Webinar: What to expect when adding RFID to retail

Essential Retail is working alongside tech solutions provider, SML Group, to host a webinar on what to expect when adding RFID to retail.

Scheduled for Thursday 26 May, between 16:00-16:30 BST, the webinar will cover a number of real-life case studies about how RFID technology is having a positive impact on the businesses of American Apparel, Tesco and Herman Kay. Essential Retail editor, Ben Sillitoe, will moderate a discussion with SML's chief technology officer and SVP for RFID solutions, Dean Frew, who has worked in the RFID world for 20+ years.

Webinar: What to expect when adding RFID to retail. Sign up for the session, here.

Retailers are increasingly finding that an investment in RFID can generate greater inventory accuracy, reduced shrinkage, fewer sales lost to out-of-stocks and the elimination of third-party audits, among other benefits.  SML suggests that the unexpected benefits come from the new data that RFID can generate, particularly on how stock moves from warehouse to shop floor and back again.

SML has supplied RFID solutions to American Apparel, Tesco, Herman Kay and others, and the webinar will give listeners an opportunity to learn best practices, as well as gain advice and tips related to these deployments.

Frew will share details from specific business cases and outline proven results achieved through numerous enterprise-class retail deployments, identifying the major ways in which RFID is delivering what he describes as "Retail 3.0". 

Essential Retail (ER) caught up with Frew (DF), prior to the webinar, to hear some of his views.

ER: What would be your key advice to retailers looking to invest in RFID solutions for the first time?

DF: Focus on solving the most glaring issue. Poor inventory accuracy at the stock keeping unit level in the store.  Work through the progression of inventory accuracy then replenishment from back to front, then replenishment from DC to store,  then adjustment of inventory carried in the store.

When this it is done in this progression, out-of-stocks are dramatically reduced, sales are increased, inventory is reduced and shrink is reduced. Every time.

ER: Describe to us what you mean by Retail 3.0.

DF: If you look back over the last 50 years there have been major phases in retail related IT systems. Starting with tablet and pencil to cash register to barcode to eCommerce and now what we call 3.0.

Retail 3.0 relates to our observation that apparel and footwear retailers seem to be interested in and focused on wanting some combination of four solutions in the transformation to new more effectively customer service model. These four disruptive solutions are connected to each other: item-level inventory management, effective omnichannel models, improved customer experience and higher fidelity customer monitoring.

RFID is essential for item-level inventory management and effective omnichannel, and it does enhance experience and monitoring as well.

ER: What RFID demand are you experiencing from retailers? How much is it now on the wider industry's agenda?

DF: Even though the RFID in apparel retail has been around for over ten years, only in the last two to three years have we seen adoption noticeably ramping up. Our studies estimate that the market in 2015 was only slightly over 6% penetrated. The vast majority retailers and brand owners have the same issue, poor inventory accuracy, and now many are starting to acknowledge it. 

Webinar: What to expect when adding RFID to retail. Sign up for the session, here.