The Explosion of Retail Item-Level RFID

A Foundation for the Retail Revolution


With omni-channel, mobile, online competition, and other forces at play, retail is in a state of dynamic transformation. Item-level RFID is playing a role in that transformation and major retailers are starting to adopt it in a big way.

Once items are being tagged at the source, there are many different places and ways within the retail supply chain that RFID can be used to improve performance or provide additional value to the consumer. This report elaborates on this transformation, the use cases, two mini-case studies, and a guide to selecting and creating the right foundation.


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The Retail Revolution is Here
Retail is going through huge transformative changes. Retailers, who are typically cautious about technology spending, are taking bold steps, catalyzed by the need to provide full omnichannel integration, a differentiated customer experience, and improved margins. These are enabled by new technology developments in cloud solutions, wireless, mobile, payment, in-store technologies, and RFID.

In fact, RFID is a core foundation that unlocks item-level, context-aware intelligence and utility that is the basis for many of the changes we are undergoing in retail, such as self-checkout, location-based services, mobile shopping and promotions, smart mirrors and dressing rooms, warranty management, asset tracking, store management/optimization, inventory management, loss prevention, and much more. This report explains the how and why of this phenomenon, organized in the following sections:

  • The Retail Revolution is Here—How RFID enables many of retail’s current primary initiatives.
  • From Source to Store—The Power of End-to-End—Use cases for RFID across the retail chain.
  • End-to-End RFID Implementation Examples in Retail—Two mini-case studies.
  • Selecting and Creating the Right Foundation— What you need to know about implementers, solution providers, and solutions architecture.
  • Appendix A: Criteria for Selecting a Solution—Detailed criteria for selecting a solution.

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