Wipro Smart i-connect™ – Hitachi Joint Solution for Retail Stores

By Caroline Jacquet posted 10-04-2019 23:40


Let us face the truth.  Whenever a customer encounters an empty rack in a store, it creates an unsatisfied customer and the store loses an opportunity to sell and generate revenue. In fact, the lack of proper insights creates operational losses inadequate planning and floor space mismanagement increases revenue losses as well as improper accessibility, poor parking space and further reduces footfall. Inefficient inventory handling and turnaround increases chances of losses by damaged products. In short, there are many ways a store can incur losses.

What is the solution – IOT, but how???

A key area of interest is the behaviour of customers being analyzed in real time while they are shopping in stores and apply data models to derive actionable insights to make the customer and brand experience superior. To improve operations, real time insights on logistics and warehouse operations are critical as well. Most of these real time insights can be captured through IOT infrastructure, which includes video and sensor data which is captured, processed and analyzed in real time. Broadly, there are three areas where IOT is been deployed by retail stores:
  1. In-Store
  2. In-Transit
  3. In-Warehouse

1. In-Store:

Traditionally stores have CCTV setup that visualizes the activity inside stores in real time primarily for surveillance and safety purposes and the governments mandate it. This video data, which is mostly stored for post-event analysis can be analyzed on a real-time basis for three key use cases:
  1. Analyzing the foot traffic such as people counting or visualizing the traversal path of shopper from check-in to check-out. This helps to understand how many customers are entering the shop and not purchasing anything as well as better understanding of the peak times during each day which allow for resource planning, staffing and better planograms.
  2. Visibility into the brand interactions, such as which brands are the most engaging for customers and insights into certain brands that are underperforming.
  3. Reduction in wait time at registers by counting customers in the queue and assessing how many POS counters are operational. Using the information to compare the count of people against the tolerance level as well as alerts for thresholds to the store manager in order to open the closed POS counters or plan for more POS counters if the trend or predictive analytics recommends new business processes.
By using sensor-based technologies we can also extract data from machines like refrigerators which monitor and maintain freshness of foods. Also, sensors such as LIDARS can help automate alerts to replenish inventory in all sections of the store.  As well as in-store analytics where IOT can be applied to surroundings like parking areas to help customers find parking spaces more quickly and alert and avert security threats by detecting unattended objects or objects such as guns.
2. In-transit:
Retailers source inventory from various suppliers via various sourcing centres and/or warehouses from which they are physically transported to the stores.  And since many of the products are perishable or environmentally sensitive, such as food and medicine, transportation is critically important.  Having said that, you can see how IOT sensors we can keep a real time track of the freshness of food or integrity of medicines as required. With edge to cloud technologies and high-speed GSM networks (like 5G), it’s possible to create new processes, outcomes and brand experiences for our customers

3. In-Warehouse:
       These are the areas where IOT based analytics can be applied:
  1. Monitoring and maintaining the temperature of cooling equipment suited for specific food or medicine.
  2. Monitoring the employee activity to improve safety and productivity.
  3. Tracking moving equipment like forklifts to improve time of movement.
  4. Tracking pallets entry and exit to aid faster returns to the suppliers.

Wipro Smart i-Connect™ – Hitachi joint solution approach

Wipro Smart i-Connect™, Hitachi SSVI, Lidar, Hitachi Pentaho, in combination will provide a robust solution to the end customer.
Benefits for Target Customer (Store operations manager, area manager)
  • Adept insight to reduce operational losses.
  • Improved visibility of devices, sensors and equipment across store.
  • Boost collaborative efforts and help increase revenue by sales.
  • Increased visibility of footfall, resulting in improved people profiling.
  • Optimizing product availability by brand engagement analysis.
  • Accurate self/rack utilization and turnaround.
  • Better stock, inventory, supply chain management.
  • Improved safety & security.
  • Reduced wait time at POS and increment in customer experience.
  • Reduce product wastage
All of it and more collectively adding to augmentation of sales and revenue.
We look forward to discussing this and many other opportunities to power good together at HitachiNEXT!