Item Intelligence Enables Item Locationing and Smart Fitting Rooms at NRF 2015

January 20, 2015 Lea DeJarlais


This year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show brought 33,000 retailers and exhibitors to New York City. Inspiring products and customer-facing experiences were found at every corner of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and Impinj was proud to be the technology that powered some of these eye-catching demonstrations.

The Impinj booth, located in the Attendee Lounge, showcased a real-world store environment with retail experiences powered by Item Intelligence, including a point of sale, cloud-based back office software, product information displays, a smart fitting room with suggestive selling, always-on inventory monitoring and item locationing.

Real-time item locationing, powered by xArray gateways, helped booth visitors locate items on the “sales floor”, pinpointing which fixture a specific item was on. If the item was picked up and moved, booth visitors could watch it move across the sales floor in real time. The real life benefits of an always-on, wide-area monitoring system were easily seen: with this system, store staff can find an item a customer is searching for, whether merchandised correctly or not, improving their ability to provide exceptional service to the customer and increase store sales. But the benefits don’t stop there. Retailers using an always-on xArray gateway system can make store inventory available online, fulfilling orders directly from the location closest to the customer. They can analyze how products move through a store, and determine if certain pathways and interactions lead to greater conversion rates.


The Intel booth also featured an always-on RFID infrastructure using a matrix of Impinj Speedway Revolution readers. Visitors to the Intel booth were given a tagged item to carry around. The RFID demonstration showed how the matrix of readers could be used to pinpoint the locations of all items within the booth, and how this could be applied to a retail setting by showing item pathways, locations (both on the move and on a fixture), and time spent in various store locations (like a fitting room).


Speaking of fitting rooms, some of the most popular exhibits at NRF featured smart fitting rooms.

The eBay booth displayed Rebecca Minkhoff’s connected fitting rooms, where Impinj xPortal gateways installed on the ceiling recognized products as they entered the rooms, displaying product imagery, features and benefits, available sizes, mobile downloads, and more on interactive mirrors. The mirrors also allowed customers to control their environment (lighting preferences), receive product recommendations, and even check out on the spot.


The SAP booth featured the Hybris In-store Digital Experience fitting room, equipped with an Impinj RFID reader and a tablet computer. When an item was brought into the fitting room, it appeared on the tablet. By using the application on the tablet, the customer could choose a different size or color and have the selected item ‘delivered’ to the room. The customer could also select items to create a wish list, which could then be sent to them via email.

In the Impinj booth, inMotion’s software displayed compelling product imagery, features and benefits, and related items for sale as customers entered the fitting room area. The inMotion solution enables smarter business decisions by collecting data on customer-product interactions. Retailers can use this data to better understand if products are converting once tried on, or may suffer from fit issues, thus being left behind.


As retailers begin to implement always-on, wide-area monitoring inventory systems and smart fitting rooms, they will be able to combine these experiences, allowing customers in the fitting room to request items that are in stock, and sales staff to find and deliver the items, no matter where they are on the sales floor.


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