Interview with Kim Schneider

Face2Face
Kim Schneider
Kim Schneider
Senior Director of Technology Solutions
Avery Dennison RBIS
Avery Dennison RBIS

What kind of brands or retailers is Janela Smart Products platform targeted to?

Janela is targeted to apparel and footwear brands and retailers that are interested in building personalised engagements with their consumers. A survey conducted by LS:N Global reveals that 48 per cent of consumers expect brands to know them and help discover products and services that meet their needs. As the world becomes increasingly digital, our customers are openly discussing how this is critical to their strategy. Through Janela’s unique digital ID found on the apparel or footwear product label, brands receive valuable data and analytics about their consumer, and give these same brands and retailers the ability to directly connect to their consumers while creating customizable experiences for them.

Will this be just for products in-store? Do you plan to integrate it online too?

Janela begins with the physical product and moves these items online through the trigger agnostic cloud platform that drives digital experiences from manufacturing to end-of life; what makes Janela unique is that we use QR codes, or other technology triggers, merely as a pathway to activate the delivery of branded content at an item level. By scanning a 2D code or other trigger technology, such as NFC or image recognition, on a clothing's tag or label, consumers can then interact with their apparel and footwear products via their mobile phones, gaining access to brand or retailer-specific content. This can be anything from loyalty programmes and product registration to product reviews, cross selling, social media links and more. And this content can be changed based on consumer preferences, number of scans or many other parameters. Janela closes the loop by instrumenting the physical to digital consumer journey, and, in the process, creates a more seamless journey from retail stores to e-commerce and omnichannel retailing. Because of this, the platform also gives retailers a chance to increase PoS conversion, in-store engagement and differentiation, and directly transact with consumers through the products. Janela's digital identity lies within the clothing and footwear so the products live digitally, that is, beyond the in-store experience. As such, consumers can continue to interact with their products after their initial purchase. For example, after purchasing a pair of jeans tagged with Janela's digital identity, the consumer can register the product, gain loyalty points, hear about other relevant products, and receive styling tips tailored to their personal preferences long after they leave the retail store.

What is the most preferred medium for scanning labels - RFID, NFC, or EPC Gen 2 among apparel retailers?

The Janela Smart Products Platform is trigger agnostic and can integrate with new technologies as they emerge. Therefore, the 10 billion products can have one or more triggers and be a mix of existing and future mobile compatible technologies. Today, the largest and fastest growing area of RFID is in UHF (ultra high frequency), which is our main focus but is not yet easily readable by personal mobile devices. While NFC is part of our portfolio, it is growing at a significantly lower pace today. The key element will be on how to create a common digital identity and truly integrate all possible trigger points -- be it with or without RFID.

What are the latest trends and innovations ruling the apparel tag and labels market?

We are in a time of rapidly developing technology and the apparel tags and labels market must be digitally connected in order to adapt accordingly. With the increasing popularity of wearables and the changing technology landscape, many of our customers are actively pursuing the connection between the physical and digital, deepening connection between brands and their consumers. Spotting the intersection between the physical and digital worlds is merely the beginning for apparel and footwear industries; in order to be competitive, retailers will not only need to be aware of this trend, but will also need to be proactive about the movement towards products being "born digital." According to a recent Cisco study, by 2020, approximately 50 billion products a year will be manufactured with some form of smart, digital capability. Gartner's more conservative forecast has 25 billion connected physical objects. Both confirm that the age of smart products is here. (Source: Financial Times). At Avery Dennison, we are working to provide packaging materials that offer innovative and efficient solutions for the world's leading brands. Today, that includes new products and services that help brands engage consumers through digital means and Janela's digital labels and dynamic cloud capabilities bridge the gap, making apparel experiences smart, contextual, personalised, and forward-thinking.

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Published on: 15/09/2016

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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