In the era of New Retail, how those in the distribution industry might integrate the wide multitude of sales and service channels, including physical distribution, virtual platforms, and mobile devices, with innovative models like big data analysis and
mobile internet, has become a requisite subject in technical management for retailers eagerly searching for ways to enhance their business performance. Now, with EPC (Electronic Product Code) and EAN (European Article Number) barcode standards released by
GS1 Taiwan on 23rd of March , 2018, it is possible to integrate these with existing GTIN (Global Trade Item Number) codes, seamlessly transfer product data, and write to RFID tag identification systems that use EPC memory blocks as primary data carriers.
All these serve to quicken the realization of business stratagems like the operation and deployment of smart retailing and unmanned stores.
Mr. Peng Yun Hsin, Service Director at GS1 Taiwan, puts it this way: “Merchandise in unmanned retail stores primarily use RFID tags for automated checkouts and inventory management. With existing international GS1 barcodes being transferable into RFID
codes without additional database requirements, the time and work needed for deploying and managing unmanned stores are minimized. By collecting data through technologies such as facial recognition and mobile payment, and retrieving relevant information via
big data processing, retailers can obtain ever more accurate pictures of consumer preferences and purchase habits, use them to optimize their business operations, and make more effective inventory decisions.”
The vast array of daily essentials on sale at supermarkets and convenience stores are marked primarily with EAN barcodes. EAN codes are not only most widely used with barcodes, but also form the basis of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), whose advantages
include improved logistics efficiency, accurate inventories, automated checkout, and anti-theft functionalities.
Mr. Kao Shao Ming, General Director of CymMetrik Group, says: “Enterprises should leverage international standards and Taiwan's strengths in hardware to quickly establish a presence in unmanned retailing is a challenge faced by the retail industry in this
digital age. CymMetrik is putting its full weight behind providing its enterprise clientele with printing application and value-added service solutions. With RFID labeling, CymMetrik starts with its near 50 years of experience in label printing and processing
technology, integrates international RFID coding standards, offers RFID labeling services that range from structural design and printing to labeling and encoding as well as providing unified merchandise management platform solutions. Through RFID labeling,
CymMetrik enables complete autonomous product identification, data retrieval, and information exchange, speeding implementations toward the vision of unmanned stores.”
Mr. Gao talked about Japan's Lawson chain, which uses RFID labeling technology to enhance staff productivity by reducing highly repetitive work. China's Bingo Box, his other example, scans each customer's personal ID and uses video cameras to scan faces
when he enters the store and using product HF RFID tags (for payment verification) has deployed in 28 cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, for round-the-clock sales opportunities.
Currently, the cost of using RFID is far cheaper than using image recognition, and it starts with tagging a product with an RFID label, which will tell the reader if the product is a bottle of water or a box of cookies. This is achieved by obtaining a
set of unique numbers through scanning and having it processed at the back-end system. Compared to traditional barcodes, which require separate inventory taking and receiving for every item, RFID labels can be read in bulk which increases efficiency and reduces
labor. This feature also saves tremendous work during payment, as items would not need to be individually processed.
CymMetrik's RFID label services include structural design and printing, with optional color printing that enhances brand imaging. It also provides suitable adhesives for every client's needs. Presently, numerous fast fashion clothing brands are switching
to RFID to provide convenience to customers and supply data to the company, allowing it to stay on top of sales trends for popular products.
With a more matured cloud computing technology, the global market is shifting towards an Age of IoT (Internet of Things), and when consumers choose and purchase products all on their own, with backend logistics and supply systems supporting the entire
structure this needs. Behind the layers upon layers of information exchange lies the tremendous IoT business opportunity, driving the application of unmanned retail store technologies and optimizing consumer experiences and inventory management within brick
and mortar stores.
GS1 (Global Standards One), the international barcode organization, is the world's leader in data standards. Deeply entrenched and widely used in commercial markets across the world, it reaches
multiple industries and spans lines of businesses. Its Taiwan branch has served over 18,000 domestic companies, seamlessly connecting them through product identification codes and information flow. Helping businesses to quickly understand market changes
and smooth their product flow, GS1 is an important partner in key services and technologies.