Progressive Grocer

FEB 2017

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104 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | February 2017 if they want to lead, consider- ing that digital has an influence on stores, and the expectation of great customer service and satisfaction is set by digital, not in-store, operations. Looking at the top 200 retailers in the country from an economic perspective, De- loitte found that the ones that provide differentiated products and experience report 13 per- cent cumulative average annual sales growth, compared to the overall retail industry's average of 2 percent growth. Sides emphasized that the retailers that are winning use data and digital to do three things: Have integrated experiences: ere is no online or offline to them, as consumers are online and connected all the time. Leverage customer data in meaningful ways: One size doesn't fit all for these retailers, as meaning- ful data are different by category. Compel shoppers to return to their stores: Retailers winning today all create integrated unique experi- ences, which allow them to continue to grow. Turning from presentations to the show floor, myriad vendors showcased the latest and great- est technological wares geared toward disrupting various points of retail business. While there were too many to list, several noteworthy companies and solutions applicable for grocers included: Apex Supply Chain Technologies showcased its AnyWhere automated pickup lockers. Particularly useful for retailers with click-and-collect programs seeking to streamline last-inch delivery, the custom- er-facing, two-sided, flow-through systems can be loaded by employees from the rear without requir- ing them to leave their workstations. It allows for secure order pickup and decreases customer lines, as well as providing real-time reports and analytics. InContext Solutions allowed visitors at the Virtual Reality Pavilion to engage with several VR demon- strations, including its ShopperMX flagship SaaS VR platform, through HIVE (Hi-Immersion Vir- tual Experience). e demo transported users into a virtual store environment, where they could interact with products, shelf sets, store layouts and in-store displays to assist with category management and create more engaging shopping experiences. eatro displayed its voice-controlled wear- ables for retail employees. rough the 1.5-ounce voice-driven product, floor associates can interact instantly with any and all store employees, systems and management, and even associates in other stores. e cloud-based technology also features a real-time indoor-location-tracking service, as well as access to real-time and historical team-performance metrics. Fujitsu unveiled Fujitsu Digital Workforce, a cloud- based platform that automates repetitive, low-value tasks, freeing up staff to engage in more complex and higher-priority assignments. It offers a number of benefits, including improved speed and consistency of tasks that are prone to human error; significant cost benefits, thanks to more productive use of employee time; and easy implementation without the need to extensively retool existing IT infrastructure. Intel debuted its Responsive Retail Platform (RRP), intended to deliver a deep understanding of how stores and people interact. RRP connects multiple data streams' digital and physical environments. With the goals of lowering costs and increasing sales, the platform helps optimally place inventory, deploy employees and other resources, and track inventory from supply chain to the store door. It provides in-the-moment information about what customers are buying, what they want and how to manage inventory so it arrives on time. FutureProof Retail (FPR) showcased its MobileCh- eckout platform, an easy-to-use white-label shopping app that merchants can offer customers. With app in hand, shoppers go about their routine, but scan items as they are placed in the cart. Once the shopping trip is complete, the patron pushes a "check out" button and pays via smartphone, card or Apple Pay. e company also showed its new MobileCheckout self-install kit, which contains individualized instructions, checkout beacons and cameras, and more. Setup takes one to two hours and is activated remotely by FPR, with phone support available if needed. PG Industry Events Retail's Big Show Wo R k I n P R o GRESS During a keynote panel discussion, Walmart U.S. CE o Greg Foran (second from left) stressed that employee training is more important than ever for Walmart.

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