Case Study for Grocery Fulfillment

NFC-equipped robots forging the future for online grocery orders.


End User A mega grocery chain
Project Type Online grocery order fulfillment
Location U.S.A.
Scope Automating shopping by equipping one million robotic totes with two million near field communication (NFC) tags
Identiv Solution Waterproof SLIX2 NFC Tag (88 x 33 mm)

Business Situation

As part of a nationwide, 500-store remodel, one of the world’s largest mega grocery chains wanted to conduct a 200,000-square-foot expansion at one of its locations, transforming the space into a large pick-up location for online order fulfillment. During the expansion, the grocer was also looking to improve the process of online order fulfillments through robotic automation in order to compete with a major online shopping giant. With the assistance of automation, associates of this grocery chain would be able to complete more orders more quickly than by simply walking up and down the aisles in search of goods. While robots conduct other tasks behind the scenes, these associates would be able to spend more time carefully selecting fresh produce and meat. A more efficient fulfillment process would help prices stay low for the chain’s huge customer base.

Technical Situation

The mega grocer wanted to automate specific steps in the online grocery pickup process by using autonomous mobile carts to gather shelf-stable, refrigerated, and frozen items from a high-density storage system. These robotic carts would retrieve and deliver the items to store associates to quickly fulfill online orders. What’s more, all of this would happen at the back of the store, out of the view of customers. Equipped with an NFC tag, the autonomous carts would need to traverse the grocery warehouse and, through radio-frequency identification (RFID), detect and select the proper dry goods pertaining to each online order.


By choosing to work with Identiv through a system integrator, one of the world’s largest grocers was able to move forward with its innovative expansion and begin aggressively competing in the market for online order fulfillment. Customizing its SLIX2 NFC Tag ― an 88 x 33 mm waterproof tag ― Identiv was able to provide the NFC technology necessary to automate one million robotic carts, each equipped with two SLIX2s.


Identiv’s NFC-enabled solutions feature a catalog of transponders compatible with NFC Forum, created for contactless transactions and communication in the Internet of Things (IoT) and connecting electronic devices with a simple tap-and-go model. NFC technology enables a host of convenient new applications for mobile device users. Harnessing the power of NFC tech allows customers to bring dreams to life, and Identiv powers those dreams. IoT applications, smart posters and business cards, mobile payments and ticketing, loyalty programs, promotional campaigns, simple electronic device pairing and setup, proximity data communication, printing needs, healthcare requirements, physical access control, and online grocery order fulfillment ― the sky’s the limit with Identiv’s catalog of NFC tags.

Equipped with Identiv’s NFC technology, the mega grocer’s robots are forging the future for online grocery orders.