Inventory management is all about maintaining an efficient process to get products out to consumers quickly and with minimal errors. It used to be a time-consuming process and resource-hungry. However, RFID technology provides businesses with an effective solution.
RFID, which stands for Radio Frequency Identification, is a wireless technology that uses radio waves to transfer data. RFID for retail makes it possible for retailers to track inventory, automate workflows, monitor stock levels, check prices and improve customer service.
What is a QR Code?
A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that is easily recognised by smartphones. With the help of popular applications, such as Google’s “Scan” function, individuals scan these codes to receive information about products and services. In addition, they connect consumers to your website for further exploration.
When partnered with retail RFID technology, QR codes are especially useful. This is because they allow shoppers to access exclusive content that cannot be found on an ordinary label or tags, such as video footage or product reviews. Brands can use QR codes to teach customers about their products and services without having to invest in costly advertising campaigns.
How Does RFID Work in Retail?
RFID-embedded tags and scanners work together to increase the speed and accuracy at which you can update the inventory of your products. The tag communicates with a scanner, sending data about its specific product back to the retailer’s system. This means that retail shops know what they have in stock and where it is located without needing to take an item off of the shelf to scan it.
RFID in retail systems also send alerts when products are running low or when they need to be re-ordered. By automating this inventory process, retailers will spend less time on manual labour and more time improving sales. Plus, RFID can help you identify exactly how much stock you have of each product at all times, which means you can adjust your shop floor display accordingly to meet demand.
Benefits of RFID Technology in Retail Inventory Management
RFID technology in retail offers a number of benefits, including:
Speeds up the inventory process
Since retailers no longer need to manually count and monitor stock, they can merchandise their products more quickly. This means that customers benefit from a faster checkout process while employees spend less time performing menial tasks and more time offering customer service.
RFID technology improves the accuracy of your inventory by up to 400%. Inventory errors, such as double-charging for an item or entering a code incorrectly, can quickly eat away at your profits. With RFID’s streamlined automated system, you’ll never have to worry about human error again.
Boosts customer service
With the help of inventory management software and business intelligence reports, you can learn more about your customers and tailor your customer service to their needs. Plus, you’ll be able to predict better what products they will want to buy in the future by offering them relevant incentives and promotions.
Improves operational efficiency
RFID technology allows retailers to automate their asset management, which means that they can gain more visibility into the business. This improves operational efficiencies by drawing insights from data trends and making better business decisions, such as what demand looks like for certain products and where you should focus your marketing efforts.
Prevents inventory losses
Since RFID technology can track your inventory, you can minimise the likelihood that stock will be lost or damaged. According to Sagent Technology, retailers who integrate RFID into their inventory management systems have found an 80% reduction in the amount of inventory misplaced due to human error, which means fewer costly write-offs and replacements.
Retailers can automate the re-ordering process by integrating RFID software with inventory management systems. This allows them to receive alerts when it’s time to restock a product or check if there are any out of stock items. With this information, retailers can efficiently order and merchandise their products in a way that minimises loss and maximises profit.
Enhances business intelligence
RFID technology allows you to keep a finger on the pulse of your business. Retailers who integrate RFID into their inventory systems have access to a variety of reports and analytics, including product trends, inventory counts and reports that identify high and low selling products. This information can help you predict future demand for your products and better allocate resources to maximise sales.
Examples of RFID Technology in Retail
Now that you know about the benefits of RFID technology in retail, here are some examples of how it is being used today:
Using RFID to improve prices and promotions
As mentioned above, retailers can use RFID software to get a better sense of their business. This allows them to offer more relevant promotions and price certain items at a higher price in certain areas of their shop.
Tracking freight costs and managing stock
RFID tags are applied to your inventory, which allows you to keep track of the product’s location at all times. This means that when it comes time to ship products out to customers, you can quickly identify which items need to be shipped and where they are located in your warehouse.
Tracking high-value items
If you have a section of your retail store that sells high-priced items such as electronics, you can attach RFID tags to these products and easily identify them using an RFID scanner. This is especially useful when the item goes out on display or into storage.
Conveniently manage deliveries
Retailers use RFID tagging to track inventory in transit. Once items are scanned when they arrive at the warehouse or distribution centre, you’re able to keep track of which products have arrived and where they are located. This ensures that you restock shelves faster while also preventing stock from being misplaced.
Understanding the customer journey
RFID technology enables retailers to gain a better understanding of their customers and how they interact with their products. You can use this insight to tailor promotions that will be relevant to them, which means you’ll have a better chance at earning repeat business from satisfied customers.
How to Integrate RFID Into Your Retail Store
Integrating RFID into your retail store requires the use of an RFID software provider. These providers offer packaged solutions that include RFID hardware, installation services and data management.
Once you have the necessary equipment, RFID can be installed and operational within a short period of time (usually less than five days).
To ensure success, you need to ensure your IT department is involved in the process. Integration with inventory management systems will require specialised software programming. You’ll also need to work closely with your RFID provider so they can address any issues upfront.
RFID technology is just one of the ways that retailers can keep pace with ever-changing inventory management systems. Retailers need to focus on gaining real-time insights into customer buying behaviour, which means they need access to accurate product data/information at all times.
Technology continues to advance and evolve, so it’s important you’re able to keep up with these changes. Retailers that can leverage these changes stand to gain a competitive edge and improve their sales, efficiency, and service levels.
For more information about RFID tags, please visit the ASP website. Our team would be happy to discuss your needs and to help you build new, more efficient workflows that will support the best operation of your warehouse or store.
We have the right tools for companies of all sizes and will work to accommodate your business, supplying you with technologies that are tailored to suit your business to help improve your efficiency and accountability. We are the market leader when it comes to the development of customised and packaged solutions.
This includes Inventory Management, Portable Barcode Readers, Supply Chain Management, Time and Attendance and Asset Tracking to name but a few.