Disney's RFID iPad Trial Is An Important Lesson When Battling Showrooming

As E-tailers continue their incursions into rivals' physical stores, the only viable defense is to radically upgrade customer service and the overall store experience. Two of the retailers most known for this are Apple and Walt Disney World Resort. Have you ever heard of an E-Commerce site cutting into the revenue at Disney? What specific tactics can brick-and-mortars steal? Here's a good one: Disney this month is experimenting with an RFID/iPad combo to upgrade its famous FastPass system—for letting people reserve tickets/times and thereby get much faster access to rides and events. As Disney employees carry iPads, customers' RFID bracelets will interact with CRM and ride information.

It's fair to argue that Disney has always been the retail exception. It pushed contactless payment by offering deep discounts, and Disney even successfully got customers to use digital biometrics (fingerprints) for park access. But that's just the point. With a heavy enough emphasis on experience and customer service, shoppers are willing to do almost anything, including—just perhaps—forgetting all about Amazon.

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