Kurt Salmon RFID in Retail Study 2016

RFID is on the rise. In Kurt Salmon’s first large retail study of radio frequency identification (RFID) in 2014, 34% of respondents had either implemented or were currently implementing or piloting RFID. Today, that’s more than doubled, to 73%. Part of the reason for the significant growth in RFID use is that more and more retailers have the ROI data to prove that the technology is delivering significant results.

In May 2016, Kurt Salmon surveyed 60 soft lines retailers and wholesalers with revenues of at least $500 million, following a survey of a similar group of retailers in 2014.

One standout among ROI measures: inventory accuracy. Inventory accuracy is the most widely used metric—93% of retailers surveyed measure it related to RFID—with the largest improvements due to RFID—an average of 25.4%. Even more interesting: Retailers reported that lack of inventory accuracy accounts for a loss of 8.7% of total sales, on average.

For the 27% of retailers not implementing RFID, 86% say it’s because management is focused on other priorities, but only 2% said management didn’t believe RFID would provide substantial benefits.

Those who are using RFID are seeing significant improvements in inventory accuracy and reductions in out-of-stocks, cost of goods sold and other areas essential to staying competitive. Now, those benefits are quantified and so compelling that they may convince even the 2% who are holding out. RFID continues to be a critical tool for both omnichannel and customer engagement initiatives that are central to a retailer’s future success.

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