IRL Creates In-Store Shopping Experiences for eCommerce Retailers


October 3, 2017

What do Leesa, Killerspin, and Home Chef have in common other than being great home and lifestyle ecommerce brands? They are also participating in a new store concept at Water Tower Place in Chicago called IRL (In Real Life). IRL, created by The Lionesque Group in partnership with GGP, is many things: it is an opportunity for otherwise pure-play eCommerce brands to meet customers in the real world where they can touch, feel, and experience new products and services; it is a retailing platform that seamlessly integrates digital and physical shopping experience and data capture; and it is a way for mall operators to drive more traffic and bring new retailers into brick and mortar.

IRL scan and key

The key to the success of IRL is, well, a key. Upon entering the store, which is currently focused on goods and services for the home, each visitor is given an IRL key ring created by Field-Test (a subsidiary of The Lionesque Group) that has a unique feature: it includes a long-range RAIN RFID tag powered by an Impinj endpoint IC. Shoppers use the key to easily build up a list of items in the store for purchase and fulfillment via the brands’ existing direct channel, with IRL getting credit for the sale.

But that is not all. As the guests visit each brand experience in the store with their key, the Impinj platform with xSpan gateways and ItemSense software allows IRL to capture dwell times and conversion rates much like what retailers expect to get from their websites. A great feature of the Field-Test key is that the IRL guest activity is anonymous until and unless the guest chooses to associate themselves with the key and its data at the end of the visit.

Field-Test uses RAIN RFID and the Impinj platform to create a digital shopping experience that is, in fact, purely physical at IRL. In the store, guests interact with products, not with screens. Yet, Field-Test at IRL captures more digital data about shopper activity than most retailers can dream of, and they are able to establish a digital relationship with the guest that will continue after they have left the store. Field-Test may have cracked the code for seamless integration of digital and physical retailing. And we’re thrilled that they’ve done it using RAIN RFID and the Impinj platform.


Impinj (NASDAQ: PI) wirelessly connects billions of everyday items such as apparel, medical supplies, and automobile parts to consumer and business applications such as inventory management, patient safety, and asset tracking. The Impinj platform uses RAIN RFID to deliver timely information about these items to the digital world, thereby enabling the Internet of Things.

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