Monday, February 23, 2009


Guest Blogging for 1to1 Media. Here's this week's excerpt (You guessed it, RFID provides an answer):
How about solving this nightmare? Imagine a business in which every item you sell comes in four styles and two colors and seven waist sizes and eight leg sizes and the customer for one of this set of nearly identical items is not a prospect for any other item in the set. Imagine that customers come in every day and move the items around in unpredictable ways. Imagine that each of these items has a full-price lifespan of only about 30 days. Then imagine that, of all the people who are lured into your store by its expensive location, expert marketing and reduced prices, 60 percent to 70 percent go away without finding what they were looking for. That's apparel retailing in the U.S. How do any of them survive?

Customers pick up stuff in one place and put it down someplace else, and it's gone -- unsellable until someone else finds it and puts it back. Customers take a too-small size into the changing room, and that results, more often than not, in a lost sale.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Yesterday I met with the University of Wisconsin's RFID WorkGroup. Wonderful presentations from senior people grappling with all the complexities of making an application keep its promises. Alfonso Gutierrez of the university's RFID Lab runs it. Specifics are confidential, but I came away with a sense that a few people are finding ways to squeeze out enough short-term ROI to keep projects alive even in this disastrous economy. I spoke on marketing applications of RFID and where new marketing applications will come from in the future.