In The News

May 24th, 2018

Using RFID To Take Customer Service To The Next Level

Originally posted in The BarCode News

A leading global retailer in the UK serves 80 million shopping trips per week. A pioneer in leveraging technology to improve the customer experience, the brand has deployed RFID in hundreds of stores for accurate inventory management of one of the largest and most thorough retail RFID deployments in the world. Now the company is looking at new ways to use RFID to continue serving customers a little better every day.  Their team of more than 480,000 employees worldwide strives to serve shoppers a little better every day.

Blending this customer service heritage with a track record of innovation, this retailer has been at the forefront of revolutionizing the customer experience with the help of technology. As a fashion brand, this meant the deployment ofRFID technology to improve inventory management and enable more efficient and responsive shopper engagement models.  
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May 9th, 2018

Investigating active and intelligent packaging

Originally posted in Labels & Labeling 

‘There’s no way around active and intelligent packaging anymore,’ exclaims Eef de Ferrante, AIPIA executive director, in opening the association’s latest World Congress. 

It is evident that active and intelligent packaging technologies have become a much more common occurrence in recent times. They have taken on many forms, been used to deliver different results, and have broadened their reach into new markets and applications. For instance, CCL-Kontur has produced promotional labels for Miller Alcohol Free bottles in Russia featuring NFC tags that function as an active recording device. Selinko and Toppan Printing have launched a device that combines a sensor coupled with an RFID/ NFC tag for authentication and consumer engagement. WestRock has introduced connected packaging for smart products combining Digimarc’s enabled barcode technology with Evrythng’s IoT smart products platform. This last example has brought embedded, real time, connected digital intelligence to billons of WestRock packages, in-store signs and displays produced annually.
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May 8th, 2018

RFID and the Returns Epidemic: Item Level RFID Could be the Answer to Faster, Simpler Returns

Originally posted in Independent Retailer

Whether in Europe, the Americas or Asia, the retail industry is currently facing an epidemic. In the past, commentators weighed in on trends such as ‘the death of the highstreet,’ how to obtain and retain brand loyalty and how to improve customer experience. However, whilst the industry was debating these issues, another challenge began emerging. A challenge that could be costing retailers significant profits – the returns epidemic.

According to an article by CNN, US consumers return around $380 billion worth of goods each year and $90 billion of which will be processed during the festive season. On average, only half of returned items find their way back to the shelf and around $5 billion worth of items will end up in landfills.
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May 6th, 2018

Sportswear Retailers Gain Home Run With RFID

Originally posted on RFID Journal.com

Lids and Stadium AB are among the sports-related retailers that have benefitted from using radio frequency identification technology to manage fast-moving inventory that must keep up with sports equipment and seasonal trends. Lids conducted an RFID project to determine whether it could better manage its merchandise following the World Series in the winning city (Houston), while Stadium AB, located in Sweden, carried out an RFID pilot to manage fast rotations of products ranging from kayaks to apparel to shoe laces.

The two companies spoke about their projects with Dean Frew, the CTO and senior VP of RFID solutions at SML—the company that provided them with the RFID tag and software technology—at last month’s RFID Journal LIVE! 2018 conference an exhibition, held in Orlando, Fla.

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April 6th, 2018

Retailers Discuss the Benefits of RFID

Originally published on RFIDJournal.com

RFID Journal announced today that key leaders from the retail industry will discuss the benefits they are achieving from using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, at this year’s RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, which will be held next week at the Orange County Convention Center, located in Orlando, Fla. The session will provide an opportunity for retailers and brand owners to hear first-hand about the most important deployments in these sectors, and to find the solutions that meet their business needs.

The panelists include Greg Czerpak, the senior VP of merchandising at Lids, which ran an RFID project in conjunction with the World Series; Johan Stenström, a supply chain technologist at Stadium AB, which is currently running a successful RFID pilot; and Danielle Dawson, the former head of Tesco F&F’s RFID project and the current head of Capgemini’s connected retail initiative. (more…)

February 13th, 2018

How Can Retailers Overcome the Omnichannel Challenges from 2016?

Originally published in Jewellery Focus Magazine

Consumers’ needs have intensified in the past decade. Previously, having an online store to accompany your physical shop was seen as a luxury, now it is essential and online shopping has taken the next step to meet customer demand. Consumers want the ability to shop seamlessly across multiple devices anytime anywhere. Whatsmore, they want more than the promise of next day delivery and to have the opportunity to order online and pick up in store the very same day.

As the customers ask for more, retailers are struggling to keep up and failing to invest in the appropriate technologies that will allow for online visibility of inventory, pickup in store options and seamless omnichannel experiences. (more…)

February 9th, 2018

How Apparel E-tailers Can Embrace In-Store Pickup

We can pretty much stipulate that buy-online-pickup-in-store is on the list of buzz-worthy ongoing retail trends.

It was on the lips of many at last month’s NRF Big Show. Consumers are all in, with half of consumers telling pollsters they’ve used in-store pickup. And retailers are either knee-deep in the offering or are working hurriedly to build an effective system.

And it’s only a matter of time before we all figure out what the short-hand for the feature is — BOPUS, BOPIS, click-and-collect O2O (online-to-offline), etc.

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February 1st, 2018

Update from NRF’s Big Show

While attending the National Retail Federation’s Big Show 2018 this month, I had a chance to visit some of the radio frequency identification companies that were exhibiting at the event. Here are some highlights.

SML Group: The branding, technology and solutions company released a small new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID inlay that, according to the company, delivers 30 percent greater performance than other tags of its size. The high-performance tag is intended to make the RFID tagging of apparel easier by requiring less space on hang tickets, or it can be sewn into care labels. The GB4U8 inlay measures 42 millimeters by 16 millimeters (1.7 inches by 0.6 inch). It leverages NXP Semiconductors’ UCODE 8 chip, along with SML’s own antenna design, to accomplish high read sensitivity and improved read rates. SML also announced plans to expand its RFID solutions into other industries besides retail.

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January 22nd, 2018

How can retailers overcome the omnichannel challenges?

Consumers’ demands on retailers have intensified in the past decade. Previously, having an online store to accompany your physical shop was seen as a luxury, now it is essential and online shopping has taken the next step to meet customer demand.

Consumers want the ability to shop seamlessly across multiple devices anytime anywhere. Whatsmore, they want more than the promise of next day delivery and to have the opportunity to order online and pick up in store the very same day.

As the customers ask for more, retailers are struggling to keep up and falling behind in investment in the appropriate technologies that will allow for complete visibility of inventory, to enable pickup in store options and effective omnichannel experiences.

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January 16th, 2018

SML Group unveils small form factor retail RFID inlays powered by NXP’s UCODE 8 chip

Retail RFID solutions provider SML Group introduced what it describes as the first production ready small form factor RFID inlay for the retail industry using the super high sensitive RFID chip, UCODE 8, from NXP.

The GB4U8 RFID inlay, is fully compliant with GS1 EPC/RFID Gen2v2 standard, supports RAIN RFID with global UHF frequencies and meets the following Auburn University RFID Retailer Performance Specifications: Spec A, B, C, D, M, G, Q, F, and Spec N. GB4U8 RFID inlay, measuring only 42x16mm, is the first small format inlay in the RFID history to pass all active categories including F and N, making it ideal for use by omnichannel retailers in store and supply chain deployments around the world.

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