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Abstract

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a hot topic in retail supply chain management [Behrenbeck, Küpper et al. 2004]. Yet, a recent study predicts “that the true benefits of RFID for retailers will be in enhanced marketing opportunities” [Sharpless 2005]. Research on RFID for marketing purposes is still rare giving the opportunity for more specific research on how RFID will influence business to consumer (B2C) marketing and services [Curtin, Kauffman et al. 2005]. Apparel retailing will most likely be one of the first industries to adopt item level tagging and thus benefit from those new marketing opportunities [Chappell, Durdan et al. 2003; Kurt Salmon Associates 2005].

This paper investigates the opportunities of RFID to enhance B2C marketing of apparel retailers. The paper presents six out of 17 developed RFID applications that support relationship marketing of apparel retailers to better recruit, retain, and recover customers. The RFID applications are classified by the marketing goals they fulfill and the marketing phase they support. The authors describe the use of each RFID application exemplified, and evaluate the additional value for the customer company relationship as well as the feasibility for apparel retailers to implement the application into practice.

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