RFID technology can be applied across a retailer's entire supply chain, enabling sophisticated product identification from manufacture through to store, shelf and EPoS.

Product and price information can be zapped from tiny microchips on pallets or product to databases in milliseconds. Product-level trials by retailers including M&S, Tesco and Metro aim to reduce losses and improve stock level efficiency. Staff using stock control scanners can get instant updates on availability.

Intelligent shelves take the power of RFID right to the point of purchase. Metro's Future Store showcases the possibilities, with shelves alerting staff when shampoo is selling out, or cheese approaching its sell-by date. SAP software has harnessed the power of RFID tags - following movement of goods from DC to stockroom to shop floor.