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Sunday, March 28, 2010

RFID Tags- Where do coupons fit in?


RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are the possibly the future of shopping. These are essentially microchips that according to James M. Tour of Rice University “You could run your cart by a detector and it tells you instantly what’s in the cart,” which would create, “No more lines, you just walk out with your stuff.”

As we all love to shop, this sounds like a great concept. But, it gets even better. I have personally experienced going to the store to buy groceries for dinner only to get home and see that an item I have bought was expired. Then I was forced to drive all the way back to the store, exchange it for a product that not expired, and then drive all the way back home before I could even start dinner. These chips will not only store the price of the item, but how long it has been on the shelf. According to several articles I read, the shelves would be "smart shelves" and the stores would be able to catch expired groceries instantly through a computer system instead of a stock person having to manually check every item individually. These "smart shelves" would also help stores keep up with inventory because that's another imperfection about stores, is going for a specific item only to get there and realize they no longer have it in stock.

The concept of these tags have been out for a while, but in the silicon version. (The silicon version is what is on your windshield if y'all have toll roads.) The creation of the new nano RFID tags makes it much more plausible for companies to switch over to using RFID tags because the price of production went down from about 50 cents to 3 cents.

So, with all of this new technology what does this mean for coupons? Will all coupons convert into "Clip-Free" coupons that many stores with "Rewards Cards" such as Kroger have already developed. Will there be no more Sunday paper where we all rush out and get excited about the deals that paper will bring? Will we simply going onto Shortcuts or Cellfire every Sunday morning and load the coupons? I don't know. It will be interesting to see where this new technology takes us!

I have tried to explain this to the best of my ability and make it relevant to us shoppers, but if you are really interested and want more information, here are a couple of websites on the topic.
RFID Journal

Comments are welcomed!!!


Tatum said...

That would be so nice, not to have any lines at the store..

Jennifer T said...

it would also be nice if there were an easier way to make sure that the coupon matched the product and that the coupon hasn't expired. i hate it when i get into the checkout only to find that i didn't read the fine print well enough and didn't purchase the right type or quantity.

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