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RFID is Driving Omnichannel Retail

As we all know, RFID technology is nothing new; it originated from World War II radar technology used by the British, U.S. and German militaries to identify aircraft as friend or foe. Today, RFID is helping retail companies develop omnichannel supply chain strategies.

Why is RFID so important to the retail industry?
The way RFID is currently used has changed, but it has been an important part of the equation for many years. Since the first commercial RFID tag patent was granted in 1973, the technology has been used in manufacturing, logistics and distribution networks where tracking and monitoring product location is central, and in a wide range of applications including consumer goods, automotive, electronics, agriculture and retail.

How does the new crown epidemic affect RFID use?
COVID-19 is forcing companies to quickly adjust their RFID priorities to meet new customer preferences, particularly the shift from offline to online shopping and the resulting omnichannel retail model.

Can RFID make offline shopping as convenient as buying online?
The new retail experience is channelless, yet commerce is everywhere, and consumers expect it to be everywhere. Reduced sensor costs, along with improved range and readability, make RFID a new option to support retailers in creating data-driven omnichannel experiences for consumers.

The lower cost of RFID tags also makes them an option for improving inventory accuracy for products, including FMCG.

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Can RFID be used to check product availability in-store?
In today's popular offline retail world, where fast commerce is a driver of revenue growth, inventory accuracy has become critical.

Knowing what can be promised at a given moment and in what quantity is promised is key to winning consumer purchases and delivering on the promise of today's convenience-based consumer.

RFID is a way to improve inventory accuracy to meet consumer expectations for ROPIS (Reserve Online, Pickup In-Store), BOPIS (Buy Online, Return In-Store), curbside pickup, and delivery options. Knowing exactly where inventory exists allows retailers to meet the needs of consumers.

Does RFID help transform stores into distribution centers?
Yes. It helps companies save on logistics costs through reduced deliveries and lower demand distribution centers.

What is the impact of RFID on retail forecasting?
Today, demand must be met in a short time rather than days. Hyper-local regional distribution centers, behind-the-scenes stores and even automated back offices are supporting consumer demand for fast commerce.

RFID is great for tracking and tracing products, but also supports demand forecasting by allowing planners to use large amounts of accurate inventory data (warehouse, pickup, replenishment, consumption) as input to multi-layer forecasts.

With RFID, planners can better understand the demand for out-of-stock items, understand the transit time for products to reach the point of sale, understand weeks of availability in the sales channel, and assess future replenishment needs.

How else can RFID improve the customer retail experience?
RFID not only improves inventory visibility and accuracy, but also enhances contactless checkout capabilities and supports consumers' need for security while shopping.

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