Welcome to the future of retail

Welcome to the future of retail

Responsive IoT technologies help retailers to reduce costs and digitally transform stores.

By Joe Jensen

Imagine walking into a store in the middle of the night, selecting an item, and paying for it and leaving without any human interaction.

Staffless stores are already a reality, along with the artificial intelligence
to deliver a personalized and all-encompassing shopping experience.

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 both brick-and-mortar and online retailers unify and connect every single shopping experience, respond more effectively to customers, and reinvent the retail experience.

At last year’s National Retailers Federation (NRF) show, Intel announced responsive retail Internet of Things (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 have been made in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and IoT automation. As such, 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 modernizing 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 recently opened D-Mart, its first staff-free store, at its company headquarters.

Staff-free stores shape the future of retail

Staff-free stores are a growing international trend, bringing the conveniences of online retailing into the physical shop.

Imagine walking into a store in the middle of the night, selecting an item, and paying for it 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.

Amazon opened its first checkout-free grocery store to the public in January.

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, recently 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.

Elsewhere, 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 program members in real time as they enter the store.

Using AI-enhanced analytics, the retailer accesses members’ preferences and makes personalized product recommendations.

POS equipment can lower the cost of doing business while simultaneously improving productivity. ese 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 in January, over 30 Intel partners featured Intel-based solutions. 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, security, and manageability to simplify and streamline the transaction process.

Through the combination of our technology innovation and strong partner-based ecosystem, we are helping build a brighter future for retail, and the best years are yet to come.


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