Expanding Your RAIN RFID Solution Can Improve Store Operations

Ashley Burkle, Sr. Manager of Retail Solutions

June 6, 2018

Technology adoption is like most things in life: you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run. We had dial-up before we had gigabit internet. We had giant computers before we had tablets. In this sense, RAIN RFID adoption is no different: many retailers today are using RAIN RFID to optimize inventory management via cycle counts with handheld readers.

RAIN RFID Reader overhead in store

This adoption is relatively simple and accessible. Moving to the next phase—fixed readers and always-on inventory visibility—however, may seem as big a jump as the move from landlines to the iPhone X.

Always-on RAIN RFID solutions don’t require huge investments
Typically, always-on “overhead” RAIN RFID solutions include fixed readers, or gateways, mounted overhead at fixed intervals throughout a store. But it’s actually not necessary for retailers to blanket stores with readers; you can achieve a continuous read effect by placing fixed readers at strategic points in the store.

By strategic points I mean points of transition, where a tagged item might move from one key place in the store to another. These could include:

  • The back door
  • The customer exit door
  • The fitting room entrance
  • The stock room to sales floor door

Other strategic read points could include the POS, over strategic products and categories that have high turnover, high value, or high theft.

These transition points provide always-on inventory monitoring while simultaneously decreasing the amount of labor required for inventory checks. And while this “strategic read point” solution does not provide the same granular level of data about inventory availability and location that an always-on “overhead” solution, it will still provide a significant improvement over the manual, more labor-intensive inventory counts that a “handheld” solution delivers.

Expanded applications add value to your current RAIN RFID solution
By deploying RAIN RFID readers in this way, you can expand your current solution to include additional applications for store and omnichannel operations as well as augment your current inventory management solution.

With always-on RAIN RFID readers in strategic locations in your store, you can increase operational efficiency in multiple ways including:

  • Replenishment— keep shelves full and customers happy by monitoring when items need to be restocked or reshelved after they have been abandoned
  • Merchandising—increase conversions or identify problem items by understanding which items made it out of the fitting room and which were abandoned
  • Loss prevention—prevent loss by knowing which items were taken from the store and augment with video footage to see the path of theft and other patterns

RAIN RFID store operations solutions are an easy, natural next step to your RAIN RFID solution deployment, and a great way to increase your ROI. It’s a good time to think about “what’s next” with your RAIN RFID program—especially when you know it doesn’t have to be a monumental effort.

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IMPINJ

Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.

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