Progressive Grocer Independent

AUG 2016

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26 | Progressive Grocer Independent | August 2016 Feature Store of the Future Abundance of Data Smartphones are almost ubiquitous, and along with that, so is customer data, which are gathered through various methods from the time a customer walks in the door (or even enters the parking lot) to when they walk out. When looking at what an intelligent building may look like, "we know that 70 percent of the data coming from IoT (Internet of ings) devices like sensors, beacons, mobile phones, are coming through lighting," says Jerri Traflet, senior retail marketing manager at Boston-based Current, powered by GE. "Light- ing controls and allows scattered data." Big Brother is watch- ing shoppers as well as employees. Intelligent LED lighting not only offers energy savings, something that will be of even more concern in the future, but also acts as a main point for gathering information. e intelligent LEDs are fitted with other controls and capabilities that Traflet describes as "light fidelity," which allows the lights to communicate via wireless technol- ogy to any device in the store. "We can pull data not only about energy, but about everything that's occurring within that operational en- vironment," Traflet says. is includes how customers move through the store, defining the path to purchase, and how employees are moving through the store: Are they being produc- tive and serving customers when needed? e information also can be used in real time to alert customers to specials, deals or almost any other information the retailer wants to share. "Light- ing is sort of the primary starting piece in making sure that the control pieces are there," Traflet says. e lights can sense how many people are in the store, the temperature or even the hu- midity. While the lights track human movement, they also can adjust the store's environment to the ambient ele- ments and human population, making energy use more efficient. Wrangling Data Retailers can technically gather gen- eral data when any customer walks into the store and their smartphone pings the network — the phone's IP address is considered public domain — but Traflet encourages retailers to have an opt-in to allow for more intelligent data gathering. Retailers can use the information to see which departments are attracting a lot of attention and which departments may be missing out on sales. "It's kind of a heat map of where custom- ers happen to be shopping, and that's going to help retailers figure out if the store is organized the right way," Traflet says. "It's really the retailer's ability to look at all the pieces of information, all the data that's happening around the business," she adds. "ere's just massive amounts of it being collected, and being able to really analyze what's happening in real time to make certain that they are delivering the right mix of inventory, the right feel in the environment of the store, as well as the kinds of service that the customer wants." Whether it's wrangling data to change the store design or creating a store that offers better customer service by offering no service, the supermarket landscape is changing. "Change is coming; it is real," de Speville asserts. e future can be intimidating, but no more so than to the retail- ers a century ago that suddenly saw customers walking through aisles and selecting their own products. While change is coming, it doesn't have to be bad for business. PGI "We know that 70 percent of the data coming from IoT (Internet of Things) devices like sensors, beacons, mobile phones, are coming through lighting." —Jerri Traflet, senior retail marketing manager at Current, powered by GE

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