IT services and solutions for retail and hospitality

  • 22 Jan 2013

NRF 13 Day Two

There was so much to see whilst at NRF. The second day was equally as busy as the first, if not more so.  On day two we came across further solutions to facilitate both the personalisation of message and the development of more valuable communications to customers, the majority of which seemed to be delivered in a digital format.

One of the most prevalent solutions at the EXPO was that of footfall analysis and surveillance.  There were numerous solutions in place for heat mapping in store, created to identify what is working well in terms of product positioning and the interest it is creating.  This was a solution showcased at #NRF2012, and it appears to have really gained traction.  In fact it was a case of counting the people counting solutions in some parts.  Retailers are using this well to figure out how to most effectively merchandise their products to increase basket value.  The other use of this technology is around surveillance, and preventing stock shrinkage.

Whilst on the subject of tracking in store, one organisation had developed a solution using RFID tags.  These are placed in the handles of shopping trolleys and enables real time electronic couponing.  Carts and baskets are tracked throughout the entire store, and are automatically checked into every brand category they visit.  On the shelves is a touch screen device on which digital content is delivered to every shopper.  The shopper can touch the screen and send the coupon electronically to the basket or trolley, enabling the trolley or basket to become a digital wallet.  The selected coupons are then automatically downloaded and redeemed at the checkout, which is reducing transaction time as people are no longer searching for paper coupons.  Full data regarding the coupon usage, behavioural data and mapping in store is then uploaded and analysed in the cloud for assessment by the retailer, who can then make decisions regarding product positioning, store layout and popular campaigns in store.  Whilst this may have more relevance to supermarket chains there are still principles that could be used for other retailers in order to improve and focus their offering.  The question as always is whether this would deliver ROI for the retailer.

Others are using RFID tags simply as a stock counting method.  Retailers such as American Apparel are using RFID tags in their clothing.  This has enabled them to massively reduce stock counting time spent as store staff can now wave a scanner around the shop floor to gain all product data, rather than going through traditional stock counting methods.  Transaction speed is increased through reduced time spent at the till.  Items for purchase are simply placed on a glass counter, which then registers all the product information and feeds straight though to payment.  Whilst using RFID tags may still be expensive for the retailer. I spoke to one provider who said that each tag is now 8 cents (approximately 5 pence) as opposed to a cost of 50 cents (around 31 pence) which was the case in 2005.  Again whether the cost of this investment is effective remains to be seen.

Keep following the blog as we have more updates regarding digital displays, synchronised shopping across multiple devices,  and digital display cabinets for visual merchandising.

Were you at #NRF13?  If so let us know your highlights, and things that interested you.

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