To launch their next-generation UGG Australia stores, Deckers Brands partnered with tech firm Control Group of New York, using Times-7 RFID antennas supplied by Arcadian, Inc.
The innovative system was designed from the ground up to bring the information and inventory of their e-commerce platform to the brick and mortar world. The system was launched at it’s new UGG Australia store in McLean, Va, and will eventually be launched at other Deckers stores if the technology is well received by customers. The project is part of a drive by Deckers to use technology to make its physical stores a more “omni-channel” experience.
Arcadian, Inc. was instrumental in antenna evaluation and demonstrations at Control Group in New York City, and is supporting Deckers to outfit the retail pilot stores. Antennas used in this project are the Times-7 A6590C-71749-FG shown here.
Also critical to the process was the RFMAX RFID Power Mapper, which was used throughout the antenna evaluation process, aiding the design team in understanding the range and coverage area of RFID signals.
When a customer tries on a shoe and walks over to the mirror to see how it looks, hidden RFID-technology “magically” changes the content on an embedded HD display to show information relevant to the item she has on—such as other colors available and similar styles based on “customers also bought” logic. She can then scroll through options right from the screen and send a notification to her phone with a direct link to the item to order with free delivery.
Consumers also have the option of following prompts on the touchscreen to send themselves text messages containing product links, directly from the Control Group software residing on a centralized content management server. In that way, shoppers can view details about a product they tried on, whether or not they purchase it at the time. The collected data is also forwarded to UGG store managers, enabling them to design promotional campaigns and in-store visuals.
For customers, the unique and memorable experience provides frictionless access to information and products, making the shopping experience both easier and more enjoyable. For Deckers, it increases customer engagement with the UGG brand and extends content and inventory beyond what the physical store allows.
Stores sales representatives carry iPads enabling them to seek additional product information that shoppers request. They can also use devices to help a shopper order an item online if it is unavailable at the store.
The store is considering other future applications for the RFID technology as well. For instance, Miller says, it may opt to integrate antennas into the shelving at some locations, thereby providing additional options for viewing product data. "A sales associate might use this as an assisted sales tool," he explains. "Placing a shoe on a pedestal, triggering content on a nearby screen that tells a product story, displays related styles or accesses inventory information."
To date, Powers reports, "consumers enjoy the seamless way that these technologies assist them in making purchases."
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