Woven into the fabric of retail
The solution, put simply, is Connected Textiles – the next level of advanced RFID labeling solutions that make products smart, by integrating RFID intelligence into the product itself. This allows brands and retailers to implement more value-driving use cases based on one single and reliable solution.
AD TexTrace™ technology from Avery Dennison is exactly that: a technology that enables RFID functionality to be embedded into custom-made woven or knitted inlays, which can then be sewn onto or inserted into products. Creating huge opportunities to extend the value of RFID beyond the point of sale.
Brands and retailers can use these discreet inlays to fulfill many value-added business processes simultaneously. They offer improved inventory management, while enhancing and digitizing loss prevention systems and electronic article surveillance (EAS). When fully deployed, they can also underpin omnichannel operations, as well as enabling contactless checkout, enhanced consumer experiences and many more advanced functions.
What’s more, the inlays are soft to the touch while offering durability and washability, combined with the market-leading performance of the latest RAIN RFID chips.
Durability for sustainability in a circular world
Since AD TexTrace inlays are part of the product, they can be used to harvest useful information on the materials used, the supply chain or an item’s carbon footprint. In addition, they will soon be able to last for the entire lifecycle of the product, enabling circularity through resale or recycling.
Achieving this will give brands and retailers the ability to use the RFID data carrier throughout the whole lifecycle of the product from manufacturing to final recycling, and to implement circularity-oriented use cases. This is important to support and comply with legislation that governments worldwide are expected to introduce in the near future. For example, the EU has already announced its Circular Economy Action Plan, which will require “digital passports” for products in the textile, construction and industrial/electric vehicle battery sectors by 2024.
The AD TexTrace portfolio contains several types of integrated digital identification products which fulfill different levels and categories of sustainability. All Avery Dennison products are responsibly designed and manufactured using the maximum possible amount of recyclable materials, without the use of chemicals, and mindful of form factor to reduce material use and waste as much as possible.
Electronic Article Surveillance built into the product
As brands and retailers continue to increase their online (omnichannel) sales, having a clear view of inventory and returns helps to optimize stock-management and production planning. By making the RFID inlay part of the product, it can also be used for EAS purposes and also for easier return management.
AD TexTrace allows retailers to move away from analog technology to a digital EAS/loss prevention system. A fully digital EAS system creates more usable data to improve on the functionality of current systems. Data is the key element that can take loss prevention systems to the next level, and AD TexTrace delivers on this promise.
This technology takes things one step further by digitizing the point of sale, which in turn can improve your Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a system that allows you to quickly determine how happy your customers are, and it’s vital in building a successful retail business. Digitizing the point of sale can greatly enhance the consumer experience. It allows much faster checkout, with reduced waiting time, and can even support the introduction of fully digitized self-checkout systems for a truly frictionless shopping experience.
In purely practical terms, a reliable loss prevention solution needs to be fixed to the product so that it cannot be easily removed without damaging, destroying or decreasing the value of the garment. All AD TexTrace products in the portfolio fulfill this requirement. The type of integration depends on individual products, and varies from a sewn-in brand label up to a completely invisible label in the overlock of a product.
A better customer experience, both before and after point of sale
Combining EAS functionality into one AD TexTrace tag changes the customer experience, because it avoids the use of a supplementary hard tag. This enables frictionless self-checkout and avoids the possibility of the tag making holes in the product, as well as huge inconvenience (and embarrassment) for the customer if the tag is mistakenly left in place.
RFID enables many more customer experience-oriented use cases such as smart shelves and dressing rooms that display product information, smart screens for cross-selling advertisements, self-checkouts, and so on.
Unlocking a more intelligent future
The vision is that Connected Textiles will represent an IoT solution that will benefit people, businesses and also the planet. To do this effectively, the data carriers must combine multiple functionalities, be reliable and last for the life of the product. The inlays and their form factors must also be designed and manufactured to deliver the most sustainable products possible. In support of this vision, new form factors and colorways will be added to the list of available AD TexTrace options on a continuous basis, to expand the universe of possible use cases.
These parameters are the first key element of Avery Dennison’s AD TexTrace solution portfolio, making them the essential building blocks of Connected Textiles. The other side of the IoT coin is atma.io, Avery Dennison’s connected product cloud. atma.io is a platform that unlocks the power of connected products by assigning unique digital IDs to everyday items, providing unparalleled end-to-end transparency by tracking, storing and managing all the events associated with each individual product — from source to consumer and beyond, to enable circularity. Find out more.
The first global rollout with one of the world’s largest fashion retailers will happen in early 2023. If you’re looking for the next generation of integrated RFID solutions, then AD TexTrace solutions may be just what you need to enhance inventory management, prevent loss, optimize your supply chain, track your carbon footprint, and engage consumers more deeply with your brand. For further information about AD TexTrace products and applications, please see below.