Self checkout

Reclaiming Retail’s Customer Heritage

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

Today will be the slowest pace of change in your lifetime. Consider that for a moment. The ubiquitous iPhone was introduced just a decade ago, and today we take the app store and all the capabilities we have in our hand for granted. It seems like only yesterday that robots were the realm of science fiction, yet today we find them roaming store aisles, autonomous pods delivering groceries, and automated warehouses fast becoming the norm. Even the production of food itself is being transformed as meat is grown in factories and greens are grown in trailers alongside the store. The fast moving consumer goods retail industry is in chaos and the shift online is only the tip of the iceberg as disruption sweeps across every part of the supply chain. And this disruption is only just getting started. Technologies are converging, triggering even greater growth in world-changing capabilities. And even industries are converging as new technologies, consumer interest, and economic forces come into play. Many retailers are being whipsawed by the shift online and the explosive growth of innovation, not knowing where to focus next. Amidst this chaos, some retailers are trying to do everything while others are overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. And all retailers are moving too slowly, often not understanding the underlying forces at work driving this new world. Five year plans, a staple of management, are obsolete before the save button is clicked as new capabilities, new competitors, and new consumer demands arise almost daily. To bring order to the chaos retailers need to focus on the one constant that is ever-present: The customer. We have entered the Age of ‘i’. This is a time of quickening innovation; expanding intelligence powered by artificial intelligence feeding off big data, and immersive experiences provided by augmented and virtual reality, with all of it increasingly focused on making the world all about each individual person. Retail in the Age of ‘i’ reclaims the industry’s heritage of customer focus growing from the days of the corner store. Today, retailers have the ability to leverage vast new technologies to once again focus on the individual customer, partnering with each customer as we journey forward. And beyond technology, retailers have an opportunity to inject humanness into a shopping experience that is at risk of becoming an automated, people-free process of replenishment. The retail industry is rapidly approaching a crossroads. One path is leading to an efficient, cost-effective, yet sterile, shopping environment ruled by automation. The other is positioning technology in service to customers, taking advantage of automation to redirect human associates to engage with shoppers in either the physical or virtual environments, and fostering the personal relationships between the merchant and the customer that were a part of life decades ago.   “Throughout history, human beings have inherently been social creatures. For millions of years we’ve genetically evolved to survive and thrive through the “togetherness” of social groups and gatherings. Today, modern communication and technology has forever changed the landscape of our human interaction, and as such, we often decline without this type of meaningful personal contact. Today’s highly individualistic, digitally remote, and material driven culture is now challenging all of this, as we turn to science to unlock the mysteries of human connection and wellness in a digitally connected world.” I believe there is business opportunity in doing the right thing for people and our communities. That people today, staring into their digital screens for hours at a time, interacting via Facebook or Twitter, and being drawn to every new shiny piece of tech, actually covet human connectedness. Retailers, especially food retailers, are in a unique position to deliver this powerful human experience given that people still need to eat daily and, as we’ll see later in the book, the growing connectedness between food and health and wellbeing. From a business perspective, every customer interaction, whether in the digital realm or the physical store, is vital to acquiring, growing, and retaining customers. Focusing on each individual customer forces retailers to think beyond generalizations - investing in a health and wellness program is good for my shoppers - to focus on leveraging technology to serve the individual; ‘how can I help Sasha improve her life by providing products and services contextually relevant to her?’. This involves not looking at Sasha as representative of a cohort, but - literally - building a relationship with Sasha as an individual.  Not only is the customer the only constant in today’s world of non-stop disruption, but customers are expecting, even demanding, that the world be made relevant to them. And why not? Consumers take for granted the personalization and relevancy in the digital world, and expect the same from brick & mortar retailers. An excerpt from Retail in the Age of ‘I’. Available on Amazon.com +MORE

CART Weekly Report 4/25/19

CART, Advancing Retail

AMERICA'S BIGGEST SUPERMARKET COMPANY STRUGGLES WITH ONLINE GROCERY UPHEAVAL | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Two key things I would call out relative to this Kroger story by Heather Haddon from WSJ. The first is that while Kroger, like all other grocery retailers, is being challenged by the move online, has an asset few others do: Years of accurate customer purchase data. That data is the fuel for helping Kroger understand their customers and powering up more efficient customer growth and retention. While Kroger does a good job with personalization, they can always do better, especially leveraging the latest AI and machine learning approaches. The second call out: while Kroger is working to innovate at a growing pace, they are resource-challenged to deploy new tech like their digital shelf edge solution fast enough. If a Kroger with their resources is having a tough time, it makes you wonder about the future of the regional and independent retailers. HOW GROCERY RETAILERS CAN REINVENT THEIR LOYALTY PROGRAMS | Progressive Grocer  Gary’s Take: So this article on retailers reinventing their loyalty programs fails to understand what retail loyalty programs are all about… DATA. Sure, the value proposition is important - points, fuel rewards, 2-tier pricing, etc. - that’s what drives shopper enrollment and participation. But the author is suggesting that retailers can be successful by dropping traditional loyalty and concentrating on customer service and developing a unique niche like a Trader Joe. In a world of consumer expectation for personalization and contextual relevancy, customer data is not optional. Just having great service or a unique product niche is not enough. Its all about data - just ask Kroger, Amazon, and many others. Retailers without data will be increasingly challenged to remain relevant in the Age of ‘I’, as the world is increasingly tailored to each of us individually. WILL AMERICA’S LOVE FOR COUPONS EVER DIE? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: It’s worth looking at the whole experience not just the paper coupons; there’s a cycle of distribution and redemption that’s sometimes just easier with paper. Digital has a little work to do. I don’t think consumers “want” paper coupons — they just accept them as a known, simple experience. Separately, Valassis conducting a paper coupon survey is kind of like cigarette companies funding cigarette studies in the ’50s and early ’60s :). IS AI’s IMPACT ON DEMAND FORECASTING MORE HYPE THAN REALITY | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: AI will significantly transform most aspects of our lives. By 2045 (or so) a $1,000 USD processor will buy you the processing power equivalent to all human beings alive — about 9 billion people. It’s hard to fathom the kind of impact that’s going to have on our businesses or our lives; however, I imagine shoring up at 32% forecasting error will be positively impacted sooner than later. HOW TO FIX CORPORATE TECH STRATEGY | Innovation Excellence Sterling’s Take: There is no silver bullet to ensure a company commercializes its next great technology, product or service. Key disruption to current processes can significantly improve the odds because it’s about the people and about the culture. Ensuring connectedness, simplifying analysis, and increasing agility will help any company better invest its resources as it tries to invent the future. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK:  4 WAYS AUGMENTED REALITY IS REDEFINING THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE by Alexa Marino, Glance Creative HAPPENINGS COMMERCE IN THE CONSUMER AGE: HOW HUMANITY AND TECHNOLOGY COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A NEW VISION FOR RETAIL - Criteo Commerce Forum May 9, 2019  CREATING ROI IN THE FUTURE OF AR/VR IN RETAIL: HOW RETAILERS ARE USING VR/AR TO ACHIEVE GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GOALS - May 14, 2019 Questions? Contact Retail and eCommerce Committee Event Co-Chair, Sterling Hawkins via email:sterling.hawkins@advancingretail.org DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event  Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda Get on the Inside - CART Community FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>>Your growth engine into retail Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future.  VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE  CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here +MORE

CART'S INNOVATION PROGRAM

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

CART’s Innovation Program, done in partnership with Retail Tomorrow, is a unique offering that works for retailers and solution providers alike. Designed for national and larger regional retailers, the CART team works with the retailer’s executive team to identify 2-3 specific areas of interest like automation, in-store experience, etc. With interests established, the team then goes to work identifying the leading solution providers in each area, filtering through and curating the most appropriate capabilities. That process often entails talking with each solution to ensure applicability and set expectations. Amongst the many factors we evaluate is making sure the size and scale of the retailer is aligned with the solution provider’s resources. Connecting a young solution to a massive retailer might sound exciting, but if the solution provider lacks the resources to pilot and then scale deployments it leads to frustration on all sides. Once the appropriate solution providers have been identified we all go on-site to the retailer’s HQ to spend a day with their executive team focused around education as each solution is given an opportunity to present to the group and talk about what they do. The format allows for Q&A along with opportunity to start building relationships as everyone networks over coffee breaks and lunch. From the solution provider’s perspective, the opportunity to get time with the senior exec team from prominent retailers is invaluable. Once a solution provider is selected to participate, the CART team will work with you to review your presentation materials to make sure you’re providing the most powerful and relevant message possible about your company and what you do. The CART team will provide some coaching for the presenters to make sure you deliver your message in the time allotted (these events are pretty tightly scripted to accomplish everything).  Expectations are clearly identified on all sides early in the process. From the retailer, CART is looking for executive level commitment and engagement with the process, the executive team’s commitment to spend the day with in the on-site meeting with all the solutions, and a commitment to seriously consider piloting appropriate solutions. From solution providers, CART is looking for new innovative capabilities to help the retailer address challenges they have or provide new capabilities that are beneficial to the retailer. This involves having a good understanding of retail and how retail works and helping educate everyone in the meeting as to the technologies involved. Retailers interested in learning more about the CART Innovation Program can get more information here Solutions interested in participating can learn more here +MORE

Five Predictions for Retail Transformation in 2019

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

As we begin 2019, tomorrow is no longer going to resemble today. The pace of tech-fueled innovation continues to grow, bringing with it increasing change across the supply chain and greater impact on traditional retail operations and models. 2019 is going to be a year of even greater change. Here are five key areas to watch this year: Frictionless shopping: The Amazon Go store with its cashier-less shopping experience has gotten the industry’s attention and this year we will see a great deal of activity in this space. There are several tech companies working to bring similar capabilities to the retail industry along with cost-effectively scaling the technology to work in traditional supermarkets. I believe the proliferation of retailers’ mobile apps having some kind of self-shopping capability - the shopper scanning their products as they shop using their smartphone and then an expedited payment process - is an interim step to a completely frictionless shopping environment. The whole idea of the Amazon Go store is to make buying products as easy as possible; the shopper having to use their app to scan and pay makes it easier to buy but not as easy as just walking in, picking up what you want, and walking out. Automated fulfillment: Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to build and operate twenty automated grocery eComm fulfillment centers is on track. We are seeing several other retailers enter into agreements with Takeoff Technologies to build mini automated fulfillment centers that can sit in the backroom, automatically fulfilling high-velocity packaged goods ordered online. Walmart is working with a partner to build an automated fulfillment center that is designed to sit alongside their stores, fulfilling high-volume products. In 2019 we are going to see even more activity in this space as other retailers will be forced to follow these leaders as automation brings efficiency and lower fulfillment costs, opening up a productivity gap. We will be seeing other technology providers step into this space as the market expands. Automated delivery: Kroger’s partnership with Nuro to use automated, driverless delivery vehicles to deliver online orders to the shopper’s home is already in pilot. Udelv and other solutions will be gaining more interest as retailers begin to focus more attention on the final mile delivery. While many retailers have signed deals with Instacart or Shipt to handle actual delivery, we’re going to see growing interest in Uber and other services to handle deliveries and fast growing interest in automated solutions like Nuro and Udelv in search of cost efficiencies. Health & Wellness gets personal: The wearables market is growing fast as Apple’s Watch and similar devices provide even more functionality to monitor key health indicators in realtime. The explosion in health data coming from these wearables will become increasingly tied to food guidance, helping the individual understand what specific food products to purchase and consume based upon the individual’s health condition and realtime data. As an example, Dexcom recently released a device that provides realtime glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. The ability to use knowledge of an individual’s glucose levels at that specific time - for example, while they are standing in front of the shelf - will inform guidance to beneficial foods. This movement is already underway as the massive food and healthcare industries converge, driven by Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, PillPack, and other activity in healthcare. Kroger’s Opt-UP app enables the shopper to easily understand the quality of the foods they are buying and easily filter the store’s product selection based upon the shopper’s interests, needs, and preferences. Look for a lot more activity around this space in the coming year. Melding of digital and physical retail: While most industry activity has been focused around eCommerce and automation of fulfillment and delivery of orders, I believe we are going to see growing attention to the melding of digital and physical shopping. This encompasses bringing augmented reality into the store and shopping experience; we’ll also see growing activity in virtual reality shopping as VR tech gets better and cheaper. Digital signage will spread across the store and get smarter, not only using demographic info to present messaging relevant to the person standing in front of the screen, but engagement will be far more personalized. Kroger’s new shelf Edge system is moving in this direction, lighting up as a shopper moves down the aisle to call out relevant products. Obviously there are many more areas where technology is going to transform retail but these are five key areas to watch. Each of these fundamentally changes the game: Frictionless shopping and automating fulfillment and delivery remove significant costs and will put growing pressure on competing retailers as companies using these technologies scale deployments.  Personalization will move quickly, not just in marketing but in linking an Individual shopper’s health to her favorite store’s product assortment, guiding the shopper to products to improve her wellbeing.  Lastly, shopping is about to become far more interesting and truly immersive as technology really begins to impact the shopping experience, whether you are in the brick & mortar store or sitting at home. +MORE

Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019, www.thengashow.com  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at www.thengashow.com – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at www.advancingretail.org. The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

Caper

Caper Labs Inc.

AI Powered Retail -Checkout made easy. Just toss it in, and leave. With our next generation smart self-checkout cart, powered by deep learning & computer vision, items are instantly detected as they enter the cart. Customers can just toss the items in & leave the store.  Scan Scan the item as you add merchandise into the shopping cart. No app download required.  Pay Once you're done shopping, directly pay on the cart with your credit card.  Scan Scan the item as you add merchandise into the shopping cart. No app download required. Bag & Go Directly bag your items, skip the cashiers and be on your way! +MORE

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Customer Touchpoints and the Human Experience

Gary Hawkins, CART

I was visiting someone in the hospital the other day and, looking about the room, noticed an Amazon Echo installed on the wall opposite the hospital bed. There was a sign under the device telling patients that they could ask Alexa to call their nurse or make other requests. In speaking with the nurse I learned that Amazon is working with the hospital in a pilot to test the application of Alexa in the hospital environment. Beyond the hospital, Amazon is pushing Alexa into the hospitality industry where a growing number of hotels are putting the digital assistant in rooms so guests can request services just by asking. While this alone is fascinating, and illustrates just how far and how fast voice-based technology is moving, it really opens up a larger discussion on customer touchpoints. Retailers today have a fast growing number of ways to connect with a shopper, inside and outside the store. And, more than ever before, retailers need to be mindful of the human experience they are providing across those myriad touchpoints because in today’s digital world, user experience is everything. Consider the myriad ways a retailer can touch a shopper: In the digital world that includes the website, mobile, email, text, social media, and more. A Deloitte study calls out that “more than 60% of customers interact through multiple channels and irrespective of time, place, device, or medium, they expect consistency.” In the store, retailers can engage using kiosks, mobile, and the POS. We can’t forget about print, including the weekly ad and direct mail, along with television, radio, and other mass channels. And of course, just like in the hospital, voice will soon be everywhere. A good exercise for retail marketers to go through is to create an inventory of all the touchpoints they currently use, and then alongside that create a list of other touchpoints that could be deployed or used. Once the list of existing touchpoints is created, work to understand which shoppers are using each and why. For example, do high-value shoppers regularly use your mobile app? Do more convenience shoppers gravitate to your website?  Don’t forget about your associates; oftentimes they are the only interaction the shopper has with your business. The Wall Street Journal had an article recently about how airlines are arming their flight attendants with extensive data on their flyers to facilitate service on board. As a very frequent flyer I have experienced this firsthand, the attendant addressing me by name and asking if I would like my usual drink. Retailers have untapped potential to arm in-store associates with product and customer intelligence via smartphones to help them provide better service. One of the largest challenges traditional retailers face is having disparate capabilities and an inability to provide the seamless digital experience across devices and touchpoints that today’s shoppers are expecting… and demanding. Another Deloitte study (Customer Ambitions Delivered) states “research shows 89% of market leaders expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience - a number that has jumped from 36% four years ago. As more companies realize the benefits of engaging with their customers along every touchpoint, customers are growing accustomed to top-of-the-line experiences. Modern customers expect a tailored experience— one with flexible purchasing options, painless technology integrations, and ample opportunities to provide feedback if they receive stellar or sub-par products or services.” Retailers can then extend the inventory of touchpoints exercise, thinking through the ‘mission’ of each touchpoint and its role in growing (retailer brand) awareness, shopper acquisition, growth, and retention. Core to this is making every interaction across each touchpoint contextually relevant to the shopper. Again, the human experience is critically important. Every customer engagement at every touchpoint provides an opportunity to learn more about the shopper and, for digital touchpoints, provide a more personalized experience. To do this requires identifying the shopper as quickly and easily as possible so that you respond with relevant offers and information. Increasingly we are seeing digital displays and signage in the store incorporate cameras and other sensors able to provide additional analytics and insights to customer behavior. Best practices: Create and maintain a list of customer touchpoints used. Consider grouping the touchpoints such as digital, print, in-store, etc. to better understand your capabilities Create a ‘mission’ for each touchpoint which forces you to think through how it can be used to support shopper acquisition, growth, and retention Work to create a platform infrastructure that ‘feeds’ each touchpoint to create the seamless - and relevant - experience shoppers want Use every touchpoint and customer engagement to learn; improving the relevancy of the engagement and learning to make the touchpoint more valuable Any digital touchpoints should be fed by realtime intelligence reflecting the latest interactions the shopper has had with you _____________________________ To learn more join the CART team along with Kate Favrow, Corporate Marketing Manager for AWG, and Roger Marin, CIO of Draeger’s, for the upcoming Customer Touchpoints webinar on Tuesday, July 24, at 2pm Eastern. View article on Winsight Grocery Business here   +MORE

Upping the In-store Technology Game in Grocery: A Do-or-Die Proposition

Alex Goodwin, Aila Technologies

“The grocery business truly is at a digital tipping point, where every aspect of the shopper’s journey will soon be influenced by digital, and increasingly enabled by digital platforms.”                                                                                     — Chris Morley, President of U.S. CPG & Retail, Nielsen, January 2017 The summer of 2017 has seen retailers making moves to add new digital capabilities at a frenzied pace. Albertsons is revamping its e-commerce systems. Publix has declared that it will offer home delivery at all locations by 2020. Kroger is piloting “digital shelf-edge” technology that it hopes will enhance efficiencies in pricing and data collection. And that’s just to name a few. Spurred by Amazon’s surprise announcement that it would acquire Whole Foods in June, grocers and mass retailers in the food and beverage space have been racing to get a leg up on the competition by investing in technology that can capture data, create enhanced customer experiences, and activate new processes such as delivery and in-store online ordering. Amazon is a real threat to existing grocery chains, but it’s not the only one: Target is expanding its commitment to food and beverage, and the nation’s biggest retailer, Walmart, is “gaining [grocery] market share at an accelerating pace.”  With so much at stake in what amounts to a technology arms race, grocers must be strategic in the experiences they craft and the processes they enable. On the other hand, an overly cautious approach may also prove costly: as digital-first consumers are increasingly influenced by technologically sophisticated industry giants, retailers who fail to act decisively risk losing hardfought market share in this ultra-competitive industry. As the grocery world braces for increasing demands for e-commerce capabilities, grocers would be well served to consider enhancing those in tandem with their in-store digital offerings.  The Online Challenge To date, online ordering only accounts for roughly 3% of grocery sales in the US, according to the Shelby Report, although that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. While the last-mile logistical hurdles continue to be problematic, the one big edge that e-commerce gives retailers comes in the realm of data collection.  Every digital transaction provides a wealth of sortable data about shopping habits such as purchase history and frequency. It also provides an array of opportunities for personalizing the interaction. For instance, digital platforms offer numerous options for delivering product recommendations based on past purchases or to pair with products already in the virtual shopping cart. In addition to creating a more pleasant shopping experience, these are proven ways to drive revenue: a recent Mckinsey report indicated that cross-selling can increase sales by 20% and profits by 30%. Similarly, Amazon admitted way back in 2006 that 35% of its revenues come from its cross-sales and upselling efforts. While simple apps can provide automated cross-selling capabilities online, grocers must find ways to bring these and other revenue-generating opportunities into their brick-and-mortar locations. A Seamless Buying Experience, Online and In-Store With 97% of the reported $600 billion in grocery transactions each year taking place in physical locations, it is imperative that grocers provide a seamless experience across all shopping channels. Brick-and-mortar stores must be able to deliver the same capabilities that customers are increasingly expecting when they order online — ever smoother and more efficient transactions, as well as product recommendations, loyalty rewards and discounts, and enhanced brand interactions.  The future of grocery will be built upon an in-store digital infrastructure made up of a series of connected devices capable of bringing the convenience and personalization of the digital world into the supermarket aisle. This infrastructure can solve discrete problems for consumers — wayfinding, detailed product information, line-busting, product recommendations, couponing, and more. At the same time, it will serve more broadly as a platform for innovation for retailers, to experiment with exciting new brand experiences and digital efficiencies.  The traditional, bulky, custom-built legacy hardware systems simply don’t have the versatility to keep up. Furthermore, in an industry in the midst of transformational changes, investing in expensive, single-purpose devices risks locking companies into operational workflows that might soon be obsolete. Instead, the infrastructure of the future will likely be built upon powerful consumer-oriented mobile devices. Today’s tablets and smartphones possess the features and functionality to enable solutions that solve current needs, such as in-store price checking kiosks, ordering stations, and POS systems, while also providing the hardware capabilities and flexibility to enable a nearly limitless array of future experiences and use cases.  Retail stores today must act as showroom, warehouse, and fulfillment center, providing both product and information wherever and however their customers need it. To enable this, retailers will be well suited to have the following components in place:  A digital infrastructure (from price checkers to point-of-sale terminals to associate handheld tools) that delivers a seamless digital experience throughout the store, while also tracking data for analysis and optimization of the customer experience, inventory management, store layout, product location, and more. Smart handheld devices that empower associates with full access to product information and customer needs, improving efficiency and productivity. In-store kiosks that offer a branded, user-friendly interface that will make the in-store experience as convenient as shopping online, maximizing next-gen technologies. These tools are available now, and the grocery tech race is already well underway. To maintain the status quo or move slowly is to sink into obsolescence. Bold, decisive action to infuse brick-and-mortar supermarkets with the best elements of the digital experience will be critical to surviving grocery’s ongoing transformation. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

Stepping into the Gap at the NGA Show 2018

Gary Hawkins, CART

Wow! The NGA Show 2018 was non-stop excitement from our opening presentation on Sunday afternoon to the Innovation lounge to the last moments on the exhibit floor.  It was powerfully exciting to see independent retailers embrace new innovation - an estimated 250 retailers attending the Industry Innovation session that CART delivered on Sunday afternoon. Independent retailers were taken on a journey into the innovation gap - the growing gap between traditional retailer deployment of new capabilities and the exponential growth of tech-fueled innovation. CART coordinated a pitch event as part of our Industry Innovation session on Sunday afternoon where four exciting young companies showcased indoor farms, eCommerce delivery capabilities using an automated delivery vehicle, in-store shopper analytics, and awesome augmented reality to capture and engage shoppers. And that was just the beginning! Four sponsors providing innovative solutions anchored the Innovation Lounge: Birdzi’s comprehensive digital customer engagement platform, ScriptSave’s Personalized Wellness program, Daisy Intelligence’s AI powered promotion optimization, and Rosie’s eCommerce solution. Each company provided an educational tech talk on Monday and Tuesday of the show to help retailers understand the power of leveraging technology to drive business success. The innovation flowed into the exhibit floor with great displays from over a dozen companies in the CART Pavilion helping attract just non-stop traffic as retailers visited the CART pavilion to learn, engage, and build relationships with key innovative solution providers that can help grow store sales and engage customers. The 2018 NGA Show was the most exciting and powerful CART event yet and planning has already started for the 2019 Show that’s going to be held in San Diego. Make sure its on your calendar! +MORE

Interactive Kiosk

Aila Technologies, Inc.

INTERACTIVE KIOSK With scanning technology that’s second-to-none and customization that caters to any retail environment, Aila’s Interactive Kiosk is the industry standard for tablet kiosk solutions. ADDITIONAL FEATURES TrueScan™ Technology: The industry's best integrated image-capturing solution Wi-Fi Transparent: No matter where you place it in your store, the Interactive Kiosk is designed to maximize signal transmission Compatible: Designed for seamless compatibility with Apple's suite of iPad devices +MORE

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Self checkout, Portal Scan, Kiosks, Cash Handling

Pan-Oston

Pan-Oston helps independent retailers provide the level of customer service that sets them apart and keeps loyal customers coming back. Our innovative self-service kiosks, cash handling lanes, portal scanning, and technology solutions ensure smooth transactions along with time and cost savings. Our partnership with Retalix has enabled us to integrate our Utopia self-checkout with the core ISS45 POS, giving independent grocers the technology that matches the technology of other retailers. Our self-service kiosks enhance the customer experience and increase potential for impulse purchases. Our cash handling lanes lower cash handling cost and improve security. Our portal scanning helps independents focus on customer interaction and improve efficiency. +MORE

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CART Weekly Report 8/29/19

CART, Advancing Retail

15 MIND-BLOWING STATS ABOUT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT | CMO. Adobe Gary’s Take: Customer experience management is a focus of 80% of companies according to Gartner. Companies that deliver on providing a great experience consistently outperform those companies who fail to provide a good experience as shoppers reward them with more spending, more visits, and greater retention over time. But to do customer experience right requires many things, from motivated associates, the right technology tools, and deep understanding of customers and why they are shopping with you. RETAIL DIVIDE WIDENS AS SHOPPERS SEEK VALUE AND CONVENIENCE | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Those retailers that are investing heavily in online and omnichannel marketing and selling are outperforming their less advanced competitors as recent financial results from a number of retailers shows. Companies like Walmart, Target, and TJ Maxx are pulling away from Macy’s and JC Penney who have failed to make needed investments to keep pace with changing shopping behavior. But, Nordstroms offers a cautionary tale: The company has done many of the right things - reasoned new store openings, heavy investment in online and omnichannel, etc. - and yet continue to be challenged in the market. VIDEO ANALYTICS PROVIDE CLUES ABOUT WHAT RETAIL CUSTOMERS REALLY WANT | Biz Tech Magazine Gary’s Take: Video analytics have been around in retail for some years now but the technology is continuing to spread, enabled by the decreasing cost of digital cameras and ever increasing software capability. I think many retailers intuitively understand the power of having analytics around customer behavior in the store but it has taken a while for best practices to begin developing in various retail channels. The insights provided can power improved merchandising directly leading to increased sales and margins and are a powerful tool for category managers. INNOVATION : ARE RETAILERS TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: Innovation is a significant positive change — could be technological, but it could also be in team performance, financials or customer service. It comes from thinking and then doing things in a new way (vs. how we’ve already done it. Brian is right on here — keeping up with consumer adoption isn’t innovation. Merging online and offline isn’t in and of itself innovation. Having a “innovation group” isn’t actually innovation. But they’re all mediums to potentially innovate. We have lost our way as an industry. This isn’t about the technology. It’s about using technology and developing our businesses to meet the needs of human beings. The only assurance we have about the future is that it will be different. The best thing a retailer can do is to develop their teams, their culture to be one that can support change over time to meet those customer needs ever more efficiently and effectively. WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY: RETAIL IN THE AGE OF ‘i’: A FRAMEWORK FOR RETAILERS AND SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins INNOVATION IS FOR DISTRIBUTION TOO | Gary Hawkins THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE CONTINUES | Gary Hawkins RETAILERS: HOW DO YOU EVALUATE NEW INNOVATIVE SOLUTION PROVIDERS | Gary Hawkins SOLUTION PROVIDERS: WHAT PROBLEM ARE YOU SOLVING? | Gary Hawkins HAPPENINGS: UPCOMING RETAIL TOMORROW INNOVATION DAYS/EVENTS IMPERIAL DISTRIBUTORS - September 5, 2019 CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - September 29-October 1, 2019 RETAIL REVOLUTION AT PORTLAND STATE - October 24, 2019 ENERGIZER - November 14, 2019 GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas MINDING THE GAPS - CGA STRATEGIC CONFERENCE 2019 - Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, September 29-October 1, 2019 GMDC SELF-CARE SUMMIT - October 3 thru 7, 2019 in Indianapolis, IN X/SPECS 2019 - October 15 thru 17, 2019 at the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando  Store Design in the Age of “I” - Wednesday, 11:30am-12:15pm THE RETAIL REVOLUTION at PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR RETAIL LEADERSHIP - Portland, Oregon - October 24, 2019 12:30-5:00pm SPECS SHOW 2020 - The ForeFront of Physical Retail - March 15-17, 2020, Gaylord Texan, Dallas CART COMMUNITY. GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS.  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>> Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. Quote of the Week: Innovation is the calling card of the future.  ~ Anna Eshoo +MORE

STCR

STCR

Application Solutions:  Enhance your business, improve your market share We offer the very best in application solutions. SMS Store Management Solution SMS is a complete “Suite” of integrated applications designed specifically for the grocery retail industry. This system will give you the tools to run your business with ease. Regardless of single or multi-store environments, your business will have powerful, affordable means to compete in this competitive marketplace. ACE Retail Store Solution Toshiba SurePOS ACE is designed for independent grocers and specialty food retailers who want to improve reliability and customer service at the POS. A customer display allows for in-lane advertising and a touch screen interface for speedy checkout.  4690 Operating System Specially engineered for supermarkets and drug store chains, this application provides high-volume scanning, enhanced security, and powerful promotion features. EFT Talk to STCR, Inc. to learn how you can take advantage of the many options to enhance the payment process and reduce your operating costs. Back Office Solutions We offer the most comprehensive and cost effective retail store systems available in the industry. As a system integrator, we offer our clients the technology to run their back office as efficiently as they run their front end. We can help you implement a back office system that will give you access to a wide range of management tools. Frequent Shopper Solutions STCR can help you select a solution for managing customer relationships while accomplishing marketing objectives using behavior-based loyalty. POS Devices:  Your choice of truly integrated and affordable systems With more than one million placed worldwide, choose from one of our Toshiba SurePOS series. These systems deliver the proven performance grocers need to help keep their stores running smoothly and protect profitability. Choose from:   LOC SMS STORE MANAGEMENT SUITE DATALOGIC SCANNING SOLUTIONS TOSHIBA ACE RETAIL STORE SOLUTION  / 4690 OPERATING SYSTEM MICROSOFT WINDOWS Toshiba SurePOS 300 The new Toshiba SurePOS 300 Series brings smarter store solutions to small and midsized retailers who need a high-performing, energy-efficient point-of-sale system with a small footprint—and at the lowest cost. Toshiba SurePOS 500 The Toshiba SurePOS 500 with advanced touchscreen technology provides the ultimate point-of-sale tools to deliver powerful functions that energize the customer experience.   Toshiba SurePOS 700 The award-winning, energy-efficient SurePOS 700 is Toshiba's most powerful point-of-sale system, delivering maximum performance, service-ability, energy efficiency and adaptability to drive today’s smarter store solutions. Toshiba Wave A distinctive, sleek design with an extra-wide screen for better display and interaction. The TCxWave by Toshiba delivers a unique and engaging experience for associates and customers that puts it in a class of its own.  Servers  Flexible, scalable, and with dual internal hard drives, these store controllers have the ability to grow with your application requirements.   Self Checkout  Proven hardware and innovative software combined Build and maintain customer loyalty, gain a competitive advantage, and enhance the shopping experience through speed and convenience with Toshiba Self Checkout Systems. Toshiba Self Checkout Systems now can support a broad range of consumer preferences for payment, such as cash and cashless transactions, and offer a variety of belted or scan-and-bag extensions that fit the needs of just about any retail environment. Highlights Ultimate usability innovates how consumers transact. A consumer-driven ergonomic design and highly intuitive user interface help to optimize throughput and boost loyalty. Complete solution manageability increases availability. Front-end serviceable hardware systems and an end-to-end systems management solution optimize system uptime for around-the-clock store operations. Greater control and flexibility extend functionality. New CHEC software puts control back into your hands, making it easier to manage and maintain a highly reliable, available self checkout environment. Industry-leading POS integration improves reliability. A new high-level, point-of-sale (POS) interface facilitates a more robust client/server integration, helping increase reliability and making investing in self checkout easier than ever. Belted Models include:  Belted models deliver exceptional utilization and throughput  Increased flexibility with range of bagging options available  Unmatched security  Cashless option available Scan and Bag Models include: Two-bag or three-bag models Fast and easy for shoppers to process orders Security features to help reduce shrink Range of models offer the ultimate flexibility Cashless option available Peripherals  Everything you need for your POS and more At STCR, we offer the full complement of devices, software, add-ons, and other solutions to ensure accuracy and accountability and increase your bottom line.  Kiosks For retailers who want to offer more choices without stocking extra inventory, decrease the time their customers wait in line and improve service while minimizing labor costs. Printers We can help you select the perfect model for reducing transaction times, customizing receipts and maximizing uptime at the point-of-sale.  Scanners At STCR, we can show you a variety of scanners that will enable you to manage peak customer traffic and increase throughput on existing lanes. Portable Data Terminals Let STCR assist you with selecting the latest mobile computing technology designed to master your inventory management applications.  +MORE

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The Retail Apocalypse Continues

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

An article in USA Today a couple days ago called out that 2019 will see over 12,000 store closings by the end of the year, an estimated 50% more than in 2018. Already just eight months in to the year, there have been nearly 30% more store closings than in all of 2018, according to Coresight Research. And we’re not close to stabilizing. UBS Securities expects the pain to continue into the future, stating that 75,000 more stores will need to close if eCommerce penetration rises to a projected 25% from today’s 16%. While most of the damage is occurring in non-CPG retail sectors, supermarket retailers, drug store operators, convenience, and discount retail should not feel safe. Traditional retailers in these sectors are under growing siege as sales shift online, new competitors (think Amazon) enter the market, and tech-fueled innovation shifts the battlefield. Perhaps the most significant challenge traditional retailers must face is changing consumer expectations. Consumers have come to expect, even take for granted, the personalization and customization in the digital world. Those expectations are quickly migrating to the physical world as 3D printing, personalized medicine, and customization of products spread into a growing number of markets. So if you’re a retailer, how are you preparing for this new Age of ‘i’, a time when shoppers expect marketing, the shopping experience, even the physical store to be made relevant to them. And if you’re a solution provider, what capability are you bringing into the market to help retailers adapt to this new world? Remember, the pace of change grows each day. Tomorrow will no longer resemble today. +MORE

Sensei™

Sensei

This is the future of retail. Empowering all existing stores to be autonomous and check-out free.  State of the Art AI and Computer Vision Technology  Autonomous Checkout Stores  Easy Check-in Unlock a seamless shopping experience A  simple scan of our app lets your customers open the doors to the future of retail. From now on, every individual shopping experience is transformed into a customer journey that you can customise and improve.  Simple Shopping The in-store experience perfected Products are automatically added to each customer’s virtual basket as soon as they are picked up. Just as they are removed if they are placed back on the shelves. Let your users experience retail with no friction, no hassle and no scanning.  Ultra-fast Check-out Buying (and selling) has never been easier Convenient, with no queues and no time wasted: this is the shopping experience your customers dream of. Free from the need for cash or card, checking out is even easier than checking in. +MORE

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Trigo Vision

Trigo Vision

Automate your retail stores. At scale. Streamline your retail operations, gain valuable insights and create a seamless shopping experience for all your customers. +MORE

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rapitag

rapitag

rapitag is taking classical EAS (Electronic-Article-Surveillance) hardtags and payment processes in retail to another level by offering the world’s first patented security tag that can open itself automatically by using smart materials. We are bringing secure 1-click-buying to the retail floor, eliminating queuing and creating a new omnichannel shopping experience.  With no need for a checkout counter or terminal, customers can simply hold their smartphones next to a rapitag attached to a shirt or digital camera, pay within the app, remove the tag and leave the store without ever waiting in a queue. 4 easy steps: Scan, Pay, Remove & Go. Everywhere and anytime in the store.  Scan the tag Hold your smartphone next to the tag attached to an apparel. Pay mobile Pay within the app. Release the tag Remove the tag after your payment. Go! Leave the store without waiting in a queue. +MORE

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WalkOut

WalkOut

WalkOut was established with the understanding that brick-and-mortar shopping is evolving. what was once a channel of product distribution is becoming an experiental and personalized channel to the customer’s heart. Our unique platform uses state-of-the-art computer vision and deep learning algorithms to provide the user with seamless checkout and a personalized shopping experience while providing the retailer cost reduction and valuable business insights. Our team is made of high-tech and retail experts, backed by Nielsen – a global leader in data analytics. +MORE

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Get Vicki

ViaTouch Interactive Solutions

VICKI was designed specifically to stand out.  VICKI is an IOT self-checkout solution for retail. Powered by artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies, VICKI is a modern replacement for traditional vending experiences and the first retail solution to leverage AI at the point-of-sale. She takes the POS experience to the next level in an Amazon and Google world.  VICKI's sleek back- and front-facing displays and directional audio make her a truly disruptive solution to the retail challenges of the 21st century. VICKI can understand her customers' habits, preferences and even questions. She can be placed anywhere you like, and loves to be in the middle of the crowd!  Traditional solutions alike suffer from many business challenges. Often businesses have to combat theft, deal with complex inventory systems and managing transactions and payment systems. VICKI's auto-retail solutions streamline and eliminate those challenges by combining artificial intelligence with on-board hardware (Thumbscan, Screen, and NFC) and dedicated software system for managing all of your administrative needs. +MORE

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grabango

Grabango

Grabango’s mission is to eliminate lines, and save people time.  How We Got Here Lines annoy us. They always have, so we decided to do something about it.  We’re a group of technology and retail experts that have come together to improve shopping for everyone.  What We Do We use advanced technology to give you back your time. Continue to shop the way you are used to and, when done, feel free to simply walk out of the store.  Where We Are Going Checkout-Free shopping has moved from science fiction into our modern present. As it becomes commonplace across retail brands, we will support all shoppers and retailers who want to use it. +MORE

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Zippin

Zippin

Zippin. Checkout-free technology that: banishes checkout lines maximizes profit per square foot drives inventory efficiency Our AI-Driven Checkout-Free Technology Platform Enables Retailers To Quickly Deploy Frictionless Shopping In Stores. The Future Of Shopping Is Now.  A Simply Better Way To Shop The idea for Zippin was born when co-founder and CEO, Krishna Motukuri, was sent out to buy organic milk for his young toddler. Finding an excruciatingly long line at his favorite store, he abandoned Plan A, and ended up buying cheap milk at the local corner store. Plan B wasn't received too well at home, and he realized that there had to be a better way. Fast forward to today. Here at Zippin we have developed the next generation of checkout-free technology enabling retailers to quickly deploy frictionless shopping in their stores. Our patent-pending approach uses AI, machine learning and sensor fusion technology to create the best consumer experience. Our vision is to banish checkout lines and self-scanners for good, so shoppers can zip in and out with their purchases. Zippin was founded by industry veterans from Amazon and SRI with deep backgrounds in retail technology, AI, and computer vision. We have received venture funding from some of Silicon Valley's best known firms. +MORE

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Apricart

Apricart

Apricart is a smart shopping cart that vastly improves the shopping experience for retail grocery shoppers, while gathering important path-to-purchase data for consumer packaged goods marketers and grocery stores. Apricart eliminates the checkout lane and provides shoppers dynamically customized offers and inspiration. What does Apricart do? In additional to pay-on-the-cart capability, Apricart provides a personalized shopping experience based on a shopper's current, past, and predicted purchases. Put in hamburger buns, get an offer on hamburger - or ketchup and mustard. Apricart can help locate items, remind you of frequently bought items or items on your list, and provide inspirational recipes for items in your cart. +MORE

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Skip Frictionless Checkout

Skip

The wait is over. Don’t ever hesitate to get what you need again. Now you can Skip the Line. Skip, Frictionless Checkout. getskip.com +MORE

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ShopScanGo

CashKey Inc.

ShopScanGo is an automated order, reorder and checkout app. Its integrated into the Clover POS (point of sale) systems for merchants. Checkout, waiting in line by customers at grocery, convenience and retail stores is eliminated. For quick service restaurants and coffee shops the customer order process is reduced to seconds in-store or away. Unlike traditional order, reorder and checkout POS systems that require the expense of clerks, our solution reduces and eliminates clerking saving merchants’ money and making the experience enjoyable for customers.  ShopScanGo is sold to merchants who in turn offer the app to consumers.  Requires a merchant account and a Clover point of sale system. When a consumer enters a merchant's establishment the Clover POS presents their selfie (example above). As they shop using their smartphone with the ShopScanGo app they self-scan items. In real time, from any Clover Stations a merchant can see what consumers are adding to their basket. Once finished shopping the consumer selects the checkout button on their iOS or Android device where the discounts are automatically applied. Based on rules a merchant configures and security algorithms the customer is notified how to pay either with the app or at the checkout counter. +MORE

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Now-Commerce by Shipsi

Shipsi

We partner with brands and retailers to give online shoppers an additional option at check-out to receive merchandise in 1 hour or less.  Seamless Check-out Integration: Quick API integration to any e-commerce platform provides online shoppers with an immediate shipping option (Now-Commerce) and real-time tracking. Extensive Geographic Coverage & Aggregation: Our algorithm automatically selects a compatible transportation provider nearby based on time, price or both. Drive Revenue: Increase e-commerce sales by decreasing shopping cart abandonment.  Decrease Freight Cost: Any brand or retailer with our Now-Commerce solution no longer pays for freight. Seriously. Customer Service: Allow us to handle any questions or concerns that may arise with our dedicated support team working on your behalf. Analytics: Our user friendly dashboard enables you to proactively forecast demand by providing action based insights available in real-time. +MORE

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PopCom

PopCom, Inc

Automated retail,reimagined for...loyalty programs, autonomous sales, rapid growth, market expansion, brand intelligence. PopCom software and API boosts marketing intelligence and customer engagement with features like demographic analysis, face and emotion recognition, conversion rate calculation, retargeting, digital and biometric payments, loyalty programs and much more.  PopShop Kiosks: built with cutting edge IoT technology.  Smart Machines  Turnkey solutions to rapidly expand your brand Looking for an innovative way to sample and sell products? PopCom can deliver robust, modern hardware manufactured for mobility, longevity, and connectivity. Test, launch and measure performance of entirely new markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional retail. PopCom API - Software for the future of retail ™ In addition to new machines, we offer quick and cost-effective retrofitting for new and existing hardware that gives you the ability to track and improve revenue instantly with features like: Wi-fi connectivity Demographic ad targeting Cloud storage Advanced payment features Inventory management Sales tracking +MORE

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