Retail technology: Motion sensors and KI for better customer service
Retail technology: Motion sensors and KI for better customer service
EHI presents the 2023 reta awards for the best technology solutions in retailing
Yesterday EHI chose the winners of the reta awards for the 16th time. The award ceremony, part of EuroShop 2023, was held in Dr. Thompson’s Seifenfabrik, a historical soap factory, in Düsseldorf. Three equal-ranking prize winners accepted the award in the following five categories: Best Customer Experience, Best Enterprise Solution, Best In-store Solution, Best Connected Retail Solution and Best AI and Robotics Application.
Best Customer Experience
Through the customer card of their loyalty program “Coop Supercard”, Coop uses relevant online and offline shopping information of their customers to display individual product recommendations on the website coop.ch. In mid-2022, the retailer also launched "Mein Coop", a personal online supermarket, on which customers are shown their preferred products and matching product recommendations - for a convenient online purchase in just 5 minutes. The technology for the personalized areas is provided by GK Artificial Intelligence for Retail AG.
Telefónica O2, the core brand of Telefónica Germany, is promoting its 5G network through what is known as the Visible Net. For this purpose Telefónica converted the entire storefront of an O2 store in Berlin into a semi-transparent LED wall. It uses a motion sensor and special programming to sense passers-by and lets them interact with the 5G network. The network lines follow their steps or stop moving when they do. The project partners are Umdasch, Ledcon Systems and Serviceplan Bubble.
French food retailer Carrefour has introduced a motion-sensing technology for identifying unpackaged goods like fruit. When an item is removed from the shelf, a sensor transmits the PLU code to the scales. Customers only have to confirm their purchases on the scales display; they can buy the goods unpackaged. Besides enabling Carrefour to reduce selection errors and losses, the system has simplified the weighing process. The project partners are Digi France, HL Display and Mayam.
Best Enterprise Solution
Turkish wholesaler Bizim Toptan, which offers deliveries and click & collect on its website, teamed up with project partners Obase and Microsoft to implement a data-driven, algorithm-based forecasting system for planning inventory decisions. One aim is to accurately predict which products will be most in demand. The system also helps to anticipate planned activities on special occasions like the start of school and Ramadan.
Schwarz IT installed Parsifal, an AI-based platform provided by the G2K Group, to simplify the IT infrastructure of the companies of Schwarz Group. The platform combines a large number of diverse, isolated solutions. It brings together all the various technologies and application scenarios in a single interface, allowing projects to be rolled out in a standardised manner throughout the world. Use cases can be activated or deactivated for certain business sectors, depending on local requirements.
Fashion retailer Esprit has developed an online software solution for their EU Retail Stores. The real-time merchandise management system tracks incoming and outgoing goods, inventories and price changes, among other information. The data are sent to a database that combines POS transactions and inventory information in real time. This solution has helped to optimize the process flow for the store employees and reduce paper consumption & other consumables in stores by about 50 percent. The project partners are CAS AG and SAP Germany.
Best In-store Solution
Together with technology partner KBST and their partner Expresso, Edeka Aschoff launched the SmartShopper, a digital shopping cart. The cart is equipped with a tablet. Users can use the attached scanner to add goods to their shopping list. When users are ready to pay, they generate a QR-Code with the device and scan it at the checkout. A scale on the cart monitors the items, and a smart system determines the weight with an accuracy of 2g.The systems learns the correct weight of each item automatically.
Sportswear manufacturer Adidas joined project partners Sensormatic Solutions and Clickit to develop various touchpoints for stores that detect consumer movements from the street, at the store window or in certain zones in the store. The retailer would like to track its customers’ movements as closely as possible in order to coordinate music and images with their behaviour. Another goal is to attract new members to its benefit programme, Adi Club.
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer has modernised the ordering options in its restaurants, giving customers a new digital experience. The ordering process is based on a software solution by Givex that allows customers to pay with an app. Diebold Nixdorf introduced a kitchen management system for meal preparation, and the kitchen was equipped with new hardware. After placing their orders, customers take a food tracker to the table so that staff members can deliver the food to them directly.
Best Connected Retail Solution
Edeka Digital has implemented a cloud-based event-streaming and management solution for handling master data in its markets and supply chain. The PubSub+ platform helps it to distribute master data to stores, data centres and cloud services in real time. Product details from an ERP system are merged with images from a previous system, and the changes are transmitted to various target projects. Edeka Digital set up the project together with technology partners Thinkport and Solace.
Shoe retailer Schuhhaus Meyer introduced a cloud-based market place solution together with its partner Scalerion. The solution enables it to order individual sample collections from its suppliers, in this way significantly reducing its warehousing and handling costs. Customers can try out items in the store and use a QR code to have them sent home.
MediaMarktSaturn worked with its partner Coma to develop the in-house gamification platform LaLiga. Here employees throughout Germany and other countries compete as teams with other stores and can win points by selling products, product-related services and consuming product-related content. The purpose is to help employees gain a better understanding of the products and become better able to advise customers.
Best AI & Robotics Application
Aldi Nord’s first cashierless store in Utrecht uses computer vision technology while dispensing with conventional payment terminals and self-checkout points. This is made possible by AI and an app. Products are tracked by sensors in the shelves and cameras in the ceiling. They are matched to customers in compliance with data protection standards. When customers enter the store they check in via QR code. The technology partner is Trigo.
Working with its partner Aifi, the Compass Group developed an autonomous checkout for its Market x Flutter grocery store. The store offers fresh meals, as well as drinks and confectionery. Customers check in at the entrance via QR code. Instead of using facial recognition, the AI-powered camera technology creates visual avatars for customers. When customers leave the store, they automatically receive a receipt on their phones.
Israeli food retailer Shufersal has introduced an AI-powered clip-on device that uses computer vision to turn a regular shopping cart into a smart cart that can automatically identify every item added or removed by shoppers. The screen displays a summary of products, prices and promotions so shoppers can keep track of their purchases. The device also enables frictionless self-service payment, providing shoppers with a seamless shopping experience. Technology partner is Shopic.
EHI and Lebensmittel Zeitung will once again bestow upon the reta award winners’ technology partners the title of “Top Supplier Retail” this year. The 23 honoured service providers range from start-ups to global players. What they all have in common is that, in the eyes of the reta jury, they have made an outstanding contribution to the solutions of their retail partners. The coveted title has been awarded since 2015 and is already regarded as a seal of quality in the retail tech industry.
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About EHI EHI is a research, training and consultancy institute for the retail industry and its partners. It has some 80 employees. The international EHI network comprises some 850 member companies from the retail, consumer goods and capital goods industries, along with service providers. EHI is also a shareholder of GS1 Germany and FoodPlus. It is a partner of Messe Düsseldorf and important trade shows like EuroShop. The President of EHI is Markus Tkotz, Managing Director of Markant. The Managing Director of EHI is Michael Gerling.