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It's RFID's Turn
Understanding this technology should be the retail sector's big bet for 2020.
• Omnichannel: The concept of omnichannel retailing, so prevalent and commented on in recent years, can be achieved more quickly using RFID technology, as it provides accurate knowledge of all inventory. The omnichannel concept allows consumers to pick up items purchased from the Internet in-store, thus increasing the flow of shoppers at stores and meeting the demands of customers more quickly and efficiently.
• Improved customer shopping experience: With RFID technology, product availability increases and cashiers can complete transactions more quickly. Queue times are thus decreased and stockouts can be eliminated. When stores become omnichannel-ready, the consumer experience tends to improve. As a result, retailers can expect to increase customer loyalty and boost sales.
Those who bet that RFID was outdated were wrong. Retailers that have real-time product tracking, inventory visibility and in-store item tracking can create better customer experiences and lower operational costs. There are numerous features and services available these days that can significantly improve a retailer's bottom line. In such a tight-margin industry, it is worth looking for possible mechanisms to minimize unnecessary expenses and increase revenues. RFID is undoubtedly an alternative for retailers to consider. However, its application must be carried out precisely.
It is necessary to find a supplier that knows well the demands of each customer and has the ability to deploy technology on a large scale. It is in this context that a systems integrator stands out. After conducting a thorough analysis of a retailer's unique context and environment, as well as mapping the entire ecosystem of the RFID scenario, from label, printer and software vendors—including the infrastructure, readers and antennas required—an integrator that has experience with large-scale deployments and monitoring can create a solution designed to meet that retailer's specific needs. Such an integrator can compare the various players and, in an agnostic way, consider what is best for that retailer and for its customers.
RFID alone is no miracle. But when integrated well with other technologies, it can deliver incredible results within a short span of time.
Vitor Villela is a senior solutions architect at NTT Brasil.
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