RFID lets retailers identify individual items, cases or pallets the same way bar codes do, but through a wireless network, with richer data and without need for a line of sight. Recently a new benefit of RFID became obvious, through omnichannel sales RFID is able to increase customer satisfaction and move customers along the purchase path.
With barcodes, inventory can realistically be done only twice a year with limited accuracy that relies on low human error. With RFID inventory can be done with higher accuracy every month or even every week.
Many retailers now allow customers to check which products are in stock in particular locations via their websites. Although what appears to be a simple feature, it is one of the first technological advances to combat the ever steady increase in online shopping. By checking online if any item is in stock customers are able to have the instant gratification they crave that only brick and mortars can provide.
Customers want instant information and instant gratification
According to research by the firm Monetate one in five online purchases were made via mobile device in 2012. This number jumped to one in three in 2013, an increase of almost 50 percent. This type of data shows retailers the importance of continuing to adapt to new market trends. As customers make purchase decisions while they are on the go, they will also want information that is instantiations.
Taking stock in real time
RFID can provide that information – RFID tagged stock can even be checked in real time. Recently, American Apparel adopted such as solution. This technology, which is being piloted in some of their California locations, includes fixed Impinj readers, and Sentiron’s antennas as well as a software platform that manages data related to each read event.
The software identifies in real time if a product needs to be restocked. If a customer requests a particular piece of merchandise, a worker can enter that item's product code into the software, which then determines its location within the store based on the linkage between that product code and the RFID number of the tag attached to that item, as well as where the tag was interrogated.
These types of solutions will define the future of retail. The brick and mortars that adapt to the customer needs of speed and information will be the ones that thrive in the years to come.