RFID in the hands of the consumer.

You know what you’re looking for. All you need is to make sure that the store has it. Before spending money on gas to get there, you call up the store to ask if they have your treasured item. “Yes, we have 11 of them on hand,” they say after checking their system’s inventory records. “Great! Now all I need to do is run down to the store and pick it up,” you think to yourself. All things seem to be going smoothly until you arrive at the store only to find out that they actually don’t have your item. Has this happened to you? It has happened to me far too many times.

As people’s everyday lives become busier, retailers constantly strive to make the shoppers’ in store experiences as enjoyable as possible. Welcome to the world of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Most retailers tend to look at RFID as a way to help increase their efficiency in tracking store inventory, monitoring the location of items within the store, and loss prevention. In doing so, the consumer benefits by the store’s ability to track and locate items with ease, creating a more pleasurable shopping experience. Retailers all over the world are utilizing RFID, which not only leads to efficiencies, but also cost savings. As RFID becomes less expensive to initiate, more and more retailers are jumping on board to utilize this powerful technology.

But what if retailers utilized their ability to monitor the location of items within their store to enhance your shopping experience? Imagine the freedom consumers would have if a store built their internal RFID tracking system into their website. Not only could you confirm total on-hands, but you could also confirm the items location in the store before you even walk out your door. Talk about taking control of your shopping experience! But this brings up some interesting questions. Would this increase the number of “mission based shoppers” and if so, how would it change in store shopping dynamics? Would a retailer want to give consumers this level of visibility? Something to think about…

– Image from Wikipedia.org