Inventory accuracy is key to retail success, but anyone who has had to count inventory at least once will say it is a nightmare to manage. It’s endless, it’s hard, and there are usually mistakes. However, this doesn’t have to be the case thanks to RFID technology. In this blog post, we will discuss the struggles of inventory counts and how to master those using RFID technology.

Why are traditional inventory counts so complicated?

Most retailers today count inventory only once or twice a year. This means that many things happen to the stock between those occasions, leading to significant gaps between the records and reality. As a result, this is an event that requires extensive preparation and is not easy to execute. Here are the main common challenges faced by retailers when counting inventory:

Time-consuming and labor-intensive process

From preparing the stock for inventory to actually counting it, searching for missing items, investigating mistakes, and finally completing the count and returning the store to its original state, this is a massive operation that takes hours. Sometimes, it requires the staff to stay up all night to complete the job.

Of course, this is a stressful event for all the employees, and many of them try to avoid counts with any excuse possible, leading to smaller groups of employees having to take on extra work, which is frustrating.

Human errors leading to inaccurate inventory data

People make mistakes. There is nothing you can do about it. This can result from a lack of concentration, exhaustion, confusion, or typing/writing errors. Either way, the consequences are obvious: you will have inaccuracies in the stock record.

In addition, employees might feel uncomfortable with the significant gaps between the records and the actual numbers, leading them to round up the figures to make the situation look better in the eyes of their managers.

Disruption to daily operations and customer service

Inventory counts are not only inconvenient for employees but can also disrupt the ongoing operation of the store, affecting customer service as well. Some stores have to close their doors to count inventory, changing their opening hours, which can be annoying for customers.

Some stores start to prepare beforehand, making the store look messy and inconvenient for customers to walk around.

Moreover, when employees are focused on the inventory count, they might not give enough attention to customers and may even be impatient with them.

High labor costs and resource allocation

And of course, we can’t ignore the costs. Having many staff members working simultaneously, often for extended hours, is expensive, especially when dealing with multiple stores at the same time.

Some retailers even prefer to hire an inventory count service, bringing in people from outside the organization to conduct the counts for them, but this also incurs additional costs.

Why inventory count accuracy is so important?

For businesses that operate around cycle counts and periodic counts, those points are the only time when the records are aligned with reality. Or do they? If the inventory counts are not accurate the business does not have real data to count on and cannot plan and forecast accurately.

In addition, the simple fact that the entire allocations for the different stores can be disrupted with overstocks and understocks eventually affects the customer experience with the stock available on shelves.

How RFID can transform your inventory counts for good

With RFID technology, each individual item is tagged, allowing a simple, user-friendly handheld reader to scan and read all items nearby without needing a direct line of sight. This brings numerous advantages for inventory counts.


Once you start counting inventory by scanning with RFID, your accuracy will be remarkable. You can expect around 98% inventory accuracy. Since it is based on scanning rather than human counting, the chances for mistakes decrease to nearly zero.

Inventory count speed

And we cannot ignore the speed. A medium-sized store can be counted in just one hour, making it possible to conduct these counts weekly rather than once or twice a year. The experience for the employees is effortless and painless.

Selected group count

And you don’t have to count the entire store every time; you can conduct group counting. For example, at the end of the day, count only the items on sale, or dedicate each day to a different group of items like pants, shirts, men's, kids', women's, and more.

Cost reduction

As a result of the time reduction, decreased labor requirements, and improved accuracy, RFID leads to cost efficiency by reducing extra costs. There's no need for massive groups of staff; just one employee can handle it.

No disruption to the ongoing operation

Because there is no need for a line of sight, items don’t need to be removed from the shelves and can be quickly counted without physical contact, making it possible to count the store even while it’s open.

Real-time item-level tracking

RFID is integrated with your existing systems, such as ERP/POS/security gates, and more, to facilitate flawless data exchange, ensuring that stock is updated in real-time, making replenishment easier and faster.

In wrapping up, it's clear that mastering inventory counts in 2024 is a game-changer for retailers. With RFID technology, the age-old headaches of inventory management are fading away. RFID offers unmatched accuracy, speed, and cost-effectiveness, transforming how stores handle their stock. By embracing RFID, businesses can ensure precise data, smoother operations, and happier customers.