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UHF RFID opens immersive bookstore experience

Lucy RFID WORLD NET 2021-05-18 10:08:38
Spanish bookseller Ona Llibres opened a new bookstore in the center of Barcelona last year. The purpose is not only to let travelers experience the fun of shopping, but also to let them enjoy an immersive reading experience. They decided to use RFID technology to achieve this goal and enhance the customer experience through automatic access to book content and self-service purchases, while managing their inventory to ensure that the books on the shelves are real.

The solution for the new bookstore application is provided by Spanish system integrator Laforja, using Keonn Technology's UHF RFID reader technology. Keonn provides RFID printing and encoding equipment for labels applied to books, RFID technical support for customer delivery and information search self-service counters, and handheld readers.

Ona Llibres bookstore chain has 50 years of book sales history. The newly opened bookstore focuses on Catalan culture and only offers books in Catalan. It opened last spring. It is reported that the new bookstore is designed to replace the standard store with rows of bookshelves and long lines in front of the checkout counter. The purpose of the design is to hope that this space can focus on improving the customer experience.

The new content of the bookstore includes a coffee area, a large-scale art installation featuring the "book tide", and books dedicated to on-site reading. They set up a special area where books are not sold but only on-site browsing. This area also serves as the venue for author lectures, which users can watch in the store or on YouTube.

Laforja CEO Eduard Puig said: "Technology plays an important role in Ona Llibres' new bookstore." The main purpose of introducing technology is to manage inventory and provide customers with a "differentiated shopping experience."

Keonn co-founder and CEO Ramir De Porrata-Doria explained: "The technology they use to meet all the needs in retail stores is RFID technology."

When employees receive books, they use Keonn's AdvanPrint solution to print and encode RFID tags for each book. The unique ID number encoded on each RFID tag is associated with the book title and author specified in the software. Then the label will be affixed to the book. In this way, each book in the bookstore can be uniquely identified.

In order to keep the bookstore tidy and beautiful, the number of books displayed by the retailer in the sales place is limited. This means that the inventory in the front store and the rear warehouse must be closely tracked. When a book is sold, the company uses the RFID system to ensure that the missing space is quickly filled where customers are likely to see it.

According to Deborata Doria, the store uses Keonn's AdvanCloud software platform to manage the collected data. The software allows catalog management, RFID device management and inventory management. "It's very powerful. In addition, it has a very useful API that allows us to integrate with our customers' systems."

Employees can use the Keonn AdvanScan handheld device with a built-in Chainway C72 RFID reader for regular inventory counting. When an employee walks between the bookshelves with a reader, it captures the IDs of all tags in the inventory. These data will then be updated in the AdvanCloud software to identify all books on site. The above data will provide necessary information for the store's inventory replenishment and historical sales patterns.

In addition, the handheld device is not only used to check inventory, but also to find the designated books on the shelf. The employee enters the given book title or author, and then walks through the bookstore with the reader to find the relevant tag ID.

The RFID system also provides a variety of functions for customers. Six Keonn AdvanLook self-service counters are equipped with 10-inch touch screens and RFID readers, which can provide customers in the store with detailed information about books. The user takes a book from the bookshelf and puts it near the self-service counter. Then the AdvanCloud software will capture the data about the book and display the relevant content on the screen for customers to understand.

When customers are ready to buy, they can use one of the seven AdvanPay RFID self-service counters installed in the store, and then put the book they want to buy on the counter. The built-in reader in the self-service station will capture all tag IDs, and the screen will display the books that are waiting to be purchased and their prices. The shoppers then provide their payment information and complete the transaction.

AdvanCloud software is integrated with Ona Allibres' ERP software for catalog maintenance and inventory management. In addition, for the interactive data of the AdvanLook self-service station, Laforja also customized the content based on Ona Allibres' corporate information. The store uses a special UHF RFID tag for books that do not leave the reading room; a fixed reader captures its ID and reminds the management of any problems that may arise.

According to Laforja, there are some challenges in applying RFID tags to books throughout the bookstore, because unsold books must be returned to suppliers without the tags. To this end, Laforja worked with booksellers to determine that the application can be removed from the book without causing any damage to the cover of the label. In the end, they chose a removable RFID label based on Avery Dennison Smartrac's Web inlay.

This bookstore, which opened last spring, has been open for most of the time during the COVID-19 epidemic. Puig said, “Thanks to RFID, all books are uniquely identified, inventory can be fully controlled, queue time is short, and customers can also view extended information of all books through an interactive screen.” The main benefit is that Inventory management and customer shopping experience.

Since 2011, Keonn has been providing RFID technology solutions to Spanish and global fashion retailers. It provides label coding, automatic inventory tracking, interactive retail systems, point-of-sale and loss prevention mechanisms, as well as AdvanCloud and AdvanNet software. The company also provides an RFID system for book tracking for libraries. Deborata Doria said, “The deployment of Ona Allibres is very unique. Traditionally, bookstores don’t pay attention to image, and this bookstore is really spectacular.”

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