Sunday, March 08, 2009

A tale of two RFIDs

Just a couple weeks ago, P&G announced that they are discontinuing tagging of displays at Walmart to track compliance, apparently because of lack of cooperation from Walmart.

Now we see the other side of the story, with Walgreen announcing that they are expanding their efforts in using RFID to track in-store implementation of promotions. Why? Because it works:
The results have been impressive: Over the past year, our in‐store execution has grown to nearly double the industry average. Incremental sales assure us that we are on a good path to improving our customers’ shopping experience.
The lesson here, I think, is not a new one. Information is only valuable if it is used. Walmart, for whatever reason, decided that the information it gained from tagging displays was not of sufficient value to use their resources to act on it. Walgreen felt differently. The numbers seem to support Walgreen's approach, but perhapr Walmart was looking at very different numbers from their efforts.

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