At the EuroCIS trade fair in Düsseldorf, Deutsche Telekom will be demonstrating how retailers can network stores with the help of sensors – and thus obtain valuable data analyses and offer better customer service.
No overflowing garbage cans in front of the entrance, no beeping reverse vending machines, permanently full shelves and no long queues at the cash register – a visit to the supermarket could actually be quite relaxed. However, in order to offer their customers such a feel-good experience when shopping, a retailer would have to have their eyes on everything at all times and probably more than two hands as well.
Those exploring the latest trading technologies at the EuroCIS trade fair in Düsseldorf (February 19-21, 2019) will discover: eyes can now be replaced at one point or another with the help of digital technology. In the networked store, sensors sound the alarm when freezers are open too long and the frozen salmon threatens to spoil. Or they report that the coffee is running out on the shelf so that retailers can reorder early and customers don't have to do without their preferred product.
SENSORS HELP AVOID GAPS IN SHELVES
More efficient goods logistics, forward-looking analyses and better customer service – the potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) for the retail trade is enormous. Retailers can identify critical situations before they impact store operations and therefore also customer satisfaction. For example with intelligent shelves: Thanks to light sensors, the shelves automatically determine whether sufficient goods are still in stock – and send a signal for reordering as required. Gaps in shelves can thus be effectively avoided using predictive analytics. All sensor data can be clearly managed in the Connected Things Hub (CTH), Telekom's IoT platform based on Microsoft Azure. The solution allows retailers to set threshold values, evaluations and alarms at the click of a mouse.
RETAIL: SENSORS PROVIDE VALUABLE EVALUATIONS
Already today light sensors are being used to perceive such subtle differences that they can reliably detect how many paper bags are still available in the baked goods area of a supermarket. The sensors notify employees before the bags are completely used up. In the same way, retailers can monitor the stands with flyers or magazines at the entrance area. The waiting time for customers can be shortened by an alarm triggered by motion detectors in the event of excessively long checkout queues. Ultrasonic sensors attached to waste bins or recycling bins also ensure greater customer satisfaction: As soon as these are filled up to a defined mark, the sensors send a signal that the containers need to be emptied.
Sensors measure the status of the reverse vending machine and how full they are at any given time. Capacities can thus be monitored automatically. Employees are then notified by SMS or phone call, for example, and can react before the containers are full. Merchants also receive valuable information from the sensors in the store. With a door-opening sensor at the entrance door, for example, they can measure customer frequency. With the help of sensors on freezer cabinets, retailers can determine how often various cabinets are opened each week. A further advantage is that store owners can ensure the quality of their goods at any time by means of an alarm that goes off if the freezer door stays open for a longer period of time.
Temperature sensors on cooling appliances or automatic baking ovens quickly detect any malfunctions and thus avoid any damage to goods. Existing systems can be easily integrated into Telekom's IoT platform. For example, modern refrigerators with sensors already installed ex works can be managed via the clear dashboard.
EUROCIS: TELEKOM IN HALL 9, STAND D58
From blockchain to the IoT-networked store: At the EuroCIS in Düsseldorf, companies will receive support for the digitalization of their business at the Telekom stand (Hall 9, Stand D58). In addition to the store networked with sensors, Telekom will also be demonstrating how retailers use blockchain to automatically document their supply and value chain. At EuroCIS, companies will also be able to get information about the MagentaBusiness POS digital checkout system and the Mobile Identity & Access digital access and identity solution.
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Connected mobility and industry-specific IoT know-how are the topics of choice for Daniel Kunz when he writes articles for the blog. He has been with T-Systems since 2017 and is extensively involved with the Internet of Things and all the associated trends.