New research has suggested there will be widespread implementation of radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology into the global apparel industry by 2017, with revenues more than tripling over a seven-year period.

The RFID market in apparel supply chains is expected to climb from revenues of $420.6m in 2010 to reach $1.5bn by 2017, according to Frost & Sullivan research.

According to the research firm, the expanding implementation of RFID provides complete automation of various processes involved along the supply chain.

This results in better inventory visibility, greater supply chain management, improved sales, better customer service, and negates the impact of counterfeit products. In addition, mandates from large retailers to their suppliers to implement item-level tagging are also driving the growth.

The study found that customers in the apparel industry are generally conservative towards the adoption of new technologies, which it attributed to price, lack of knowledge, lack of business case and understanding of the technology.

"A key aspect behind retailers' apprehension is the cost associated with the implementation of the technology, as they operate on low-profit margins," said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Ram Ravi.

"Suppliers need to provide a wide array of products and solutions catering to the individual needs of their customer and also provide training and services such as technical consulting to educate their customers about the benefits of the technology."