“RFID technology employs small, wireless tags that contain unique identification codes in a small microchip, allowing retailers to track individual items throughout the supply chain.”
In today's fast-paced fashion industry, retailers are constantly seeking innovative ways to streamline their day-to-day operations. They are focusing on enhancing customer experiences and optimizing inventory management and the use of modern age IoT and RFID technology has been of great help. From accurate inventory management to ensuring disruption-free supply chain and logistics as well as encouraging in-store customer experience, technologies like BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), UWB (Ultra Wideband), RFID (Radio Frequency Identification), EAS (Electronic Article Security ), ESL (Electronic Shelf Label), etc. have made all of that possible with ease.
Amongst these popular IoT technologies, one technology that has emerged as a game-changer is Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Let’s explore how RFID technology can revolutionize fashion retail by improving inventory accuracy, enhancing supply chain visibility, and elevating the overall shopping experience for customers but before that, let’s see what this technology is.
Fashion retail is a fast-growing retail segment that is also witnessing an increasing level of peer competition from other businesses. Along with that, ORC (organized retail crimes) have also caused significant damage to retail in countries like USA and UK. A recent Forbes report highlighted the fact that retail crimes have led to 100B USD losses in a year alone.
To prevent stock shrinkage and to streamline fashion retail inventory and in-store operations, use of UHF RFID tags presents a great opportunity for business owners. In inventory, RFID tags offer enhanced item visibility, real-time location tracking, and item-level localization whereas in stores, RFID provides quick, queue-less POS (Point of Sale) operations, and enhanced customer shopping experience allowing. With RFID enabled smart shopping cart, staff members can just scan the entire cart instantly and quickly provide the customers with bills. The smart electronic shelf also allows customers to view the item prices and any discount on the item as applicable.
1. Enhanced Inventory Accuracy with RFID in fashion retail
RFID technology employs small, wireless tags that contain unique identification codes in a small microchip, allowing retailers to track individual items throughout the supply chain. Fashion retailers can integrate RFID into their operations and enjoy several benefits related to inventory accuracy:
Real-time inventory tracking
RFID technology enables retailers to monitor their inventory in real-time, eliminating the need for manual stocktaking processes. It increases efficiency and reduces labor costs.
Reduction in out-of-stock instances
With accurate and up-to-date inventory information, retailers can proactively replenish popular items, minimizing out-of-stock instances. RFID tagging of items thus not only improves customer satisfaction but also maximizes sales opportunities.
RFID tags can be discreetly attached to items, making it easier to identify and mitigate theft or loss, reducing shrinkage and enhancing profitability for fashion retailers.
RFID technology also offers unprecedented visibility into the supply chain, enabling fashion retailers to make data-driven decisions and optimize their operations.
Efficient inventory management
With RFID implementation, retailers can track the movement of goods from manufacturing to the sales floor. It provides insights into lead times, stock levels, and production cycles. Therefore, RFID facilitates efficient inventory management, reducing excess inventory and minimizing stockouts in fashion retail businesses.
Enhanced demand forecasting
Accurate inventory data obtained through RFID tagging of fashion items enables retailers to analyze historical trends and predict future demand more accurately. RFID thus empowers fashion retail to optimize production, reduce overstock situations, and meet customer expectations.
Seamless omni-channel integration
RFID technology enables retailers to seamlessly integrate their physical and online inventories. Such integration provides customers with accurate information about product availability, allowing for a consistent shopping experience across various channels.
3. Elevated Shopping Experience with RFID in fashion retail
When it comes to enhancing customer experience, RFID technology can transform the shopping experience for customers, making it more seamless, personalized, and engaging in the following ways:
Quick and easy checkout
RFID-enabled checkout systems (POS) can automatically scan multiple items simultaneously, significantly reducing checkout times. Various in-counter and desktop RFID readers can be installed that allow high-speed and accurate scanning of RFID-tagged fashion items and accessories. It enhances convenience for customers and minimizes waiting times.
By leveraging RFID technology, retailers can gain insights into customers' preferences and purchase history. RFID acts as a great source of data collection which can be analyzed and might offer personalized recommendations, creating a tailored shopping experience that fosters customer loyalty.
Interactive displays and fitting rooms
It’s a rather new trend but RFID tags can be used to activate interactive displays and fitting rooms. It provides customers with additional product information, style suggestions, and even virtual try-on experiences.
Thus RFID enables this immersive shopping experience which enhances customer engagement and drives sales and leads to long-term value creation and growth.
RFID technology is revolutionizing the fashion retail industry by offering enhanced inventory accuracy, improved supply chain visibility, and an elevated shopping experience for customers. Fashion retailers can implement UHF RFID labels, tagging each fashion item, apparel, shoes, jewelry items, etc., and optimize their operations, reduce costs, increase profitability, and ultimately stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. Fashion retail businesses can also create a robust supply chain network with minimum disruptions and improve order fulfillment which further brings in more customers.