Chow Tai Fook Improves RFID Jewelry Tracking Management with Smart Tray
Converge Retail, a retail technology company, introduced a new version of its digital solution that supports RFID to improve the customer ’s shopping experience. It also supports the collection and analysis of data to help retailers better manage their exhibition content and product selection. The solution provides customers with relevant content when browsing products such as jewelry. Although Converge Retail has traditionally used optical sensors and QR codes to identify items of interest to customers, RFID has made this process smoother. Converge Retail claims that RFID can automatically pinpoint the product a customer is searching for and display relevant data on a touch screen.
In addition, the recently launched Converge retail smart tray allows jewelers to automatically capture detailed information about each jewellery item on the tray and view relevant information and cross-selling recommendations from customer interactive screens after testing. Jewelry brands around the world, such as Chow Tai Fook, are using smart trays in some stores.
Converge Retail provides in-store shopping experiences for brands and retailers. The solution includes tablet-based interactive screens that allow customers to get more information about the product in the store. Traditionally, the system uses optical sensors to detect when someone is looking at the product. For example, when scanning a QR code or barcode, a buyer can view information about the product on an interactive tablet installed on the sales screen. When customers leave the store, the store sends product information to their mobile phones so that customers can research or repurchase the product information. Converge Retail business manager Jason Seed said recently that the company has begun adding RFID technology to some of its solutions to make data collection smoother.
To implement RFID functionality in existing systems, Converge started working with Hong Kong-based IoT technology company Myndar about a year ago. "We don't want to be an RFID expert, but we can't find enough accurate technology to ensure that every tag for jewelry can be reliably detected over short distances," Seed said. Myndar provides solutions and produces its own hardware, In jewelry management.
Passive UHF RFID tags and readers are tailored to provide the most accurate reading rates. Matthew Man, CEO of Myndar, said that smart trays that now utilize Myndar technology can also be used as an extension of Myndar's existing jewelry brand RFID solution. Smart Tray is a portable jewelry display stand. RFID technology will assist in displaying detailed information about the product when the product is placed in the tray.
The Myndar solution can make full use of RFID tags connected to jewelry before placing them in smart trays. Man explained that RFID tags are similar to traditional price tags used by most jewelers. When jewellery is received by the store, the jewellery is already labeled with a unique ID number, and each unique ID number is stored in the retailer's software. With a portable reader, shop assistants can read the label information before opening the package to ensure that the intended product is indeed packed in the package.
Portable readers can be used to perform regular inventory counts. Traditionally, jewelry retailers must count all inventory on the site before and after business hours, because jewelry is not only valuable, but also small, so it is easy to misplace or lose it. In the inventory work, because the staff will take out each pallet from the closed cabinet and calculate the items contained in it, the inventory inventory may usually take an hour or more to complete.
Seed says that this inventory count can now be achieved in minutes using a portable reader. During the inventory, if the system determines that a piece of jewellery is missing, a worker can use the Geiger counter mode on a portable reader to start searching for the item. This helps improve the efficiency of sales staff, and inventory in a typical jewelry store can be completed in about 15 minutes.
However, with smart trays, workers can collect this data when storing or managing jewelry. "This is a real-time RFID inventory system integrated into the showcase," Seed said. Often, customers will ask to see a specific piece of jewelry or a few pieces of jewelry. The salesperson will place the smart tray on the counter, remove the required jewelry from the display case, and place them on the tray.
The smart tray is wireless, with a built-in RFID reader and antenna, as well as a battery power supply for the reader and a Bluetooth device that transmits data to the server. The size of the tray is about 12 square inches. Customers can take each piece of jewellery out of the tray for review, then return it to the tray or pick it up a few more times if necessary.
These actions can be captured by a reader and sent to Converge's retailer analytics panel. In this way, the company can record the test project. This information can also be linked to point-of-sale data, allowing the company to better understand the popularity of a particular product and verify whether the project can drive sales in the long run.
Although Myndar provides RFID reader hardware in the tray, Converge Retail has developed its own screen and software to capture RFID tag readings and display them as customers browse the jewelry. MAN said Myndar customized the pallet form factor and reader range requirements for the solution.
Chow Tai Fook and Myndar's overall solution
Myndar provided its own complete solution for Chow Tai Fook and two other jewelry brands. In fact, its retail-based RFID solution has been in use for about 7 years. Over the past four to five years, Myndar has added an ongoing work function (WIP), as well as pick-and-pack automation and warehouse management capabilities. MAN said: "This is the magic of this system, its value goes far beyond retail."
For the factory's WIP, Myndar RFID tags were attached to the written materials of the production order. Reading the label at the assembly point reveals the product requirements so that the configuration of the materials and manufacturing equipment can be adjusted accordingly. All products carry their own RFID tags with unique coded identification numbers that are linked to data related to specific inventory maintenance units (SKUs) in the Myndar software on the user server.
Merchants can also label a warranty card on a diamond or other jewelry item to create a digital record related to that product. In addition, they can track tags in the warehouse to confirm receipt information, storage location, and shipping status for each product. Warehouse workers can achieve this with handheld RFID readers.
RFID data also allows for automatic collection and packaging. After the distribution center receives the shipment request, the software will provide the RFID tag ID of the requested product. The robotic system in the warehouse selects each product ordered based on its location in the store. After the RFID reader identifies the removed product, the robotic system transports the product to the packaging area via a conveyor belt. Packers can use the RFID data to view a list of products that they have confirmed received at their workstations to ensure that the product is packaged correctly.
This software can also provide in-store analysis based on data collected by smart trays. The information collected by customers as they research the product allows the store to better understand and predict the price range and style of the next product, depending on the consumer's consumption behavior.