Smart technologies in reducing costs and digitizing stores

Smart technologies in reducing costs and digitizing stores

This photo provided by SoftBank Robotics America demonstrates a shopping experience with SoftBank Robotics' humanoid robot called Pepper, waving at right. The robot can greet shoppers and has the potential to send messages geared to people’s age and gender through facial recognition. (SoftBank Robotics America via AP)

The intelligent and highly responsive technologies connected to the Internet of Things help the owners of commercial establishments to reduce costs and digitally transform their stores. According to Intel’s vice president and general manager, Joe Jensen, intelligent data management to extract knowledge in real time is not only a competitive advantage, but also a strategic imperative.

In fact, last year at NRF, an event of the Retail sector, Intel announced a receptive technologies for establishments connected to the IoT and an investment worth $ 100 million for the development of innovations in the retail sector. Now they observe some measurable results as these technologies are adopted by the owners of the establishments in almost 60 stores, with 2,000 sensors and 26 partners that come together to improve different environments. With the support of Intel Capital, Jensen highlights the investments made in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in Internet of Things (IoT). Intel has activated the retail sales ecosystem, offering commercially available ready-made solutions and addressing some of the biggest challenges in the retail sector: changing the way consumers shop, accelerating of automation and business management.

Throughout the world, the main owners of establishments are modernizing, adopting technologies such as IoT, AI and analytics, to personalize the customer experience and to renew the supply chain. An example of this is seen in JD *, one of the largest Internet establishments in China, which has opened its first non-staff store called D-Mart * at the company’s headquarters. Unsecured stores are a growing trend on an international scale, as they offer the convenience of online stores within a physical establishment.

An example is the D-Mart stores, capable of allowing the customer to choose a product, pay and leave the establishment without any human interaction. Even so, we leave a trace of detailed data of the transaction made from which we can obtain actionable knowledge. How does all this happen? The store is equipped with a set of highly responsive technologies that include intelligent shelving, smart cameras, gateways and sensors, intelligent counters to simplify payment and intelligent digital signage systems.

JD’s untapped stores take advantage of a broad set of high-response technologies from Intel that range from local solutions to digital signage or point-of-sale (POS) solutions. The two companies will continue to collaborate in the development of IoT solutions that will design the future of traditional stores at street level, to help more than 6.8 million small establishments in China to meet the expectations of the customers and eliminate existing barriers to sales.

According to Jensen, solutions driven by Intel technologies help establishments transform their supply chains. G-Star *, a leading chain of establishments in the Netherlands has conducted pilot tests with Intel® Responsive Retail Sensor technology in more than 20 stores, and has plans to take it to another 100 additional locations worldwide. When used in conjunction with software to obtain RIOT * knowledge for analysis, the Intel-based solution provides insights driven by data on what is sold and what is not sold, as well as items that need to be spare parts, to make informed decisions about inventory management.

Lolli & Pops *, a chain of gourmet confectionery establishments, uses computer vision and AI to provide customers with the next generation of personalized experiences. With computer vision, the «Magic Makers» of Lolli & Pops recognize the fidelity of the clients in real time when they enter the store. Using improved analytics through AI, the store accesses customer preferences and makes personalized product suggestions, providing them with a sweet VIP treatment and guaranteeing their return to the establishment soon.

The equipment in the points of sale can reduce the cost when doing business, while improving productivity. These innovative solutions will also allow transactions at the point of conversion and give customers the power to decide when, where and how to buy. This year at NRF 2018, the world’s largest event in the Retail sector, 2018, more than 30 Intel partners will present solutions based on Intel technologies designed to help solve the biggest challenges in commercial establishments.