RFID for Retail Stock Control and Inventory Management

RFID for Retail Stock Control and Inventory Management

Many retail stores in Nigeria and other parts of the world regard inventory management as a challenging task this is owed mainly to the number of hours used for checking, reconciliation, and tracking stocks manually. For retailers with an Omnichannel business model where inventory gets pooled between physical and online stores, your stock is constantly moving through your supply chain. Having an up-to-date and accurate inventory tracking process ensures product availability across your multiple channels, customer satisfaction, and keeping you ahead of the competition. RFID for retail stock and inventory management solutions can be of significant value to your business.

RFID solutions for retailers offer real-time visibility of your supply chain. It also eliminates the risk of understocking or overstocking, errors in the supply chain, or any shrinkage. Overall, the system contributes to a better customer experience.

Typically, retail stores make use of barcodes for inventory management. However, the downside of barcodes is that you can only scan one at a time, it also requires a direct line of sight for the barcode scanner to read it, on the other hand, the RFID UHF can perform hundreds of reading acquisition per second and doesn’t require a direct line of sight between the reader and the RFID tags. RFID makes taking inventory not only faster but much accurate than using barcodes. 

What Makes Up an RFID Solution for Retail Stock Control and Inventory Management.

RFID for stock control and Inventory management can be configured differently depending on the company’s needs. A standard setup could consist of RFID tags and a mobile handheld reader. The handheld reader scans inventory items in and out of stock and can be used multiple times per day, both in front and back of the house. 

If a business opts for the fixed RFID solution, this process requires less manual process than a handheld reader system. The process gets achieved through gateways, fixed portals, or overhead systems installed in the front or back of the store and set up to take inventory on a schedule. 

The best way an RFID solution for stock and inventory management can be created is by considering each company’s unique setup and requirements. Although, most companies choose to use a combination of a fixed and handheld reader system to reduce manual process and enable additional RFID applications like inventory picking, Shipment verification, and flexibility to search for lost items.

Also, with some setups, RFID solutions can provide custom features depending on the retailer’s needs. One example is the unique shelve unit. This custom software is programmed to send alerts when an item is removed or returned to a shelf or a product removed for a certain period. These features enable retailers to set parameters on certain shelves that can be ideal for theft prevention.

Using RFID Tags and Readers 

As with any application, choosing the correct RFID tag is critical to its success. RFID tags have a tiny chip with a small aerial encoded to house digital information about a particular item. When the RFID tag gets within the range of an RFID reader, radio signals get emitted between the RFID tag and the RFID Reader. The information encoded in the RFID tag is transmitted and received by the RFID reader. The encoded information collected by the reader is collated and processed using special computer software. RFID Readers can be placed at different positions within a factory or warehouse to show the movement of goods as they get moved through the supply chain.

Using RFID tagging for inventory management and stock control offers multiple benefits over other methods such as barcodes:

  • Tags are read remotely and often at a distance of several meters.
  • Several tags can be read at a go, enabling checking of an entire pallet-load of products simultaneously.
  • Individual RFID tags have unique identification codes so that you can track the tagged products serially.
  • Certain types of RFID tags are re-encodable, enabling information about items to be updated. For example, when moved from one part of a factory to another.

RFID tagging help:

  • To prevent under-stocking or over-stocking a product or component
  • For stock security, by positioning tag-readers at points of high risks, such as exits, and causing them to trigger alarms
  • For quality control, especially if you make or stock items with a limited shelf life.

Below are some of the most important factors to consider while choosing an RFID tag for a retail environment.

1. Form: 

Labels, wet inlays, and hang tags are the most commonly used forms for a retail inventory application.

2. Sizes: 

Tag sizes are a necessary factor to consider when tagging small retail products like hair accessories. For small products, we recommend the use of hang-tags or loopable tags.

3. Mounting Surfaces: 

Most retail inventory applications do not involve metal items, but for specific use cases like jewelry tracking, make sure to use a metal-mount tag for tagging metal or metallic products.

4. Attachment Methods: 

RFID tags that are easily removable after purchase are the tags recommended for use in retail environments. Adhesive, string, or plastic tag fasteners, are examples of RFID tag attachment methods used for easy removal.

5. Reading range: 

Read range requirements may vary depending on the specific hardware setup, but generally, the desired range is between 3 and 10 feet.


A successful RFID stock control and inventory management solution should provide your business with a clear, accurate picture of your inventory in real-time. It provides item-level visibility from its arrival till the end -the sale, and reports made off all its specific and unique data embedded in the software.

POS Shop offers RFID solutions in Nigeria and around West Africa, providing configuration, system integration, and deployment services with an integrated suite of products which includes RFID tags, readers, application software, and printers. Tell us about your business at pos@posshop-ng.com. We would like to know more about you and how we can help.