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Pop-up Experience Brings RFID Solution to Stores

The system, from The Lion'esque Group spinoff Field Test, tracks the movement of customer traffic and enables shoppers to create wish lists of products they see in a temporary environment.
By Claire Swedberg

The readers capture each key's location as it enters the space, then tracks where it goes and where it dwells. If an individual stops to sit on a couch or lie on a mattress, or if he or she spends significant time in front of a specific product, the ItemSense software will capture that information and provide it to Field Test, whose own software manages the collected data. In that way, both the brands and GGP can better understand which products are drawing interest from customers—information that can be paired with the point-of-sale data regarding items actually sold.

At the key bar, the store is equipped with cards representing each product a shopper has viewed, such as a couch or chair. Customers are instructed to select the card of any product they would like to put on a wish list, and to place the key and card in close range to a 14-inch by 14-inch desktop with a Speedway reader built into it. The reader will be configured to capture tag reads at short range so that it can identify only those cards and keys deliberately placed in that area by a shopper.

The customer is then invited to use a touchscreen to input his or her mobile phone number in order to receive a text message linked to the products of interest. In this way, the shopper has the benefit of seeing the items in a real-life setting, while creating a record of goods in the manner of an Internet shopping experience. He or she could make a purchase at the store using an Apple iPad provided onsite, or online at a later date.

The initial deployment could lead to more implementations with expanded applications, Gonzalez says. The Lion'esque Group wants to determine how well it can track the movements of individuals and the value that information brings, as well as the benefits of the key bar-based system for customers. Filed Test could then begin offering greater functionality to benefit customers, such as enabling them to link their data—such as their e-mail address, phone number or social-network accounts—to the key, in order to capture and store data in real time about their interests at the store.

The RAIN RFID-based system will bring threefold benefits to the shopping experience, Gonzalez says: "the value of mobile, value of online and value of physical shopping." Customers can manage data on their phones, create a trail of any products that interest them, and still view and experience the products physically.

The Water Town Place IRL with the home-life theme is intended to remain open through January 2018, followed by several other features that are slated to last a year. GGP operates 127 retail properties throughout the country, and the IRL store could be deployed at some of those during the course of next year.

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