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Danze Taps RFID to Make Buying a Faucet More Exciting

The fixture company has deployed RFID-enabled product displays at showrooms, enabling homeowners to quickly access data about particular products via a touchscreen.
By Claire Swedberg
Tags: Retail
Nov 04, 2014

Kitchen and bathroom fixture company Danze is employing radio frequency identification to market its products at 250 bath, kitchen and lighting showrooms operated by Ferguson Enterprises. The RFID technology is incorporated into product displays, with the goal of providing a new and more interactive method of demonstrating products to potential customers. The solution enables interior designers and end users to view details regarding a specific fixture, as well as accompanying products, by simply placing a that fixture on a display shelf. The system, developed by retailer and brand solutions company InReality, is designed to be so simple that a user would not have to think about the technology at all, says Gary Lee, InReality's president and CEO.

Although Danze has no pre-RFID marker against which to compare the displays, the company has indicated to InReality that the RFID-enabled displays offer a greater amount of product information within a smaller space than non-technology enabled displays, and that the touchscreen and the automated data provided via RFID have drawn potential customers to those displays. Danze did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

With Danze's interactive showroom display, customers place an RFID-tagged fixture on a smart shelf, which identifies that fixture and prompts the presentation of product information on a touchscreen.
Ferguson Enterprises operates showrooms throughout the United States, where homeowners, contractors and designers can view plumbing fixtures, lighting and appliances. In 2013, the company's showrooms began including products from Danze.

Gary Lee, InReality's CEO
Danze approached InReality in early 2013, seeking a technological solution that would make its modular displays more interactive and fun for customers visiting Ferguson. The company wanted something that would set it apart from other kitchen and bathroom fixture providers. Instead of displaying all of its product offerings in a variety of finishes (an option that would require a 30-foot-long display of static product models), the firm sought to offer the same information within a smaller space and in a livelier format.

InReality had experimented with RFID before, says Carl Davis, InReality's VP for digital solutions, and thus knew that the technology offered the easiest experience for users in comparison with other technologies. QR codes and bar codes, he explains, require that users accomplish a scan before generating any product-specific data, and that step would likely discourage people from participating. Instead, Danze wanted a system that worked without requiring users to employ a scanner or mobile phone to identify specific items.

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