Two Mitsukoshi department stores in Japan, including its main store in Tokyo's Ginza district, are testing RFID tags for two weeks. This experiment, which is far smaller than the ones from Wal-Mart, just wants to help shoppers to choose cosmetics, such as lipstick, eye shadow and blush. In this short article, IDG News Service reports that a kiosk can provide a simulation of what will happen if you choose a special lipstick. Of course, the store also wants to know what products are the most popular. But read more...
Here are two short excerpts of the Martyn Williams's article for IDG News Service.
In one part of the trial a kiosk can provide customers with a simulation of what they would look like wearing various make-up. The 19 items available all have RFID tags attached and shoppers just need wave them over a sensor for the simulator to detect which product has been selected, then it's up to a computer to do the rest.
The trial also seeks to keep track of which samples are most frequently selected by shoppers browsing for products. Each time one of 49 tagged items is removed from a display stand the system takes note. The information is compiled into marketing data for the store.
The technology used for this trial has mostly been developed by Fujitsu Ltd. Below is a picture showing the Fujitsu's tester demand forecasting system (Credit: Fujitsu)
And below is another photograph showing the Fujitsu's multi-sample display (Credit: Fujitsu)
Of course, the store wants to keep track of what items were popular.
In an attempt to turn the current popularity of consumer-generated content into hard sales another part of the trial provides customers with recommendations and information from other shoppers. Make-up items with RFID tags attached can be waved over a reader to call-up a list of comments on the product from other shoppers.
For its part, Fujitsu issued a news release on January 24, 2007, from which the above images have been picked. This news release contains additional details about the goals of te experiment.
Here is what Fujitsu writes about its multi-sample display, used for skincare products, and shown above.
Seven types of product testers for skincare (lotions, serums, etc.) will be affixed with RFID tags. Customers can wave the tagged products over an electronic tag reader to view detailed product information on a touch-screen terminal.
And here are more explanations about its tester demand forecasting system used for makeup products.
Tester stands (receptacles for holding the tester containers) for makeup products (lipsticks, mascaras, etc.) will be embedded with RFID tag readers, so that the number of times that customers sample each tagged makeup tester (49 items) can be counted. This will make it possible to accumulate informative marketing data, such as by ranking which products customers showed most interest in.
If you happen to live in Japan, or if you're visiting the country, the trials will run until February 11 at the Mitsukoshi main store in Ginza and up to February 12 at the Mitsukoshi store in Sakae, Nagoya.
Sources: Martyn Williams, IDG News Service, January 26, 2007; and various other websites
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