerce paths to purchase. Here is what they said:
- Data quality impacts the entire supply chain system
- Inaccurate transactional data can cost up to 25% more in labor
- 80% of retailers are not confident of their product data
- 84% of shoppers use their devices to help them shop in store
- 86% of consumers are unlikely to buy products from a brand after an experience with inaccurate product information
- Inventory inaccuracy accounts for 8.7% lost sales
- 71% of shoppers expect to view in-store inventory online
- 50% failure rate for buy-online-pickup-in-store shopping
- 15% to 30% of sales lift when dynamic buy-online-pickup-in-store fulfillment option is available
These are breathtaking numbers. In earlier postings, we’ve opined that poorly performing barcodes are responsible for problems with the retail shopping experience, but until now, we’ve been unable to put real numbers to our projection. Based on these figures, GS1 provided the following bottom line impact:
- Overstocks and returns are costing retailers $1.75 trillion a year
…and that only accounts for the quantifiable, hard costs. The ambiguous, soft cost of damaged or lost customer loyalty could equal or exceed this staggering amount.
But wait. Isn’t this an overreach? Data quality is a component of barcode quality, along with print quality, but in this context, isn’t inventory system data quality a much larger issue than just barcode quality? One might think so, especially with all the focus on software systems that dominated the exhibit area at GS1 Connect this year. But the oft-forgotten fact remains that the lowly barcode is the connective tissue that holds it all together.