A professor at Ithaca College in New York is collaborating with researchers at the University of Cologne in Germany and University of Parma in Italy to study RFID adoption patterns by retailers in the U.S. and Europe. Narges Kasiri, a professor in the Ithaca College of Business, received a Fulbright Innovation Grant to study the use of RFID in retail and how to improve standards. Her research began in May and will continue through next August.
Major retailers like Macy’s, Kohl’s and Target are all deploying RFID to increase inventory accuracy and to enable omni-channel shopping, among other advantages. Macy’s, for example, is using RFID to access its full inventory assortment and establishing enterprise-wide inventory accuracy in key product categories to fulfill customer demand. Having this level of inventory accuracy and visibility helps Macy’s drive increased sales to provide a better customer experience.
Kasiri says that more retailers are adopting RFID as costs drop and its advantages are being realized, but a number of issues remain, including how retailers can best manage consumer privacy, since the information gathered from RFID-equipped products can effectively identify and track a shopper’s movement within a store.
“At macro level, we will study how policies on privacy and other issues across countries and continents have influenced the adoption of RFID,” says Kasiri. “At a micro level, we will investigate RFID-enabled changes in the retail industry, from store layouts and shelf spaces to processes such as assortment management and product replenishment. This analysis will help us develop some guidelines for more comprehensive and standardized adoption of the technology.”