Other segments will follow apparel’s lead. Beauty brand owners and retailers, for example, will particularly benefit from increased visibility into high SKU and inventory levels. They’ll cut time and labor costs by replacing manual scanning of every item with a single worker equipped with an RFID reader that can count tens of thousands of items in under an hour.
Grocery retailers and food service distributors will gain greater visibility into the expiration dates of perishables with RFID, allowing them to sell items nearing their expiration dates sooner, more quickly identify recalled products and ensure customer safety throughout the food supply chain. By equipping employees with RFID readers that scan hundreds of items per second, companies can eliminate manual checking of sell-by dates and reduce labor costs by up to 50 percent
Intelligent labels will also advance sustainability. In the food segment, for example, the technology will allow producers and retailers to avoid spoilage and waste. Across segments, they’ll connect to consumers’ mobile phones to provide information on a product’s origins and on how the item can be cared for and eventually recycled.
Ultimately, as smartphones develop, and as intelligent-label reading devices become standard in appliances and closets, intelligent labels will move into consumers’ homes, making it easy to re-order products, get recycling information, and more. Individuals will be able to opt into programs allowing companies to gather more detailed data on their behavior and preferences, allowing more personalized and meaningful one-on-one experiences.
The efficiencies, cost-savings and improved consumer experiences that intelligent labels enable make their wide-scale adoption a matter of when, not if. Forward-thinking companies can explore RFID-enabled solutions now, and prepare for the coming decade, when transformations in how we all connect with products and consumers will evolve quickly, along with the expectations of consumers themselves.