As supply chains have grown in complexity and competition from online retailers forces brick and mortar to evolve, stores and their associates are having to perform more functions than ever before. This includes BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store), Ship from Store, Third-party delivery, and more. The Coronavirus has put even more strain on associates as shelves were emptied faster than they could be stocked and new systems/technologies were put in place to comply with local regulations. In order for retailers to keep up and continue to thrive in the digital age a smarter, faster, safer, and more secure shopping experience is a must.
Vantiq’s partner, Store Intelligence, set out to do just this by implementing real-time Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) into retail stores, allowing for near immediate price changes in response to a multitude of factors. Store Intelligence had an on-premise solution and was looking to reduce cost, rapidly scale, and manage deployment by transforming their solution to run in the cloud. Store Intelligence first set out building their own in-house solution but after more than twelve months developing on Microsoft Azure, they realized an alternative solution was necessary in order to scale effectively.
Implementing ESLs may seem simple in concept, but a lot must happen behind the scenes for everything to run smoothly. With stores using different types of ESLs depending on the product or location in the store, it was very important for Store Intelligence to be able to enable effective communication across the different types of devices. It was also imperative that Store Intelligence shift from an on-premise server to a cloud-based approach to support more than one store at a time.
These factors and more brought Store Intelligence to partner with Vantiq to ensure the successful development and deployment of their real-time smart retail solution.
By utilizing real-time technology, Store Intelligence equipped stores are now able to drastically increase customer spend and loyalty. ESLs can offer gamification throughout the store such as loyalty programs or flash sales that are displayed and updated in real-time on the labels. These next-generation labels also much more effectively grab shopper’s attention using vibrant colors or even moving graphics to draw in eyes.
With many different point of sale systems being used in stores across the globe, it was important for Store Intelligence to seamlessly integrate with all of the major systems. Developing on Vantiq ensured that all current and future systems that are created can be connected to their real-time application using MQTT, Kafka, or other standard messaging protocols.
Store Intelligence plans to rapidly expand its solution to serve large chains spanning entire countries or even globally in some cases. This required an application architecture that allows for such scalability. By using Vantiq’s development environment, Store Intelligence is able to rapidly build custom solutions tailored to specific customer needs while also having the ability to be first to market with the latest in smart retail technology.