A Brazilian company has developed a solution to simplify the checkout process for retail footwear, and has tested customers' experience with RFID technology at a laboratory store.
Anyone who is aware of radio frequency identification knows that the technology controls inventory efficiently and at a much lower cost than bar codes, and that it maintains accurate inventory numbers. Now, RFID solutions are going beyond, offering the necessary visibility on products available for sale, and also evolving to ensure positive, enjoyable and fun experiences for buyers.
An example of this is in the Brazilian city of Cascavel, in the state of Parana, where a shoe laboratory shop tests newly designed technologies and innovative experiences for consumers. The initiative is under the leadership of Vanderlei Kichel, the CEO of SetaDigital, an enterprise management system (ERP) provider focused on the shoe sector. "We are ready to deliver a new, more efficient and fun shoe store concept to our customers and their consumers," Kichel says.
The smart shoe store, named Sapati—a laboratory shop that operates in a space measuring 400 square meters, on the ground floor of the 1,600-square-meter SetaDigital building—has an elegant layout divided into two areas: one contains goods for a female audience, the other for males. In addition, each shelf features shoes with the same numbering, making shopping easier for customers. But that's not all that makes Sapati a nice store, the company reports. The main thing is that after choosing a pair of shoes, a customer requires only 20 seconds to finalize the purchase process.
It starts with a card containing a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tag, which performs a shopping cart function once a customer places all products he or she wants to buy. Whenever the shopper is interested in a product, that individual can simply tap it on a totem. An RFID reader will identify that item and show its image and price on a touchscreen. If the consumer decides to purchase the product, he or she just has to use the card to record the information and virtually contain the pair of shoes, such as in a shopping cart.
After trying out various types of footwear and saving the favorite products on the card, the shopper can then edit the list of goods, keeping only those actually to be purchased. "When the consumer has only the pair or pairs of shoes to take on the card or 'virtual cart,'" Kichel explains, "that individual can just go to the checkout place [a larger totem with a big screen] to check out in five steps: tap the store card in the reader, check the selected products, choose debit or credit, pass the payment card and pick up the bag with the products."