Let Us Free Ourselves from the Fear of Investing on Retail RFID Projects

As we already stated in our last article devoted to RFID in the Retail world, in Europe there are ample growth margins for this technology, adopted by just 30% of retailers vs 92% in the USA.

Shown below some considerations by our RFID Specialist, who will explain what the economic benefits in this particular area are.

For a big retailer, choosing an RFID system means, first of all, experimenting it by means of a pilot store. Well, we have got data regarding Return On Investment (ROI) both during the pilot phase and also once the complete system has been adopted, the leap in ROI is evident.

This is a most important fact or rather, two are the most important facts:

  1. There is a return on the investment
  2. The pay-back period (period during which the investment is repaid) becomes increasingly shorter, especially if the technology implementation is used in more company processes

Another fear to be eliminated, regarding the adoption of this technology, are the initial investment costs and those recurring ones. Also in this case, the trend is irreversible: costs are decreasing. Just like the rest of “hard” technology, but with a previsional advantage: RFID is a mature technology, that will not be shaken or vulnerable in the short term (fortunately or unfortunately) by the intrinsic limits of radio frequency and the rules that regulate it. And, if hardware becomes cheaper, there is more room for investment in software and services and maybe in RFID complementary technologies, like vision or proximity systems.

A more efficient software system can support retailers in the real challenge that transforming into digital means: the revolution of internal processes.

To tag millions of garments manufactured in the Far East, correctly codify them, check them when they arrive at warehouse in a Eastern European country, quickly ship them to stores worldwide, it is either necessary to be structured from any point of view, or supported by a system integrator that directs the whole system.

I am amazed by the fact that from the survey emerges another issue that hesitant retailers present: the question of their customers’ privacy. Most important, no doubt about it, while stating it would be a lesser evil compared to the daily violations we suffer. But having such a fear regarding RFID means not having understood the mechanisms that rule this technology, which will be the topic of our next article.
At this point, we once again wonder: what makes a retailer adopt RFID technology? Or better: “Why has he not done it yet?”

Alberto