Transforming the customer experience with RFID October 18th, 2018

Transforming the customer experience with RFID
Today’s Internet-savvy shoppers can virtually buy anything, anywhere at any time. With a world of choices, they need a compelling reason to buy from a brick-and-mortar store. Yet, too often, they are disappointed with the in-store experience. 

Why customers are not happy? 

When customers walk in, they are hoping to find what they want. But if locating the items is not fast and easy, they are just as apt to walk out empty handed. In fact, 49% of shoppers are unwilling to spend more than 10 minutes looking for merchandise, and as many as 30% never locate what they want¹ – in part because a typical retailer’s inventory is only 65-70% accurate². 

Customer assistance and product information play an essential role in guiding shoppers along a purchasing path. Unfortunately, neither help nor expertise is always readily available. Long checkout lines remain a challenge on both sides of the counter. Shoppers now accustomed to the immediate gratification of online shopping are prone to forgo the purchase in order to avoid the wait. The days of interruption marketing are over. Consumers are turning a deaf ear to the bombardment of cookie-cutter messages and one-size-fits-all promotions. 

Why retailers are sold on RFID? 

Zebra has its own opinion: RFID technology brings to market tremendous opportunities for retailers. Traditionally used to track inventory along supply chains, retailers placed RFID tags onto pallets. Now retailers are recognizing the value of tagging individual pieces of merchandise. Attaching RFID item-level tags, retailers are increasing inventory accuracy to a robust 99.9% and dropping out of stocks by up to 80%³. The greater the availability and selection of merchandise the greater the chance of a satisfied customer. Using RFID, retailers can stock up on goodwill, as well as opportunity. Fast and accurate, RFID gives retailers the visibility to see and quickly replace merchandise missing from the sales floor. So customers are delighted to find so many choices and so few reasons to walk out empty handed. 

With RFID, there’s never a gap in customer service. As shoppers browse the aisles, RFID-enabled kiosks and fixtures can identify the items and instantly display product information; they can work in sync with mobile devices to request assistance from the appropriate sales associate and extend the aisle with additional online offerings. This is personal shopping at its best. Now the shopping experience is shaped by the customer’s preferences, patterns and needs – information retailers can aggregate utilizing RFID and sophisticated intelligence systems. With RFID solutions, retailers’ programs can entice customers to increase their brand loyalty. 

With RFID-enabled kiosks and fixtures throughout the store, customers can enjoy speedier checkouts and greater convenience. This line-busting technology can simply communicate with shoppers’ smartphones to complete transactions on the spot via mobile banking. And as customers shop, RFID can collect customer information that retailers can turn into insight to attract them back again and again. 

Offering more services 

Today’s customers demand greater flexibility and convenience. They want the option of purchasing in store or online and either picking up orders in store or having them shipped to them. Enabled by RFID, fulfillment can become a strong differentiator for retailers. By leveraging the inventory visibility that RFID offers, retailers can confidently fulfill orders from local stores – circumventing the potential shipping costs of cross-country distribution and accelerating shipments. Such speeds and savings are just the thing that can deliver greater customer satisfaction. 

More choices. More sizes. More colors. That’s what customers notice about RFID-enabled stores. Shelves are always full and selections are plentiful. Utilizing RFID, retailers can speed up the process and close the divide between checkouts and replenishing inventory. 

How retailers might benefit from Zebra’s RFID applications 

RFID technology helps retailers to close the gaps in service, information and inventory of traditional retail and open more opportunities for sales and customer satisfaction. 

RFID empowers retailers, elevating shopping into an enriching and positive experience. With RFID as part of a total solution, a merchant can greet customers by name, impress them with a wider selection of merchandise, and better serve them with faster assistance, deeper product information and more personalized promotions. Retailers can turn shopping time into social time with RFID-enabled kiosks that enable customers to interact with their social network of family and friends. RFID applications can identify merchandise, recognize loyalty accounts and facilitate mobile transactions. Even fulfilling customers’ needs is easier using RFID. Retailers gain real-time visibility into inventory, so they can expedite fulfillment of orders from closer locations. 

In short, RFID can help to generate up to 21% more sales in the traditional trading and to sell up to 20% more units with 6% more $ per transaction. And an important factor more: The retailer needs 18% less time to locate items. 


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.