Gartner Recommendation: “Reconsider RFID”


November 14, 2016

RFID has come a long way from the days when it was used to identify enemy aircraft during World War II. Today, RAIN RFID is transforming the retail industry by improving inventory accuracy, visibility and management. As a result, RAIN is helping retailers streamline their multichannel operations, increase employee productivity, and delight customers. (RAIN is the brand name for RFID that is built on the UHF Gen2 global standard.)

A new Gartner report, “Reconsider RFID: A Re-emerging Technology That Is Bringing New Life to Digital Business,” traces the evolution of RFID from the front lines of battle to the front lines of modern retailing. The report explains how technological advances and falling prices make a strong case for retailers to invest in RFID solutions and take advantage of the benefits they provide.

From the report: “Retailers should reconsider RFID capabilities, to understand how an investment in RFID can be used to decrease the time associates spend on tasks, improve inventory optimization and contribute to an overall better customer experience.”

The “Reconsider RFID” report includes findings from Gartner's 2015 Consumer Survey, which captured consumers’ preferred methods for completing various tasks while shopping in a physical store. Gartner surveyed 5,054 consumers in five countries worldwide (U.S., U.K., India, China and South Korea).  

The Gartner survey found that 76% of total respondents currently wander the aisles or require help from an associate to find a product in a store. Additionally, to check whether a product is in stock, 66% require the aid of an associate. These activities can be time-consuming and frustrating for both customers and associates. RAIN RFID has the potential to reduce the time needed for associates to complete tasks and quickly locate products, both contributing to a better customer experience.

Many Impinj customers are using RAIN RFID solutions to realize the benefits and business value that the Gartner report describes. And no wonder. As the Gartner report notes:  “RFID provides for nearly 100% accurate, real-time inventory information.”

  • Hy-Vee, a major Midwestern grocery store chain with annual sales of more than $8 billion, uses the Impinj platform and RAIN RFID to manage and automate the complex needs of its cold chain—dairy products, fresh meats, seafood, deli items, produce and frozen goods—and to increase product consistency and quality while reducing labor costs.
  • Macy’s is using RAIN RFID to provide same-day delivery service to consumers in a growing number of U.S. cities. With an inventory and distribution management system that incorporates RAIN RFID technology, Macy’s is able to achieve 24/7 monitoring of tagged items with a resounding accuracy rate of 97 percent or better. By tagging many types of items and leveraging RAIN RFID readers to monitor in-store inventory at 900 retail locations nationwide, Macy’s can fill and ship orders quickly to meet same-day delivery timelines.
  • Tavern Restaurant Group provides a unique customer experience at their Tampa restaurant--allowing customers to pour their own beer in a controlled environment. The Impinj platform also made it possible for the restaurant to sell 13.7 percent more beer, compared to a traditional pub, and to increase the number of pours they get from each keg by up to 20 percent.

As the Gartner report explains: “RFID technology has evolved significantly since its debut decades ago, and the applications are compelling for digital business. Retail CIOs should reconsider the use cases for RFID, and identify how it can improve execution in the unified commerce marketplace and create a competitive advantage.”


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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