Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Rebecca Minkoff Spikes In Sales Using RFID

Rebecca Minkoff is known for apparel designs in the high-end fashion market. However, after recently integrating her stores with RFID technology she is changing the way retail stores operate. 
Minkoff's stores now have interactive tablet mirrors in dressing rooms that link with RFID sensors in every item's tag. The sensors allow for the tablet mirror to provide additional items to be suggested pairings. This marketing ploy, using technology, has been able to increase sales by more than 30%. 
The idea of using RFID in retail is to customize the shopping experience. The RFID allows for the fitting rooms to come to life and be interactive. This allows customers to request a different fit, size, or color of an item without having to leave.The enhanced fitting room because of RFID.
While the information the RFID gives to customers is inventive, the feedback it gives the business is invaluable. With RFID the brand can track which items are often tried on, then bought or not. The data creates trends and tracks what products create the highest return. 
Not only do they track the item's history, but they track the customers. They record customer information in order to later send emails trying to intrigue them to buy an item they might have tried on, but didn't buy. The data collected through RFID is skyrocketing sales and giving more insight to the products and customers unlike ever before. 
The success with stores inspired Minkoff to soon start using RFID for inventory purposes. RFID has many uses and can help a company increase profit while decreasing costs if used properly.
The sales figures are showing positive impact from the RFID tags. However, there are a few problems. The dressing rooms are so small, what is preventing one mirror to pick up an item in another room? The customers are supposed to see the item that they are trying on, not ones that are next door. But with the frequency radius of the tags, it can be difficult to only pick up the items within a very small range while being accurate. 
Secondly, when it comes to sales, they have increased, but at what cost? How much does it cost for a RFID tag to be placed in every single item being tagged? Are the sales returns they are seeing worth it or are the tags there just there to provide customers with an unforgettable unique shopping experience?
Lastly, one part the article failed to mention is the privacy of a customer. Some customers aren't comfortable being tracked and monitored throughout their entire shopping experience. Is it possible for a customer to opt out of the high-tech shopping experience? It is highly unlikely considering all items carry the RFID tags. Many could feel uncomfortable mainly in a dressing room with so much technology. If the mirror is also a tablet, many shoppers may feel awkward wondering if there could possibly be a camera. Even though there isn't, speculation could arise causing customers to feel uncomfortable.


  1. I agree with you on many of your opinions. This is an interesting new revelation and I wonder if other clothing companies will begin to use this. If it is helping sales for Rebecca Minkoff, other companies must be looking into this. I agree with the idea of feeling uncomfortable in this type of dressing room. With new technology that people are not familiar with I can imagine that it is an uneasy feeling. I also worry that customers would feel that this is a bit pushy. Almost as if you have a constant salesperson with you. I feel like the dressing room has always been the place where as a customer you can truly form your own opinion. With this technology I feel like you more pressured to buy at least one item. Not only are you pressured throughout your experience in the store, but then once you leave they continue to email you about the things you didn't buy. On the flip side, the feature where you can request a new size or color in an item seems like helpful because you don't have to hunt down a salesperson. In reality this technology is a salesperson in itself. I question whether this technology will reduce the amount of salespeople clothing companies need to hire? I guess I would have to experience this to see if my opinion stays the same, but from a reader I agree with your concerns.

  2. My first reaction after reading Taylor’s blog about Rebecca Minkoffs use of RFID was wondering if similar shopping experiences will arise and if other companies will follow in Rebecca Minkoffs footsteps. After this first initial thought, I was thinking of what kind of new technological advances Minkoffs company will come up with as other companies follow their lead. Maybe they will eventually figure out a way for the customer to virtually try on an article of clothing with something such as a pair of goggles so they would not have to go through the trouble of unchanging to try on a shirt that they may not even purchase. I also agreed with a lot of your thoughts, like how you mentioned if RFID would be too expensive to keep up with and also how you mentioned the customer feeling uncomfortable. As a customer I would feel slight discomfort in the dressing room as well as after I left the store knowing that my every move had been tracked and recorded into a database. Other than these things, I think that the company has the right idea to record what each customer tried on so that they can eventually send them emails of similar clothing options, therefore bringing in more potential profit. To go off of this, I think they should also send everyone who online shops on their website an email explaining their new use of RFID in their store. I am sure this would bring in more customers and most likely more profit. I also liked how the mirror in the fitting room allowed the customer to request a different size or color. This concept makes shopping easier since the customer would not have to wait around for a sales person to bring them what they needed or go find it in the store themselves. However, I did not think this fitting room should take on the role of an actual sales person in the means of giving feedback on clothing choices and such. Personally, I would rather be able to ask an actual person their thoughts on something I might buy rather than relying on a computer that may just be telling me to buy the more expensive option in order for the company to make more profit. I know sales people do this too, however I would be more likely to trust and buy a product from an actual person rather than a computer.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.