RFID stands for “radio-frequency identification,” and it relates to a technology in which a reader captures digital information contained in RFID tags or smart labels using radio waves. RFID is identical to barcoding, In the way, that information from tags or labels is taken by a sensor and stored in a database.
Why Is RFID Used In the Retail Industry?
Employees can easily track inventory and stock levels by tagging items and stock using RFID tags, reducing the risk of unlawful access. RFID asset monitoring may be employed in a retail context to track individual goods on racks as well as mobile assets.
A large store, for example, could want to outfit its trolleys and carts with long-range RFID tags to prevent losing them and save money on replacements. It is not a fresh idea to use radio-frequency identification (RFID) to track tangible ‘things.’ The first operational RFID tracking system used to locate aircraft during WWII may be traced back to that time.
What Type and Frequency of RFID Tags Are Used in Retail?
Dependent on their locality, retailers often use passive UHF RFID tags that operate at 860 to 960 MHZ. The range for activating or deactivating a tag is less than the read range, but it varies depending on several parameters such as the size of the tag, the scanner antennae used, and so on.
How to Choose the Right RFID Tags for Retail
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags have been a huge help to every business as they’ve progressed. Tracking things and inventories is easier than it has ever been, which means mistakes are soon becoming obsolete.
Following things need to be considered before choosing the right RFID tag for retail:
- Type of Products and materials
- Size and placement
The system you select will be primarily determined by the things you offer. It also depends on the issues you’re trying to tackle.
Are you seeking an inventory management solution, for example? Do you need a better understanding of the supply chain process? Are you more concerned with loss prevention and theft?
Examples of Innovative Uses of RFID Technology in Retail
Retailers can dependably accomplish comprehensive item-level inventory control across their stores and supply chains thanks to the convenience and precision of RFID stock counts. Importantly, this may be accomplished while actively decreasing the amount of labor required for operational processes, thanks to the quickness of RFID inventory counts.
The cornerstone of many RFID applications in retail is precise and up-to-date stock data.
Increasing Process Efficiency
At every level of retail, from the manufacturer to the sales floor, RFID makes a significant impact on operational efficiency. Irrespective of whether it’s a static or portable RFID scanner, it can scan hundreds of products simultaneously. Importantly, because each piece has a unique ID, which can never be read again. The signals can also be received without requiring line of sight.
Improving Stock Control and Minimizing Out-of-Stock Situations
Asset monitoring software may be utilized for a variety of reasons, but one that is especially beneficial to retailers is gaining a better understanding of the supply chain from manufacture to distribution.
Retailers are pouring millions of dollars into integrated RFID systems that reduce out-of-stocks, give real-time inventory location information, and boost consumer satisfaction.
Thanks to this technology, they can follow their goods across the retail supply chain, from the production floor to the shop floor.
Consider a dressing room with touch screen displays instead of mirrors. This fitting room records the garment is put on, displays other possible colors and how they would appear on you, offers other complementary outfits, and might give important product information such as fabric quality by geo-locating particular RFID tags.
Speedy Checkout Process
RFID has the ability to speed up and perhaps eradicate the conventional checkout procedure. Instead of separate bar code scans, products might travel on a conveyor via scanners that interpret on the fly.
Goods in a backpack or cart might be linked to a pre-loaded customer loyalty account, allowing for a seamless checkout process where a consumer just walks out the door through an RFID gate.
RFID may be used for both external and internal marketing by retailers. Tags can be put on outside billboards or in-store POS materials, and interested people may access them by sliding their cellphones over them. This can either email the personal details about the advertised goods or load a site in their browser.
It may be used to communicate precise product specifications, stock availability information, or a shop discount coupon.
Improving Customer Experience
While inventory tracking and retail management are the most significant RFID use cases today, various “last mile” advancements can target consumers seeking exciting new experiences, increase revenue, and generate significant behavioral data. RFID is used by merchants to give customers unique experiences and ideas.
Kendra Scott, for instance, tested an RFID-enabled trigger in its Color Bar in shops. Customers might choose diamonds from a showcase to begin a personalization process. Customers utilized self-service more, which will certainly grow more essential in the future.
Is RFID Technology the Future for Retail
Retailers may benefit greatly from RFID technology. They may assign a unique identifier to each item in the shop; they may minimize the need for human capital and reduce errors by automating operations; they can facilitate concurrent item scans; they can give real-time stock information; they can provide new forms of marketing; and they can improve security for employees, hardware, and goods.
Furthermore, RFID is compatible with current devices such as cellphones, applications, and computing devices; it is low-cost to install, and new applications are being developed all the time. With all of these advantages, it’s easy to see why this technology is becoming so popular in the retail industry.
It appears that RFID technology will benefit the clothing business the most in the future. Already now, dynamic changing rooms exist, where items are scanned as soon as they arrive, and unique mirrors give data on the product’s composition as well as accessory recommendations for a given style. Furthermore, you may request that the staff provide these items by pressing a single button.
Frequently Asked Questions
What stores use RFID Tags?
RFID is used to monitor apparel at Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Amazon, and other large retailers. RFID is used in every Walmart store in the United States to track inbound shipments and products on the sales floor.
How is RFID used in Retail?
RFID is increasingly being utilized in retail as a substitute for barcode systems. When it comes to inventory tracking, the more modern technology associated with RFID means it has a considerably higher level of precision and effectiveness. As a result, it has significantly larger retail applications, the majority of which are based on the foundation of dependable inventory visibility.
What is the benefit of RFID for retailers?
Retailers may improve income by 5-15 percent on average by integrating RFID, depending on the industry. It is also a 1% rise in profit and a 10-15% reduction in capital expenditures due to improved stock levels.
How common is RFID in retail?
According to a study from 2016, 73 percent of merchants had deployed or were currently implementing or testing RFID.
Although radio frequency identification (RFID) isn’t a new technology, businesses are starting to discover how it might help them save money in unpredictable ways. RFID use in the retail business is still in its infancy.
Some businesses were initially concerned about the expense, but with the decreased barrier to entry and the growing effect of consumer demands, adoption will be unavoidable in the coming years.