Tuesday, January 30, 2007

An interesting RFID experiment for cosmetics

StorefrontBacktalk has a very interesting article about an experiment in Japan involving retail chain Mitsukoshi, cosmetics company Shiseido and Fujitsu (the RFID vendor), where RFID tags are used to track when different cosmetics samples are tried, and to generate customized customer purchase histories, which would allow sales clerks to not only know which items a customer has purchased in the past, but also which they tried but opted not to buy. Also,

"the trial—involving retail chain Mitsukoshi, cosmetics company Shiseido and RFID vendor Fujitsu—also offers consumers a "virtual real-time makeup" session featuring a camera-equipped kiosk, display and RFID tag reader "that will enable customers to view on the display how particular products would look on their face by waving tagged cosmetic products such as lipsticks or eyeshadows over the tag reader," the companies said in a statement.
Virtual cosmetics kiosks like this have been met with varying degrees of success in the past, but to me the RFID tracking of usage and purchase is the killer app here. I now have to wonder how the sales clerks will use the trial and purchase history information to improve customer service and/or promote key products.

Tags: RFID, digital merchandising, marketing at retail, purchase history

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