by Joe Jensen,vice president of the Internet of Things Group and general manager of the Retail Solutions Division at Intel
At Intel, we believe in the transformative power of data and that intelligent data management for real-time insights isn’t just a competitive advantage, but a strategic imperative. Our goal is to help retailers – from brick-and-mortar to online – unify and connect every single shopping experience, respond more effectively to customers and reinvent the retail experience.
At last year’s NRF, Intel announced responsive retail IoT technologies and a $100 million investment in advancing retail innovation. One year later, we are seeing measurable results as our responsive technologies have been adopted by retailers in nearly 60 stores with 2,000 sensors and 26 partners aligned to the vision to scale in a variety of environments. Through Intel Capital, investments were made in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) automation. Intel has activated the retail ecosystem, delivering off-the-shelf market-ready solutions and addressing some of retail’s biggest challenges: changing the way consumers shop, accelerating automation and managing businesses.
Across the globe, leading retailers are modernising by embracing technologies such as IoT, AI and analytics to personalize the customer experience and reshape the supply chain. One example is JD*, one of the largest online retailers in China. It has opened its first staff-free store called D-Mart* at its company headquarters. Staff-free stores are a growing international trend bringing the conveniences of online retailing into the physical shop.
Imagine walking into a D-Mart store in the middle of the night, selecting an item, paying and leaving without any human interaction. Still, there’s a detailed data footprint of the transaction from which actionable insights can be drawn. How? The store is equipped with a responsive technology suite that includes smart shelves, intelligent cameras, gateways and sensors, smart counters for frictionless checkout, and smart digital signage.
JD’s staff-free store leverages a suite of Intel responsive technologies that range from edge computing to digital signage to point of sale (POS) solutions. The two companies will continue to collaborate on developing IoT solutions that reimagine the future of brick-and-mortar stores to help over 6.8 million mom-and-pop retailers throughout China meet customers’ expectations and remove existing sales barriers.
Intel-powered solutions help retailers transform their supply chains. G-Star*, a leading Dutch retailer piloted the Intel® Responsive Retail Sensor in over 20 stores, and has plans to scale globally to an additional 100 stores. Used in tandem with RIOT* insight software for analytics, the Intel-based solution provides data-driven insights into what’s selling and what’s not, and which items need to be replenished so the retailer can make informed inventory management decisions.
Lolli & Pops*, a retailer of gourmet candies, uses computer vision and AI to provide the next generation of personalized customer experience. Through computer vision, Lolli & Pops “Magic Makers” recognize loyalty members in real time as they enter the store. Using AI-enhanced analytics, the retailer accesses members’ preferences and makes personalized product recommendations – giving shoppers the sweet VIP treatment, while ensuring they keep coming back.
Point of sale equipment can lower the cost of doing business while simultaneously improving productivity. These innovative solutions will also enable transactions at the point of conversion and give customers the power to decide when, where and how they purchase. At NRF 2018, over 30 Intel partners will feature Intel-based solutions designed to help solve retail’s biggest challenges. New solutions like HP’s Elite POS*; Toshiba’s next-generation self-checkout system, the POS AIO*; and Lenovo’s new mPOS* will offer retailers the flexibility, built-in security and manageability to simplify and streamline the transaction process.
Through the combination of our technology innovation and strong partner ecosystem, we are helping build a bright future for retail, where the best years are yet to come.