Executive Briefings

Retailers Have Gravitated Toward One Type of RFID Tech, But Is That the Best Strategy?

Retailers that have rolled out RFID have traditionally used handheld readers. However, some are starting to use exit-monitoring or even whole-store illumination approaches. Smart shelves have yet to take off. The dynamics are changing, which could influence which strategy makes the most sense for a given store. Which strategy is best for you?

Retailers Have Gravitated Toward One Type of RFID Tech, But Is That the Best Strategy?

These four are among the many different ways that RFID can be deployed in a retail environment:

Handheld Readers"”Retailers tag certain categories of items with RFID labels and then the store associates walk around and take inventory using handheld readers.

"¢ Exit Monitoring"”Fixed readers are installed at all entrances/exits, including the dock doors and the doors between the back store and the sales floor. The readers detect when items enter or leave the store, and when they transition between the back and the front of the store.

"¢ Whole Store/Area Illumination"”Readers are placed throughout the whole store or an area of the store, often mounted in the ceiling. These continuously read the items in the store. They are often real-time locating system readers, which can not only tell you that an item is in the store but where in the store each item is located.

"¢ Smart Shelves"”RFID readers are integrated into the shelving or fixtures holding the merchandise. This has the potential for extremely precise locating and counting, but at a high cost.

The vast majority of retailers implementing RFID have chosen to use handheld readers, primarily because it has the lowest required upfront investment. Does this mean that all retailers should be using the handheld reader approach, or do the other approaches have a natural home within the universe of retailers?

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These four are among the many different ways that RFID can be deployed in a retail environment:

Handheld Readers"”Retailers tag certain categories of items with RFID labels and then the store associates walk around and take inventory using handheld readers.

"¢ Exit Monitoring"”Fixed readers are installed at all entrances/exits, including the dock doors and the doors between the back store and the sales floor. The readers detect when items enter or leave the store, and when they transition between the back and the front of the store.

"¢ Whole Store/Area Illumination"”Readers are placed throughout the whole store or an area of the store, often mounted in the ceiling. These continuously read the items in the store. They are often real-time locating system readers, which can not only tell you that an item is in the store but where in the store each item is located.

"¢ Smart Shelves"”RFID readers are integrated into the shelving or fixtures holding the merchandise. This has the potential for extremely precise locating and counting, but at a high cost.

The vast majority of retailers implementing RFID have chosen to use handheld readers, primarily because it has the lowest required upfront investment. Does this mean that all retailers should be using the handheld reader approach, or do the other approaches have a natural home within the universe of retailers?

Read Full Article

Retailers Have Gravitated Toward One Type of RFID Tech, But Is That the Best Strategy?