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Combining RFID with POS to improve the retail experience

With more retailers implementing new technologies to improve their business operations, many are finding new and innovative applications of existing, proven technologies to offer solutions to daily challenges.

RFID technology is one solution being rapidly adopted to enhance a retailer’s operations as it can dramatically improve inventory management. RFID is gaining popularity by enhancing inventory, but it’s also being used in more creative ways that enhance other aspects of daily operations, such as Point of Sale (POS).

Value of RFID Technology

While there are numerous ways that RFID can be utilized within retail, one of the biggest benefits of the technology is that it allows retailers access to a wealth of information, including an enhanced inventory view. When RFID is integrated with a store’s Point of Sale (POS), it can identify when a product leaves the store without being purchased. An enhanced view of inventory naturally leads to a reduction in item shrink, which is often the result of theft or operational errors by employees at POS.  Not only does shrink have cost implications, but it also means that a retailer’s view of inventory is already inaccurate, which can ultimately lead to missed sales opportunities. Item-level RFID technology can reduce shrink by up to 50%, meaning items are more readily available for purchase. The customer experience isn’t hindered by not having the correct items in store.

POS Implementation

Retailers are now beginning to look at additional ways to leverage their investment into RFID to gain a competitive edge further.  The most common place retailers are looking to focus on next is changing the process of customer engagement at POS, by moving to an automated and human-free checkout. POS is an important focus for marketers because consumers tend to make purchasing decisions on high-margin products or services at these strategic locations. Leveraging RFID at POS is transforming the overall customer journey through the last step of a store visit to make this quicker, more accurate, and smoother than ever before.

Using RFID on garments is being utilized to allow retailers to reduce the friction that exists at checkout. The process at checkouts traditionally consists of barcode scanning items one at a time, followed by a card swipe. Apparel retailers, as well as customers, are beginning to expect something more convenient and time-effective. There is an increasing demand for this friction-free self-checkout experience, and it is beginning to be implemented within the New Era of Retailing. RFID is the technology being chosen to develop this further.

Using this technology at POS means the customer can directly have a differentiated experience that is modern and more accurate. We are beginning to see retail companies adopting RFID at POS for a number of reasons, particularly due to its ability to speed up the check-out process dramatically. Due to the current climate, providing a human-free contactless experience at POS could offer a much safer shopping experience for customers, which will be at the forefront of many retailers’ priorities.

In sum, RFID technology implemented at the POS will begin to revolutionize the retail industry as it meets needs for a frictionless checkout experience, improved time efficiency, increased inventory accuracy, and improved customer experience.