Retailing Advice

Retail and RFID

Looking for info on RFID and what it means to the retail industry? You've come to the right place.

Imagine a world in which you have instant access to a complete inventory of your merchandise and your customers can view a wide range of product information - all at the touch of a button.

Sound far-fetched? The technology is called RFID and it's happening right now.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is the same technology that is used in passports, toll booths, and library scanners. But these days, an increasing number of are finding creative ways to integrate this technology into their day-to-day operations. Here's the short version of how it works: Small RFID tags are attached to merchandise packaging. The information contained within the tags is then retrieved by a reader via radio waves. The RFID tag reader can retrieve information from a distance, even if it is not in a direct line with the merchandise.

From a business owner's perspective, RFID offers a number of important advantages over traditional solutions like barcodes and manual inventories. Although the retail applications are endless, the benefits of RFID generally fall into three categories.

Inventory Management

Inventory management can be a difficult and tedious process. RFID takes the hassle out of inventory management by providing real-time monitoring of every piece of merchandise in the store. What's the benefit of real-time inventory management? For starters, it gives you the ability to maintain the proper amount of inventory at all times. When your inventory of a particular product begins to run low, a new order can be placed so that none of your merchandise is ever out of stock. The precision of RFID also helps minimize the potentially expensive possibility of ordering too much merchandise.

Customer Service

It's frustrating when a customer requests a piece of merchandise that the computer says is in stock but you can't locate. With RFID, your customers will be impressed with your ability to know exactly where each piece of merchandise is located at all times. Since the information gathered from RFID is stored in a central computer, you can easily network inventories between stores to provide the most accurate information to your customers. The result is a highly-efficient, highly-accurate, highly-responsive approach to meeting your customers' needs.

Product Information

One of the most exciting possibilities of RFID technology is its ability to provide detailed information about each and every product you stock. With RFID tag readers stationed at the end of aisles, in dressing rooms, or on shopping carts, your customers can immediately access information about products they are interested in purchasing. Although RFID product descriptions cover basic things like price and material content, they can also include information about the availability of the product in other colors and sizes. Sophisticated RFID systems can even suggest complimentary products the customer may find appealing. In essence, RFID technology combines the best aspects of an in-store and an online shopping experience by giving customers detailed descriptions of products they can see and touch.

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