Brazilian Retailer Manages Merchandise Movement

RFID allows the managers of Lojao do Bras to monitor merchandise movements and make quick business decisions.
Published: July 19, 2019

“A camera in hand and an idea in mind.” This phrase was coined by Brazilian film director Glauber Rocha (1939 to 1981) in the 1970s, and it promised to reveal the world to everyone by means of equipment that would fit in the palm of the hand. Many years have passed since then, and cameras are now in almost every hand, as are personal computers, calendars, museums, libraries, and advanced (yet simultaneously simple) communication systems such as WhatsApp. Even offices fit into our palms now, through increasingly sophisticated apps that run on our smartphones.

In Brazil, a new path in the business world is being pursued thanks to RFID and the Internet of Things (IoT). iTag, using xArray readers from Impinj, is deploying an RFID solution that can function as a business-intelligence (BI) system at Lojão do Brás, located in the central region of São Paulo. The technology also functions as a customer relationship management (CRM) system, in addition to doing everything that RFID already does for inventory control and product circulation—and all in a person’s palm, thanks to smartphones.

An aerial view of Lojão do Brás.

Through two xArray RFID readers placed on the ceiling in an area where more than 40 Lojão do Brás dressing rooms are located, the company can track which products are being tried on and how many try-ons actually convert to sales. What’s more, the system may soon facilitate the offering of products that match what is being tried on by a customer, such as pants or accessories that match a given shirt, for example.

“If several similar products are being tried at the same time, for example, store managers can offer discounts or other advantages to convert these goods to sales,” says Sérgio Gambim, iTag’s CEO. The company predicts that the same RFID system will be able to relate customers’ preferences to purchased goods, making it easier to recognize the interests of each buyer when they return to the store at a later date.

Functionality that allows the monitoring of goods offers information allowing the firm to analyze which products were tried on but not sold, which can help to facilitate better business decisions and improve strategies and sales. “A particular commodity may be more interesting for larger numbers of customers,” Gambim says, “which is important in defining a sales strategy.” In this scenario, he says, the RFID tool behaves like a BI system, with data offered via smartphones for analysis purposes.