We’ve talked before about the the many uses of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Simply put, an RFID device is a small microchip and an antenna. The device stores up to 2,000 bytes of data and can be scanned just like a barcode or a magnetic strip on an ATM card. However, RFID devices also broadcast information wirelessly, making it easy to pinpoint exactly where a product or person is. We’ve touched on how RFID devices can be used to grant secure access to a facility to employees and track products, pets, and even Alzheimer’s patients! Today, we’re going to take a look at how retailers can use RFID for secure and organized distribution management.
Distribution Management with RFID
RFID is increasingly being used by retailers to improve inventory accuracy, sales, margins, and expedited returns. According to a 2014 GS1 US Standards Usage Survey, over half of product managers have started using RFID. RFID can be used to easily identify the location of products with the store. RFID is commonly used in retail stores in concert with barcodes for optimal accuracy in day-to-day tasks. Unlike barcodes, RFID devices broadcast information without the need to individually scan each product. This information often includes details about the product and where it is located within the store. Because this information is readily available, it maximizes employee efficiency, thereby cutting down on labor costs. RFID tags attached to products transmit information to handheld devices that help employees, locate, pick, store, count, and move items within the store. This helps to streamline overall productivity as well as improve customer experience with the speedy location of products.
The BOPIS Advantage
One of the biggest ways RFID helps retailers is with the buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) advantage. A customer can go to your online store to see if a specific product is in stock at your location. Using RFID technology, the product is located, the client makes a purchase, and the product is immediately set aside for the client to pick up. This gives your clients the peace-of-mind of knowing that the product they bought will be waiting for them. It also helps your sales team get immediate notifications of online purchases so they can avoid having to handle an upset customer who arrived to find the product they purchased was no longer available. With the BOPIS advantage, everybody wins!
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