Every once in a while, a unique technology application causes a paradigm shift in an entire industry. Take GPS trackers and sensors, which made our commutes more efficient, or cloud technology which changed the very idea of data storage.
In the retail industry, the automation of product inventory checks in physical stores using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies like Computer Vision (CV), Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) promises to not only change the way retailers sort and stock products, but also how consumers shop in stores.
Eyes in the store with real-time SKU data
CV technology captures and analyzes actual shelf images to give retailers real-time information around product presence on the shelf, stockouts, planogram compliance and other retail fundamentals. This breakthrough method of store monitoring drives better decisions on everything, from SKU-level replenishment to promotions.
For example, one large supermarket operator found that their stock-outs persisted for 31 hours before corrective action was taken. When they implemented Trax Retail Watch to continuously monitor their shelves using CV, they were able to reduce OOS duration to under nine hours and increase OSA by nearly 14 percent.
Reduce out of stock duration with SKU-level visibility
Improve on-shelf availability by taking rapid corrective actions in store
Getting it right: What retailers should look for in a CV solution
CV solutions come in a range of avatars. For instance, a rudimentary CV solution would replicate existing manual store auditing processes by simply sensing gaps in the shelf. But this may not quite address your needs.
To put your store operations on a transformation path, consider the following factors when evaluating CV solution providers.
Outfitting your store with the right technology
CV solutions incorporate various methods and technologies to capture what’s happening at shelf:
At Trax, we recommend taking a hybrid approach, depending on your store’s needs and cost considerations.
Building the store of the future
Clearly, this “eyes-in-the-store” approach has benefits in last-mile execution – preventing shelf gaps, improving staff discipline and productivity, and streamlining store operations. But this is just the beginning. A real-time feed of what is happening at the shelf opens up numerous possibilities for retailers, essentially paving the way for you to provide modern shoppers with the frictionless experience they demand.
Imagine giving your shoppers the power and convenience to be able to:
- Walk into a store and be guided to the right aisle with AR-based shelf location guides
- Get product recommendations based on their personal preferences, such as gluten-free
- Receive real-time availability alerts so they can secure their favorite items quickly if these are running low
- Get promotions based on where they are in the store so they don’t miss out on a good offer
Technology is equipping retailers with the tools to improve click-and-collect operations and design futuristic shopping experiences; but it all starts with first getting store operations fundamentals right.
To learn more about how new digital innovations are making retail stores future-ready, download our white paper, Retail Digital Transformation Starts at the Shelf.