Fujitsu has begun RFID field trials to enhance the shopping experience of customers
Many people consider shopping a fun activity, from casual window-shopping to buying new clothes. Although online shopping is growing in popularity these days, brick and mortar retail shopping has its perks, such as, the ability to check out merchandise or try it on to see how it fits.
While shopping in a brick and mortar store, for example, when choosing a sweater or a coat, you may wonder about other sizes or colors. However, you may not be able to find staff nearby or be hesitant to ask questions.
Through collaboration with BEAMS Co. Ltd., an apparel company operating a number of fashion brands, Fujitsu has implemented a field trial that lets customers freely access product information to enhance their shopping experience.
Interesting items placed on a hanger display size and color variations
This field trial was implemented at the B:MING LIFE STORE at LaLaport TOKYO-BAY from November 18, 2014. B:MING LIFE STORE caters to customers of all ages, offering a variety of merchandise for men, women, children, and infants.
An RFID tag is attached to each garment, as well as general merchandise, enabling the store to manage tasks like tracking merchandise arrivals and shipments, inspections, stock keeping, and recording sales using RFID. Inside the store, a bird house perch-like clothes hanger is embedded with an RFID reader, and the bird house is fitted with a tablet, creating a display fixture for clothing. When customers hang a piece of clothing on the hanger pole, the RFID reader recognizes the item and displays product information on the tablet, such as the availability of sizes colors and stock levels, a description and examples of matching outfits. At present, images of a small bird delivering items are seen on the tablet screen, ensuring the shopping experience is fun for customers.
On the spot product information makes shopping more convenient
This system allows customers to get specific information about a product, including availability, colors, and examples of matching outfits, without checking with store staff. In addition, it provides detailed product information for store staff when the store is busy, making shopping more convenient for customers.
The stores benefit from the RFID reader’s ability to access real-time inventory information, and track how many times each product is browsed.
The field trial is being conducted on children's items, which are available in an especially wide variety of sizes and colors, with a high need for product information. Fujitsu envisions that this service will be further used in marketing activities, such as product development and the planning of store layouts.
Fujitsu will evaluate the results of the trial with BEAMS and consider further applications of the technology to improve the overall shopping experience. Fujitsu continues to support the innovative initiatives of BEAMS.