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Retailer Uses RFID, Social Media and Cameras to Track Shopper Behavior

ISA Boutique is utilizing the hybrid solution to identify which products are of interest to shoppers, as well as where inventory is located and when it requires replenishment.
By Claire Swedberg

Upon arrival at the store, some goods are placed on iR-Furniture shelves, where they are then tracked in real time. Those items consist of products other than the small jewelry that is monitored via the jewelry-tracking cabinets which the retailer first deployed last year. In the sections of the store in which iR-Furniture is used, readers capture tag ID numbers until an item is removed from the display. The software identifies that action and can issue an alert if the item is not returned to that location or purchased, says Tafe Tsa, Alpha Solution's director.

Additionally, after a store closes at the end of the business day, employees can log into the software to determine whether all products are on the iR-Furniture shelving, instead of having to check every item one at a time.

Jacky Ting, PCCW Solutions' digital practice leader
Customers also carry RFID-enabled loyalty cards so that they can be recognized as they arrive at the store. This enables them to receive offers on their smartphone, based on their location within the building.

The reader built into the EAS gate can capture the ID number of each customer's loyalty card and forward that data to the hosted software, which identifies that shopper's buying habits based on a record of coupons redeemed and purchases made by that individual. The software forwards offers and coupons to that individual's phone, based on his or her previous purchasing behavior.

When a customer brings a tagged product to the cash register at the point of sale, a counter-top RFID reader captures the ID number of that item's RFID tag, links it to the product's stock-keeping unit (SKU) and removes that item from the inventory list. An employee then detaches the hard tag from the object. In that way, as the individual walks out of the store with his or her purchases, the EAS gate is not alerted. That data enables the store to replenish a product as soon as it is purchased or taken off the premises.

CCTV cameras are used to identify where shoppers travel within the store, and where they spend the most time. The software can then compare that information with sales data in order to determine which items are attracting attention, as well as whether they are being purchased.

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