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Supply Insight, Brady Worldwide partner on RFID item-tracking system ••• Frost & Sullivan says omnichannel retailers increasingly deploying RFID to manage customer experience ••• Armstrong International offers RFID-enabled steam trap ••• Avnet acquires Softweb Solutions, offers IoT applications ••• Nordic Semiconductor intros cellular IoT module ••• IoT company KORE acquires eSIM provider ASPIDER-NGI.
By Rich Handley

Frost & Sullivan Says Omnichannel Retailers Increasingly Deploying RFID to Manage Customer Experience

According to a new report from Frost & Sullivan, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has caused a sea change in customers' buying patterns and, by extension, retailers' market strategies. E-commerce and m-commerce have virtually transformed stores into distribution centers, the report indicates, and retailers need to adopt technologies such as RFID, video, cameras and data analytics to track inventory at outlets and enhance customer experience management.

"Retailers are looking to empower their mobile workforce to enrich customers' purchase experience, and this will augment investments in technologies such as handheld readers and smart point-of-sale (PoS) solutions," said Ram Ravi, an industry analyst for industrials at Frost & Sullivan, in a prepared statement. "RFID sales will get a further boost from the intensifying focus on loss prevention, inventory management, and customer behavior analysis."

Frost & Sullivan's study, titled "Analysis of Growth & Security of the Global RFID Market in Retail, Forecast to 2022," examines the competitive structure and presents the market shares of several leading companies. The report includes forecasts, product analyses, market drivers and restraints, industry challenges, and key growth opportunities for RFID tags, readers and middleware.

"To cater to the changing retail environment, system integrators need to develop partnerships with data analytics and cloud service vendors," Ravi said in the prepared statement. "The growing interest in item-level tagging in the retail industry will further augment RFID demand."

RFID vendors are leveraging the rise of the IoT and are pursuing opportunities to address retailers' pain points by investing in technology to enhance the shopper experience by empowering the mobile workforce and incorporating big-data analytics to analyze customer behavior patterns and enable targeted marketing; applying this technology to boost employee efficiency; focusing on strengthening security to enhance privacy; ensuring a successful implementation by focusing on performance-related parameters, such as antenna design, chip size and storage size; and shifting focus from in-store inventory management to total stock visibility to meet the requirements of omnichannel retailing.

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