A recent report highlights that a total of 39.3 Billions of passive RFID labels will be sold in the year 2023, up from 33B in 2022, amounting to a 20% increase year-on-year basis. You’d be surprised to know that a major chunk of this would be RAIN RFID or passive UHF RFID tags. The report also highlights that a total of 24B of RFID labels will be used in the retail sector. The global retail market was valued at 7.475B USD in 2021 which means retail is the largest player when it comes to RFID.
Retail businesses across the globe are looking at a higher level of competition from e-commerce businesses and the post covid business landscape has forced them to incorporate technology in day-to-day retail operations from inventory management, in store stock to sale to the end users. Under these circumstances retailers are using IoT, RFID, BLE, NFC etc. to transform their inventory and in-store operations and it is providing great results as well.
The use of RAIN RFID in the retail sector is driving retail growth to new heights providing a higher level of operational management and enhanced customer experience inside the stores.
What is RAIN RFID?
RFID is a wireless technology that is capable of automatic identification and data capture using a set of RFID tags, readers and a software system to store data. However, RAIN RFID is an acronym derived from RAdio Frequency IdentificatioN and it represents the passive UHF RFID segment (Ultra High Frequency 860-960 MHz) specifically as a brand. So, when you use the term RAIN RFID, you are referring to the Passive UHF RFID.
Walmart and RFID: Pushing RAIN RFID in Retail
The retail giant Walmart, a USA-based retail chain which has hundreds of stores around the globe and bought the popular Indian e-commerce platform Flipkart in 2018 for a whopping 16B USD, is not new to using RFID in its operations.
In 2003, Walmart required its top 100 suppliers to tag pallets and boxes with RFID tags and in January 2005, Wal-Mart went live with its first RFID implementation after successful pilot at its distribution centers in Dallas and by 2007 it was looking at 1000 stores using RFID tags with a network of 600 suppliers tagging items with RFID tags. This was at a time when RFID implementation wasn’t cheap and a tag cost around 50 cents in comparison to 4-5 cents per tag at present.
A september 2022 mandate by retail giant Wal-Mart required its suppliers to tag all the items in Home departments including Kitchen & Dining, Bath & Shower, Bedding, Home Décor, Furniture and Luggage, Closet and Organization etc., Entertainment including Toys, Electronics, and Wireless and Hardlines departments that include Sporting Goods, batteries and Automotive tires with Gen 2 UHF RFID tags (902-928 MHz, North and South America).
Walmart’s efforts at implementing RFID is driving the RAIN RFID market to new heights and many other retailers like Macy’s, H&M, Zara, and Target are actively following suit.
How Retail businesses benefit from RAIN RFID?
Retail is the largest business segment to use RFID driving the RFID market to new heights each year. We are looking at the RFID market to reach 35.6B USD by 2030 from 18.45B USD in 2023 and retail is the leading player in RAIN RFID (passive UHF RFID).
Retail businesses can benefit from RAIN RFID technology by improving their inventory accuracy and visibility. With RAIN RFID in retail stores, distribution centers, and the supply chain, retailers can know exactly what they have in stock, where it is located, and when to restock. This can lead to reduced out-of-stocks, fewer markdowns, increased sales, and improved customer satisfaction.
When it comes to inventory management and retail inventory control, RFID tags have been successful in enhancing the overall asset visibility and reducing the time employees spend on auditing and taking stock of the inventory. The RAIN RFID system is quite efficient in providing accurate data on inventory control that can have detrimental effects on retail store operations and customer experience.
RAIN RFID can also enable automated point-of-sale (POS) and return processing, as well as unmanned retail and electronic article surveillance improving the in-store customer experience. It can also enable fast and easy checkouts which can bring back customers to retail shoppings like pre-covid times.
In essence, RAIN RFID can help alleviate supply chain disruptions and make retail operations more efficient and profitable and that is the reason behind retail being the largest employer of RFID in its supply chain networks and retail stores.
- Last updated on Jun 20, 2023