Retail RFID Trends

7 Retail RFID Trends You Need to Know About

RFID is a highly useful and increasingly necessary technology that enables each process of the retail supply chain to track millions of items, from raw materials to the customer’s purchase. 

Done right, RFID also provides extremely valuable data in real-time that enables better business decisions. That’s not new news. However, there are recent changes in retail RFID that every part of the supply chain needs to know about to stay competitive.

The Ecosystem Is Evolving

If you’re providing items for retail sale, you know that retail outlets require suppliers to tag merchandise at the factory to their specifications. This requirement increases the need for accurate item-level tracking throughout the manufacturing process. 

In addition, smart packaging is here, and it can provide information to the customer about freshness, authenticity, movements, quality, and manufacturing details. How will you provide and collect this data and harness it to benefit your business? 

What about a reliable way to manage serialization and lock in distributed print and encode operations? 

You can move confidently through industry changes with MSM Solutions by your side. We have the expertise, equipment, and software to ensure you’re making decisions that support your business’s growth. The retail environment will continue to evolve, and we can help you harness the changes and flourish.

Seven Retail RFID Trends

1. RFID Tag Encoding Validation

It’s not enough to print an EPC tag and consider it done. Verifying that the tags are readable and meet GS1 industry standards is critical. The industry accepts GS1 as a common language that enables the entire supply chain to identify, capture, and share data. 

MSM Solutions’ PortalTrack software meets GS1 standards, confirms ticket and label quality, and ensures they meet your customer’s requirements. Validation can occur as part of an in-line conveyor system or a thermal printing system that notifies you if a tag doesn’t meet your standards. Validation means fewer chargebacks, cost reductions, and improved ROI. Here are a few other benefits:

  • Ensure shipment accuracy
  • Easily manage order and replenishment processes
  • Protect your downstream inventory management
  • Reduce counterfeiting 

MSM Solutions also provides a program on the Zebra MC3300 RFID reader that makes it easy to spot-check for validation. As soon as the tag scans, the user receives instant feedback with a pass or fail. Feedback includes the UPC, EPC value, and chip type. 

2. 100% Inbound & Outbound Monitoring 

MSM Solutions’ RFID systems and PortalTrack give you 100% visibility into your supply chain. When customer relationships are at stake, sometimes spot checks aren’t enough. With the right RFID configuration, you can be confident that shipping and receiving are accurate and that your customers receive what they ordered. 

You can also ensure that you have the products or raw materials you need to keep producing and meet your committed production levels. 

3. 100% Inventory to the Item Level

Large retail establishments need products to sell, and they are big enough to go somewhere else if you can’t provide what they need. RFID and PortalTrack track every item in stock, coming and going, giving you instantaneous, actionable data so you know what you have in stock and what you need to order so you can deliver on time, every time.


The pandemic changed the way we buy products. Retailers created new ways to stay in business in the face of government restrictions, lockdowns, and customer concerns about contracting COVID. One service that was in its infancy before the pandemic but expanded during the COVID years was to buy online and pick up in the store (or at the curb) (BOPIS). 

Customers liked this arrangement because they have continued to purchase this way, even years after the pandemic ended. Today, the U.S. has the largest pick-up economy in the world. It was $95.9 billion in 2022 – 9% of ecommerce sales. Between 2022 and 2023, curbside pickup grew 66%, 60% of millennials used it, and nearly two-thirds of U.S. retailers now offer it. 

BOPIS requires omnichannel readiness, including inventory accuracy, seamless integration, and a single view for the customer. In a study of 20+ retailers in 100+ categories, general industry inventory accuracy, for example, was 35% compared to 100% for those using RFID. 

Inventory accuracy is critical for BOPIS. Customers and in-store personnel must have accurate online and in-store numbers for BOPIS to be successful.

5. Robot Inventory Management

As the retail ecosystem evolves, one development that is revolutionizing warehouse inventory control is the use of robots. These autonomous technological wonders travel throughout a warehouse, scanning RFID tags affixed to products and instantaneously reporting inventory numbers so personnel can make real-time decisions. 

Implementing the most effective RFID system to accommodate robotic reading is crucial for the technology’s effectiveness. MSM Solutions helps implement RFID systems that enable you to evolve with the industry. 

6. In-Store Customer Experience

Brick-and-mortar retailers continually seek to improve the in-store experience to attract and retain customers. Even with the convenience of online purchasing, customers often want to see, touch, and try products before buying. It’s an instant gratification and often a social experience. 

Retailers add kiosks for self-service checkout, product information, and personalized recommendations and promotions. Retailers can provide information about new styles, product details, and styling suggestions in fitting rooms. RFID is the technology that enables these new customer experiences. 

7. Customization

Effective RFID deployments are custom by nature. No two enterprises need precisely the same configuration. When MSM Solutions takes on an RFID project, we first talk with you and evaluate the goals and circumstances in which the installation will occur. We plan the deployment accordingly. We have a range of equipment, software, tags, printers, mobile computers, and more at our fingertips.

Beyond customizing your installation, we customize tags for your application. Most retail outlets require item-level tagging printed to their specifications. Do you need hang tags, paper shipping labels, hard-encased tags, or specialty tags? We carry them all. Make label printing simple and easy with in-house printing of linear and 2D barcodes, human-readable number sequencing, and product descriptions. 

Brand identity is a critical factor in retailing. Make sure your RFID tags reflect the pride you have in your products by adding your logo or other identifying information. Print on demand to avoid excess or obsolete tag inventory and improve serialization management. 

Do It Right the First Time

You have much at stake when adding or upgrading your RFID systems. Working with MSM Solutions, you have a knowledgeable partner with a complete suite of equipment, software, and supply options to customize your solution. With the speed of change in the retail industry, it is critical to configure for change and growth, preparing for what we see coming and for what we don’t yet know. Contact MSM Solutions today to learn more.

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