The current approach to retail is not agile or scalable enough to meet the growing demands of society. World events such as COVID-19 and natural disasters drastically overwhelm supply chains, crowd stores, threaten public health, and negatively impact profit for retailers. The introduction of technologies like self-checkout and mobile ordering are a step in the right direction, but a more interactive and flexible approach is necessary. Smart retail environments will soon be expected, but the technologies used by most retailers today are not prepared for this level of complexity.
E-commerce has taken a large percentage of sales from brick and mortar retailers. In order to survive, retailers must now provide the benefits of e-commerce that customers expect (easy navigation, search and filter features, personalized ads, order history, product suggestions, etc.) at a speed and quality that is competitive.
After building robotics for the Israeli military, Cust2Mate’s founders realized the retail segment was “starving for this kind of solution” and took the initial challenge of creating a smart retail solution involving the outfitting of 1,000 shopping carts with smart sensors in 8 months. To make this a reality, Cust2Mate knew they needed a platform that was extremely scalable and could deploy solutions in a fraction of the time traditional platforms are capable of. On top of that, they needed to be able to quickly replicate and add new features to effectively expand to different segments of the retail industry.
Utilizing the power of a real-time application, Cust2Mate created a solution that not only analyzes data, such as customer purchasing habits or time spent in different aisles, but also intelligently collaborates with customers and employees in real time. Businesses using this solution no longer need to make inferences on customer data after the fact.
After expanding in supermarkets, Cust2Mate’s ultimate goal is to bring their solution to other transactional environments such as sporting goods stores, pharmacies, museums, and more. Different retail sectors have vastly different requirements. VANTIQ’s seamless deployment tools make it easy for Cust2Mate to adapt and deploy their solution to new markets.
Interactive shopping experience based on individual buying habits
Smart shopping cart technology revolutionizes the shopping experience by making it more interactive and personalized. All the amenities of e-commerce (rewards accounts, purchase history, real-time inventory status, instant price control, shopping list integration, etc.) are brought to brick and mortar stores.
Retailers powered by Cust2Mate interact with their customers like never before through personalized ads and item suggestions related to their location in the store. Customers import their shopping lists and the system provides a recommended route. These real-time capabilities provide retailers with benefits only before seen in e-commerce, leading to increased customer satisfaction and spending.
Able to quickly adapt to unforeseen events
One of the only things that can be guaranteed is change. Spills, security threats, theft, panic buying, market trends, and much more affect the retail environment. Cust2Mate’s solution easily accepts and applies new rules to adapt quickly to change. Customers are redirected or notified of hazards via their smart cart, instant price changes and purchase limits are implemented during demand spikes, and security systems are alerted of theft.
In the case of a crisis such as COVID-19, automated queuing and social distancing protocols can be quickly added to the system to slow the spread. Retailers using Cust2Mate’s solution are able to react more quickly to change and can better serve their customers.
Improved flow of people and products
Having real-time oversight of people and products as they flow through stores increases overall efficiency of the supply chain and helps protect the environment. Cust2Mate’s solution provides customers with in-store navigation based on their shopping list, enabling them to shop with ease, leading them around congested areas.
Instead of waiting in long checkout lines, customers place products in their basket and pay on the shopping cart as they exit the store. By knowing the real-time location of customers in the store, employees can respond to customers needs more quickly and contextually.