Auchan’s network of 34 hypermarkets in Portugal faced two issues. Replenishment issues were the most common cause of out-of-stocks. On nearly two-thirds of the occasions when customers looked at empty shelves instead of the products they wanted to buy, those products were in the store but not on the shelf.
A key part of the problem was the delay between checking for gaps and replenishment. The practice was to manually check shelf stock once a day, and then replenish the next day. By that time, sales had been lost.It was important to move from day + 1 replenishment to same day replenishment. Secondly, maintaining accurate shelf-prices is very important but time-consuming with manual processes. It was only possible to check one aisle per day meaning checking the entire store takes a month.
The work is repetitive, and often inaccurate, as there are many SKUs and prices change a lot. There are also indirect costs from the extra time needed to address the issue at the checkout and the effect on customer satisfaction. Given Auchan have a money back commitment on price differences on shelf vs the till, it’s a cost and shopper experience necessity to get right.
SaaS hardware inclusive model means ROI is possible from month one
The cloud-based Trax Retail Watch software determines any availability issues by comparing the identified SKUs with those that should be on the shelves.
At the same time, the software reads shelf prices from the images, and compares them with current prices. It also detects situations where there is no price tag for a particular SKU.
22 trained store staff are using the app daily
Availability or pricing discrepancies are relayed to
staff members via Auchan’s internal mobile app, allowing them to focus on fixing the problems instead of identifying them.
Out-of-stocks and pricing errors can now be rectified on the same day they are detected instead of persisting until the following day.
With the introduction of autonomous robots, Auchan wants to improve productivity in stores and optimize the supply chain, freeing employees to focus 100% on the mission of providing a better customer experience
Andre Vieira, Digital Director at Auchan Retail Portugal
The Bottom Line
The benefits of Trax Retail Watch combined with automated data collection were evident almost immediately. In just one month, price anomalies had dropped by 75%, and shelf availability improved by 3%. The on-shelf availability and pricing improvements converts to significant sales growth. Workforce productivity improvement is around 250 working hours per month. Auchan has the opportunity to use this time to continually improve customer service. It provided a six-fold return on investment, and because the software and hardware package is delivered as a service, there was a positive ROI from the very first month.