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RFID technology will give new life to the retail industry

2021-09-20 Industry News

    For decades, RFID has proved useful to all industries. As retailers turn to Omni channel sales, this technology plays a greater role.

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    With the outbreak of the epidemic, the retail industry has been greatly impacted, and the requirement of social isolation also makes the in store experience more complex. Therefore, the retail industry must innovate in order to stand on its feet in this era. RFID has made progress and expanded in some application fields, and is ready to help retailers create a new era of customer shopping experience.

    The latest development of RFID brings opportunities

    RFID requires four elements to work together: RFID tags, readers and antennas, supporting software, and testing and verification. In recent years, these elements have not changed much, because the basic technology behind the system has remained stable. However, some recent developments have made RFID more attractive to enterprises. First, according to McKinsey, RFID performance has been significantly improved in the past decade, reading accuracy has tripled and reading range has increased fivefold.

    Another major change is cost. In the past decade, the average cost of RFID tags has decreased by 80%, while the average cost of RFID readers has decreased by nearly 50%. These enhanced functions mean that enterprises can operate with fewer tags, and the decline in price means that the technology is more economical.

    How RFID is used in operations

    As retailers rely on more interconnected and mobile infrastructure, RFID has many operational advantages. Inventory may be a major challenge as enterprises shift to Omni channel mode. This is also one of the most prominent applications of RFID: to help track inventory. This can also help enterprises identify consumer trends and preferences, so that enterprises can adjust production according to needs.

    RFID can also help simplify store operations through application cases such as self-service checkout, make checkout faster and more accurate, and reduce working hours and error rate. It also allows shoppers to scan goods with their smartphones and pay immediately. With RFID, it is also easier to return goods. RFID tags eliminate potential inventory tracking problems and errors in the reverse supply chain.

    How RFID is used for customer experience

    At present, inventory tracking and operation is the most widely used RFID in the retail industry. However, with the development of customer expectations, other emerging use cases have emerged.

    One of them will affect one of the most commonly used parts of the store: the fitting room. RFID allows the smart mirror to read the labels on clothes and prompt suggestions on relevant styles and accessories. It can also collect data about customer interest and try on, and help inform orders and other operations.

    However, this is not the only customization function RFID can provide in the retail industry. When some goods are interconnected through technology, the technology can provide unique recommendation function, so that customers can browse in a more participatory and personalized way. These uses are still emerging, but such non-contact experiences are becoming more and more popular.


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