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Survey Hints at Brand Awareness Problems for RFID Vendors

Responses to an RFID Journal survey indicate that even the retailers who are most educated about RFID are unfamiliar with many solution providers.
By Mark Roberti
Feb 19, 2016

In January, RFID Journal sent out a survey to retailers and companies that manufacture apparel, sporting goods, jewelry and accessories to learn what they know about the RFID providers focused primarily on the retail sector. We listed 40 RFID tag, reader and software companies.

The survey was unscientific: We sent questionnaires to people in our database, and received nearly 50 responses. Those who responded do not necessarily reflect the global pool of retailers and manufacturers, but they are among the most knowledgeable when it comes to RFID. So while the sample size is small, it provides a snapshot of what retailers and manufacturers know about RFID solution providers. The survey suggests that most RFID providers have a lot of work to do to build brand awareness.

Illustration: iStockphoto/Imagezoo
Who are these respondents? The vast majority—83 percent—said they have been researching RFID for more than four years. Another 13 percent said they have been researching the technology for three to four years, and 4 percent said they have been investigating the technology for less than a year.

Moreover, 21 percent said they have deployed an RFID solution in some stores, and 17 percent have deployed the technology in all their stores. Another 8 percent said they had finished a pilot and were planning a rollout, and 8 percent said they were currently running or would soon run a pilot. Roughly 30 percent said they had not yet launched a pilot and were still researching solutions. No respondents said they did not plan to implement an RFID solution.

We asked these retailers and manufacturers which RFID solution providers they were familiar with. The best-known providers were, in alphabetical order: Alien Technology, Avery Dennison, Checkpoint Systems, Impinj, Tyco Retail Solutions and Zebra Technologies. These companies were known by 70 percent to 86 percent of the respondents (though some respondents were confused about the products and services they offer).

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