The final installment in our three-part series on the benefits of RFID in retail:
Retail Analytics in Real-Time
Before investing in a fixed RFID reader system, there are a number of key factors to consider to ensure the best possible return on investment. First and foremost, it’s important to select a system that is designed for use in retail applications, including such features as:
- Optimized for use in indoor environments
- Real-time presence and location data
- High throughput to process millions of tag events
- Configurable filtering, rules engine and reporting features
- Complete, service-based, hardware, software and support solution.
Although there are multiple fixed readers available on the market, many don’t perform well indoors. The radio frequency (RF) signals used to read RFID tags can reflect off walls, floors and other surfaces, causing a loss in signal strength. This, in turn, results in missed tags, or long delays while the system gradually discovers tags over hours or even days. Installing a fixed reader system that fails to read all the tagged items in-store leaves a retailer right back where they started — with inaccurate inventory counts.
Secondly, a complete RFID system for retail needs to include robust reporting and analysis to enable data-driven retail analytics. The ability to collect and correlate complex data about inventory, customer preferences and shopping behavior in real-time enables valuable in-store analytics. This in-depth retail analysis delivers greater insight, awareness and visibility for true competitive advantage, even when competing with online sellers.
And finally, does the solution pay for itself in terms of return on investment? A fixed RFID solution that increases inventory visibility and accuracy, while contributing to reduced shrink, operational expenses and markdowns, delivers return with increased sales and improved margins. In fact, retailers see average revenue increases ranging from 5 to 15 percent, while the reduction of overstock inventory can result in an increase in gross margins of up to 2 percent, due to reduced inventory carrying costs and the elimination of end-of-season markdown sales.
Armed with the tools to select the RFID solution best suited to their business, retailers can quickly leverage this advanced technology for confident omni-channel execution, reduced out-of-stocks, increased revenue and better planning.
Selecting a system designed to perform best in an indoor retail environment, like the OmniSenseRF retail inventory system from Mojix, enables retailers to feel confident about their investment. Mojix was founded by some of the world’s foremost experts in advanced signal processing technology perfected for deep space communications. The company’s mission was to leverage this technology to create a new generation of game-changing RFID systems that realize the vast potential and expand the utility of RFID throughout supply chains and enterprises.
This advanced technology became the basis for fixed RFID readers with distributed excitation architecture, coupled with software capable of performing advanced location algorithms. These readers were first developed for use in warehouses, loading docks and outdoor supply yards, where greater sensitivity was needed to achieve long read ranges up to 600 feet.
Benefits of RFID: Real-Time Visibility
Building on this expertise, Mojix has engineered a fully automated, fixed RFID system for indoor retail applications, offering greater tolerance for signals reflecting off surfaces. The heightened sensitivity of the Mojix STARflex reader enables even faint tag signals to be reliably detected and read after multiple reflections at longer distances, delivering maximum read rates and more precise location data in retail environments.
Beyond tracking inventory, the ability to extract meaningful, real-time data from a fixed RFID system allows retailers to take definitive action based on in-store analytics. Sophisticated software, like the Mojix ViZix software platform, enables a retailer to implement time-windowed, complex event processing to make predictions in real-time. For example, weather forecasts, inventory data, consumer sentiment and the upcoming holiday schedule could be used to optimize product planning for seasonal apparel.
Yet, the system also needs to be cost-effective and simple to deploy. To help retailers simplify RFID deployment and quickly realize value, Mojix offers their fixed reader solution as a monthly subscription service, including hardware, software, professional services and maintenance. OmniSenseRF Inventory Service enables a low-risk path to implement RFID in a cost-effective, pay-as-you-go system, fully realizing the retail promise of RFID with reliable, real-time inventory visibility and analytics for true competitive advantage. That was all for the benefits of RFID.