L.L. Bean Plans to Increase Customer Satisfaction with RFID

L.L. Bean has begun testing a retail RFID system at its flagship store in Freeport, ME that records when an item is picked up by a customer. Once movement is detected, a video of that product will play. Rather than requiring consumers to do something extra suck as push a button or scan a QR code to play a video, the RFID system will be automatic.

Multiple antennas, connected to one reader, were installed on a wall display that had tagged men’s hiking boots. The display also features a video screen wired to a server loaded with digital advertising video, graphics and texts about the individual boots. Each shoe has a UPM RFID UHF EPC Gen 2 passive RFID tag adhered to the insole.

While the system was activated at the Freeport location, don’t expect to see any videos about your boots just yet. In the beginning of the trial, the system is only tracking how often each shoe is picked up. Once data is collected and analyzed, the video system will be put into place.

Do you think its a good idea to use RFID for sensor detection in order to play videos about in-store products? While, I’d have to see for myself, I wonder if there is any way for a consumer to stop the video? What if multiple consumers pick up different shoes at the same time? Although this could be an awesome shopping experience enhancement, some may get annoyed, or even startled, at a video playing every time they touch something. What do you think? Would this type of system be helpful to you, or simply overwhelming/annoying?

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