Staying ahead of the trend with RFID and digital ID

Staying ahead of the trend with RFID and digital ID

Today’s and tomorrow’s consumers expect to buy what they want anytime, anywhere, wholly on their terms. Understanding how to properly fulfill this evolving, unpredictable channel demand is a key strategic focus in today’s retail market. 

As a result, apparel and footwear brands and retailers have been some of the first to add RFID and digital identities to every product, with the goal of optimizing the consumer experience and further driving conversions. According to Auburn University, apparel retailers currently have 65% inventory accuracy without RFID. With RFID, the rate improves up to 99%. The key metrics from the brand and retailer perspective is to improve inventory accuracy and brand security to create a more satisfying omnichannel shopping experience that is focused on maximizing convenience and utility. 

Giving consumers what they want – and more

With Avery Dennison digital ID technologies, brands and retailers can give consumers what they want – a simple, convenient and transparent shopping and brand experience. By utilizing RFID apparel retailers are radically optimizing supply chains, authenticating brand integrity and engaging their customers in a world class consumer experience.

  • While comprehensive touchless solutions of course provide maximum benefit, Avery Dennison offers an implementation vision to enable these key use cases across the full supply chain from factory to consumer: 
  • The first step is to get all items RFID tagged at source and set the foundation from factory, to distribution centers and stores in order to maximize inventory accuracy across the entire supply chain.
  • The second step is to optimize supply chain operations and maximize omnichannel business value with new consumer delivery trends like buy online and pick up in store, ship from store, curbside pickup and same day delivery – while also making sure that in store shoppers can find exactly what they are looking for. 
  • The third step is to look at other applications that are enabled by these touchless technologies even beyond inventory accuracy optimization. This includes POS checkout, loss visibility, as well as bringing the product to life via an EPC enabled QR code or NFC tag to enable richer consumer interactions.

The evolution of retail 

Retail is evolving from the traditional push model to a future ‘Internet of Things’ model. Now, new models are emerging and, as familiarity with the technology grows, the digital ID “ecosystem” powered by RFID, NFC, QR, Bluetooth and more is predicted to produce even more exciting and profitable applications. 

  • Inventory accuracy: Digital is ubiquitous, and shoppers are becoming increasingly channel-agnostic. Accurate inventory management is crucial to enable full stock visibility and guarantee a product’s availability for the customer — no matter the channel. 
  • Brand protection: Product authentication is key for brand trust and to combat counterfeiting. Our connected product cloud enables brands to digitize their entire production line and give customers the certainty of purchasing an authentic product.
  • Circular economy: Re-use, recycle, re-imagine. Giving clothing a new lease of life is more and more crucial for consumers and brands alike. RFID labels with a corresponding QR code or NFC tag can provide information about a garment directly to the consumer: How to wash it to prolong usage, what it is made of, closest recycling points, etc., supporting a more conscious approach to apparel production and consumption.
  • Consumer engagement: Directly connecting your brand to your customers is more and more crucial in a world full of information overload. With RFID, shoppers can interact with your product in a way that goes beyond the point of sale, without the need for ambassadors or middlemen. Our connected product cloud enables brands to digitize their  enables brands and retailers to connect and communicate with consumers via their products. By assigning each item a unique digital ID and “digital personality”,  brands can transform their marketing efforts, increasing customer engagement while also capturing real-time data and consumer insights for every product, from manufacturing to end-of-life.

Follow the journey with connected product cloud: Sustainable footwear and a merino wool sweater enables products to become direct communication channels with customers by turning them into digital platforms. With’s potential for end-to-end supply chain transparency, customers can see the full journey of a product: From the origins of the materials used to the people who made it, the authenticity of the brand and its carbon footprint. Post purchase, brands can engage with customers on a whole new level, giving care tips to minimize waste, enabling circularity and recommerce initiatives and providing even more personalized experiences. 

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Our products & innovations

When apparel is densely stacked in stockrooms or on display units, traditional tags can be difficult to read. The AD-332u8 inlay has been designed to deliver superior reliability in such high-density, close proximity situations. This is the first inlay on the market that has already proven its promised performance and reliability in high-volume customer deployments in the fashion retail segment, and is the industry’s first Spec H tag in general use.

For situations where shrinkage is a problem but inventory accuracy is also important, the dual-technology AD-362r6-P inlay combines the accurate item-level tracking and digital ID capabilities of a high-performance RAIN RFID (UHF) tag with the loss prevention functionality of an EAS tag. This unique dual-technology design in a single die-cut label is suitable for a wide range of retail apparel products and applications.

For more available products and solutions, you can explore our product finder here.

So, what does that mean in practice?

How is enabling circularity and consumer engagement for a global sportswear brand

When it comes to sustainability and waste, the ability to connect products and then track data around its usage, around where it came from, where it’s going and its conditions, can help drive much more efficient and sustainable supply chains. The adidas Infinite Play program is one example of how a brand can facilitate reuse. It allows owners of adidas items to return it to the brand, where it can be repaired and sold again, or recycled if it is beyond repair. 

Success story, continued: Levi's to equip 3,000 stores with RFID technology by Avery Dennison

Levi Strauss & Co. is not only one of the world's largest brand-name apparel companies and a global leader in jeanswear, It’s also a dedicated user of RFID technology and a long-time customer of Avery Dennison. Now, the joint success story enters a new stage that exemplifies RFID’s role in the future of apparel retail.

How RFID enables autonomous robot-based inventory management at a sporting goods retailer

Simbe Robotics and Decathlon USA partnered to bring Simbe’s Tally robots to the French sporting goods retailer. Tally’s vision is powered by Avery Dennison’s UHF RFID technology, allowing the robot to capture and analyze soft-tagged inventory items throughout the store. Join us to experience “retail nirvana” at Avery Dennison’s RFID Lab in Miamisburg, Ohio.

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