RFID use reaching a ‘tipping point’
Through a special arrangement, what follows is an excerpt of an article from FierceRetailIT, an e-newsletter and website covering the latest retail technology news and analysis.
RFID is gaining traction with retailers and manufacturers, nearing an adoption and usage "tipping point," according to a recent study from GS1 US.
More than half (57 percent) of the retailers surveyed in the "2014 GS1 US Standards Usage Survey" reported that they are now implementing item level Electronic Product Code-enabled radio frequency identification and an additional 21.1 percent plan to implement the technology in the next 13 to 24 months.
"We believe this sends a clear message to the industry that RFID is the critical enabler of omnichannel retailing," Melanie Nuce, VP of apparel and general merchandise, GS1 US, told FierceRetailIT. "RFID is valuable because it helps retailers understand two inventory essentials for omnichannel success — ‘what do I have?’ and ‘where is it located?’"
The total study sample was 801 apparel and general merchandise companies, although the RFID part of the research was directed to 177 companies, including manufacturers, retailers, and retailers that are also manufacturers such as Macy’s, VF Corp. and Levi’s. The smaller number is comprised primarily of retailers in the apparel/footwear/accessories industry category, which is known to be the most aggressive in using and testing RFID. These retailers reported that 47 percent of items received have RFID tags.
The survey also reported 48.2 percent of manufacturers said they were currently implementing RFID with 18.4 percent planning to implement it in the next 12 months.
"We believe RFID is nearing a tipping point because it is gaining traction as the most reliable solution in delivering on the omnichannel promise to the consumer," Ms. Nuce said. "Since around 2008, retailers have been strategically deploying item-level RFID and its effectiveness has been tested and proven in several types of use cases."
With recent technological advances, more RFID deployments were made possible and they resulted in better equipment solutions, which led to more adoption and use.
"In the future, we expect to see more retailers collaborating with manufacturers to ensure items are tagged at the source, which will enhance efficiency throughout the supply chain," she said. "This will be especially important as retail fulfillment models like buy-online, pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) evolve and require accurate inventory."
Besides the improved inventory read rates, the survey highlighted four other benefits of RFID to retailers: improved sales, decreased out-of-stocks, increased margins and expedited returns.
- RFID use reaching ‘tipping point’ – Fierce Retail
- GS1 US Survey Shows Manufacturers and Retailers Embrace RFID to Enhance Inventory Visibility – GS1 US
Do you agree RFID is at a ’tipping point’ as far as adoption at retail? Are the hurdles toward adoption changing? Are there other uses for RFID that retailers should be exploring?