Smart tagging — RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near field communication) — has revolutionized inventory management for mass market adopters like Amazon, Zara, Uniqlo and Decathlon with Walmart too expanding the technology within its stores in 2022.
But according to Ricardo Lobo, CEO of global label and smart tag solutions provider, concretethat was just the start.
As well as the logistical benefits and cost saving implications that come from knowing exactly where your stock is in real time, he cites the fast and frictionless self checkout deployed by stores like Uniqlo and Decathlon.
The technology also enables companies with bricks and mortar networks to compete with e-commerce pure players as stores become additional distribution centers — evinced by Zara during the pandemic, he says.
NFC reader equipped cell phones opened up possibilities for B2C applications — not least in the luxury arena, he adds. “Before, you could tag with NFC but consumers didn’t have a reader. Now anybody can access the information via their cell phones.”
This has particularly interesting implications for the luxury industry. “In the luxury world, brands don’t care about checkouts,” he says. “For them it’s about engagement and creating unique experiences.”
Smart tags created by Beontag’s IoT technology outfit Temera, have already been deployed by luxury brands including Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana and Bulgari enabling customers to access post-sale services and experiences via their smart phones — across both web2 and web3.
“Brands are experimenting,” he says, citing Alexander McQueen’s MCQ line where the tags enable consumers to access to on-chain digital certificates detailing product life cycle and the ability to transfer ownership for resale purposes and Dolce & Gabbana where they enable purchasers to access a virtual web3 boutique offering exclusive services reserved for clients.
Unlike information accessed via a QR code, which can simply be photographed, an embedded smart tag is specific to a particular product to which it requires proximity and ownership for access.
From its origins a producer of self-adhesive labels, Brazilian outfit Beontag is now the second largest provider of digital RFID and NFC solutions for some of the worlds biggest fashion and consumer brands following acquisitions of a raft of software companies and production facilities throughout Europe and the United States.
As announced today, Beontag (via wholly owned subsidiary Tags Lux Sarl.) has secured a €120 million debt raise led by Deutsche Bank — demonstrating confidence in market growth. “We have joined together 11 companies over last 2.5 years, each with its own debt,” says Lobo. “The raise allows Beontag to consolidate all local debt into one facility. We’ll use the excess build out our software teams.”
Over the past 12 months, its workforce has increased by 35% increase — with a focus on new engineers and developers across seven R&D centers in China, Finland, France and the USA. Working towards its ESG goal for 2030, more sustainable products include paper based ECO RFID tags, Line RPET tags produced with 30% recycled PET resin and Couchê PCR composed of 50% recycled fibers.
With operations now spanning more than 15 international facilities and a presence in over 40 countries. Beontag is expected to achieve $550 Million in revenue for 2022 compared to $400 Million in 2021.