Sunday, 3 July 2011

Second hand shops

Second hand shops are more challenging to run than normal shops in terms of pricing and inventory management due to the large range of unique items. They have an important place in the waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle) so it is important that their operation is optimised. How can technology help?
  • Tagging items allows them to be tracked, so it is possible to see how long they've been in inventory
  • RFID tags, together with a set of sensors would allow triangulation of the object in the shop. The triangulation (or perhaps gyroscopic sensors in the tag) would allow gauging of shopper interest (has the object been tried on?). This will help determine whether the lack of sale is due to lack of shopper interest or incorrect pricing.
  • Tagging also aids security, as sensors at the door detect stolen items.
  • It might also be possible to introduce eye tracking, and motion/location tracking of shoppers, again providing more data on shoppers to help promote sales
  • Object recognition (initially through barcodes, but increasingly through machine vision) will enable quick entry of items into the inventory, and simultaneous automated advertising online

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