How Does RFID Technology Operate? What Is It?

Retailers can use radio waves to identify things with radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. It transfers information from an RFID tag to a reader so you can track your inventory accurately and in real time.

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RFID used to be a “nice to have,” but with supply chain visibility and inventory accuracy becoming increasingly crucial, it is now essential for today’s omnichannel companies.

RFID technology is changing fulfillment, inventory control, and logistics. Related technologies include near-field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE).

According to McKinsey, retailers may reduce labor hours connected to inventory by 10% to 15% and unlock up to 5% of top-line growth through improved inventory control.

Do you want to join in the fun? Find out how RFID technology operates, what benefits it offers businesses, and how to implement it in your store.

What does RFID stand for?

RFID is a wireless technology that consists of readers and tags. The reader is a gadget with one or more antennas that communicate with RFID tags by sending and receiving electromagnetic signals.

These tags transmit data to adjacent readers via radio waves. They contain a serial number or unique identity. They have integrated circuits (ICs), commonly referred to as RFID chips, which transmit data to the reader.

The operation of RFID

RFID is a member of the automated identification and data collection (AIDC) technology group. With little human involvement, you can utilize AIDC technologies to detect things, gather information about them, and transfer that information to a computer system.

An RFID device that interfaces with your inventory may greatly boost efficiency for shops who need to track stock accuracy. It may be used to increase inventory visibility and accuracy, which will enhance the shopping experiences for today’s multichannel consumers.

The three parts of an RFID system are the transceiver, the transponder (tag), and the antenna. The RFID inlay is the portion of the tag that contains the data that is encoded.

The antenna and transceiver work together to create an RFID reader, sometimes referred to as an interrogator.

Two varieties of RFID readers exist:

Fixed readers: these are equipped with an antenna and reader fixed in a specified location via which RFID tag data goes. For instance, you can use Amazon Go to check out without having to see a cashier. All you have to do is stroll past an RF zone for the reader to pick up the tag data.

Mobile readers are portable, carry-anywhere electronic gadgets.

RFID technology uses

RFID technology finds application in consumer packaged goods, healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and transportation industries. RFID is used in retail environments for the following purposes:

Improve the way that stores operate. When a particular variety is short on inventory or out of stock, RFID can alert staff members. Additionally, it may automatically indicate to them how many to draw and where in the backroom to retrieve the merchandise.

Examine traffic patterns throughout the store. RFID makes it possible to monitor how items are moved around a business. You may use this information to identify high-traffic end caps, pinch areas, and other staff and product pathways that occur during the day in your shop.

Construct virtual changing rooms. The fitting room can monitor the item, display various colors and styles, suggest complementing outfits, and offer pertinent product information by employing a geo-locating RFID tag.

Make contactless payment options available. Any transaction made using a cell phone, a debit or credit card that supports contactless, or a key fob is considered a contactless payment. When a consumer is completed shopping, they may pay for their purchases, use biometric scanners to confirm their identification, and go through an RFID checkout.

Help with stock selection. In 2022, warehouse rentals went up by 12%. Retailers may now store items vertically rather than horizontally thanks to technological advancements, and RFID technology can aid in stock selection. For instance, RFly developed a drone that can identify things within a warehouse by scanning RFID tags. The drone will pick up items that are placed on high shelves.

Monitor the products’ temperature. Certain products require specialized temperature storage, especially perishable commodities. The RFID product tags have sensors that can track temperature and record it inside the tag.

Boost the store’s stock accuracy. The traditional manual and time-consuming retail inventory method still exists. Rather of depending on scanning each individual item and blind receipts, RFID allows you to quickly check in whole shipments. Additionally, it’s utilized to locate objects, shorten cycle counts, and automatically replenish products at safety stock thresholds.