SHERIDAN&CO’S RFID REVOLUTION LIFTS OFF

International retail design agency Sheridan&Co is aiming to revolutionise the shopping experience for both consumers and retailers, with the launch of a new RFID-based product.

Known as ‘Shop Lift’, the product utilises a new application for radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to create a greater level of interactivity for shoppers. It delivers high quality information, beneficial to consumers and sales staff alike, and also provides brands and retailers with in-depth, real-time analytics, offering a unique insight into consumer in-store behaviour.

Shop Lift allows products in a display to be discreetly fitted with RFID stickers. If a shopper picks up the product, it automatically flicks a virtual switch, triggering an interactive experience, designed to bring the item to life. This can take the form of enhanced lighting, a video playing on a nearby screen, sound being projected from speakers or even an aroma being sprayed into the display area.

At the same time, Shop Lift’s technology rig checks if the product is in its ‘home’ location up to 10 times every second. It can provide detailed information on what products have been interacted with and for how long. Ultimately, it offers retailers a new unique insight into a customer’s in-store journey.

As Michael Sheridan, founder and chairman of Sheridan&Co, explains, Shop Lift has been several years in the making:

“This is a project that we actually started working on in 2005. We identified that RFID technology had great potential for retail but was being woefully underused.

“On the whole, consumers have become more savvy and want the best retail shopping experience, whether that be online or in a bricks and mortar store. With Shop Lift, we’re able to offer an enhanced experience through recognition, response and education.

“The analytics it provides are also invaluable. Online retailers are considerably advanced in terms of the use of analytics and I wanted our product to enable real retail space to be able to gather comparative data to that of an internet shopping journey. In effect, it is about enabling brands and retailers to fine tune pricing, enticement, experience and environmental elements and be able, in real time, to record the effect they have in a real space state.”

An early trial of Shop Lift, which took place across five stores of a leading cosmetics brand, produced impressive results, generating a sales increase of 400 per cent over a period of six months. These sites were staffed and, in addition to increased sales, their product knowledge greatly enhanced by having continuous access to product and marketing information through Shop Lift. So much so that one member of staff progressed from his sales role to become a national training manger.

As Michael concludes, in-store technology is becoming more important as consumer spending increases and the war between online and offline shopping intensifies:

“Retailers on the high street need to get closer to their customers. It needs to be a more personal experience. If they want to stay ahead of the game, they need to know their customers by name, know their preferences and their shopping habits. Basically, everything that is already captured online and more.”

Shop Lift has been developed by Sheridan&Co alongside several high-profile technology partners, including Keonn Technologies, Tagsys, and Impinj.

For more on the work of Sheridan&Co and Shop Lift, visit www.sheridanandco.com.

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