Abstract: This paper presents the development and deployment of an RFID-enabled system supporting promotions management. The system provides both back-end functionality to supply chain partners by measuring promotions effectiveness and front-end functionality to consumers by providing personalized selection of alternative promotion gifts. We report the system design and implementation, and discuss our experiences and lessons learned during the system deployment in two stages. The study reveals that deployment of RFID services in the retail context presents a number of technology and individual challenges in the form that require special treatment. These challenges refer to accurate readability of products, handling of exception events, health concerns, and consumer privacy. The study proposes specific implementation solutions for each challenge. We also performed a field study in a Greek retail outlet which revealed that shoppers evaluated more favorably the RFID augmented promotion management method compared to traditional methods. In terms of market acceptance, the results of a workshop with retailers and suppliers showcased that although the service provides multiple benefits to supply chain operations, factors related to cost, consumer privacy, and current maturity of RFID technology still prohibit the service's wide adoption by the industry. Finally, the results of a cost-benefit analysis indicate that the investment is financially viable, under certain assumptions, and breaks even after 3 years. Given the contextual details of the study, the lessons learned and the proposed deployment strategy may guide developers and organizations aspiring to adopt RFID to modify their strategies accordingly.
Keywords: RFID, data stream management system, service-oriented architecture, implementation guidelines