RFID Helps Estée Lauder Innovate

Posted by Ken Lynch on Thu, Sep 23, 2010 @ 01:40 PM

Interactive Kiosks Provide Unique User Experience & New Level of Business Intelligence

We’ve covered the use of RFID in the retail market in a few recent blog posts:

Specialty Retail Inventory Management with RFID highlights how small retailers can compete with big box stores by implementing RFID for stock counting and item level security.

RFID Enabled Smart Shelves provides examples of how RFID can be integrated into store displays or fixtures for inventory management.

Designer RFID showcases how two European retailers have implemented RFID to deliver a better customer experience and improve store efficiencies.

Not to be lost in each of these examples is the important combination of creating a unique customer experience and the value of actionable data that could not have been generated without RFID. 

Estee LauderGiven that the first line of their corporate bio identifies them as a “technologically advanced, innovative company” it is no surprise that this personalized user experience and new level of business intelligence is just what beauty business leader Estée Lauder was after with the RFID-enabled kiosks they developed to promote their Lab Series Skincare for Men. 

Unique User Experience

When shoppers remove an Estée Lauder's Lab Series Skincare for Men product from the kiosk, an RFID reader reads the tagged product triggering a video to play - providing the shopper with information about the item they’ve picked up.  When the product it returned to its place, the video stops playing.  In an RFID Journal interview Dominic Lennon, IT director of Estée Lauder explains how this unique customer experience is offered:

"The whole of this system is based around providing a solution that uses RFID as a mechanism to deliver the content to the end user," says Dominic Lennon, Lime IT's director. "The users do not have to press anything, scan anything or touch anything to get the content delivered to them; the user has only to pick up a product—a very natural human action."

Business Intelligence

Additionally, each time a product is removed from and returned to a shelf, data regarding that action is sent via the Internet to an Estée Lauder server.  This allows Estée Lauder to compare the kiosk action records with actual product sales transactions in order to gain insight into consumer behavior and purchase trends.  Conceptually, this is not too different from what Coca Cola is doing with their Freestyle soft drink dispenser which uses RFID to record pour data at each drink dispenser location – allowing for a new level of business intelligence.

Estée Lauder marketing partner signagelive proudly accepted a 2009 Retail Systems Award acknowledging the “Best use of in-store marketing technology in retail” for this project which has been deployed in several House of Fraser sites in the UK and Macy’s in Toronto, Canada. 

So the next time you think you’re confusing the smell of Beyond Paradise with Intuition for Men, just look up and see which video is playing.  RFID makes it that easy.

Tags: Business Intelligence, RFID, Retail

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