RFID Solution Boosts In-Store Sales of Jean Coutu Cosmetics

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The Jean Coutu Group is one of the most trusted names in Canadian pharmacy retailing, with 418 franchised stores in Canada. They wanted to attract people to specific products in the cosmetics section, and we proposed an RFID solution to attract customers. The RFID solution has been deployed in a dozen branches across Quebec as test locations and is expected to cover the entire network over the next years.

Nominating Company: Stingray Business, Boisbriand, Quebec, Canada
Venue: Jean Coutu – RFID interactive kiosk, Varennes, Quebec, Canada
Project: Jean Coutu – RFID interactive kiosk
Category: Retail Environments

BACKGROUND
The aim of the Jean Coutu’s interactive RFID kiosk is to attract the attention of customers, get them to test a specific product that is part of the kiosk and possibly buy it as a consequence. The concept is relatively simple but effective: The customer chooses and lifts one of the six cosmetic products that appear in the kiosk, and it triggers a more descriptive video of the product. Generally, a cosmetician will come to give a client more information on the product to better help and guide the customer. This area acts equally as a good way for Jean Coutu to get extra income by selling the available spaces in the kiosk.

CHALLENGES
Using an RFID solution involves precise programming to trigger the desired video when the customer lifts the product. At the same time, the use of a vertical screen brought adaptation work on the videos from the suppliers who wanted to appear in the kiosk. The challenge of such a solution was also to update the content that is created every two weeks, which requires discipline and rigor so that the information and files are well broadcasted while respecting deadlines.

Stingray_JeanCoutu (1)SOLUTIONS
At the technical level, we proceeded through a long test phase with the client to validate the different procedures for updating content and RFID chips. The update procedure must be detailed and respected by all locations for the solution to work. Equally, it must be stable everywhere. Obviously, we do not want a makeup remover video to play when raising a hairspray bottle.

RESULTS
The results so far are very encouraging. Employees learned how to approach customers and advise them by complementing the information from the videos on the RFID booth, allowing them to increase the average in-store bill. Employees have also noticed increased traffic, and customers are staying longer in the cosmetics section.

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