Retail Technology: Motion sensors and AI for better customer service

March 7, 2023

EHI presents reta awards 2023 for the best technology solutions in retailing
During Euroshop, EHI selected the winners of the reta awards for the 16th time. The award ceremony took place during EuroShop 2023 at Dr. Thompson’s Soap Factory in Düsseldorf. Three winners of equal rank were honoured in each of the following five categories: Best Customer Experience, Best Enterprise Solution, Best Instore Solution, Best Connected Retail Solution and Best AI and Robotics Application.

Category: Best Customer Experience This award is given to retailers who have introduced future-oriented methods and technologies to further increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Our award winners are:

Coop Cooperative: Via the customer card of the loyalty programme “Coop Supercard”, the company uses the relevant shopping information for individual product recommendations on the website. In addition, the retailer introduced “My Coop” in mid-2022, a personalised online supermarket where customers can find the products they prefer through a targeted configuration on a landing page. The technology for the personalised areas is provided by GK Artificial Intelligence for Retail AG.

Telefónica: The “Visible Net” campaign promotes the 5G network of O2, the core brand of Telefónica Deutschland. In the course of this, Telefónica transformed the entire shop window front of an O2 store in Berlin with a semi-transparent LED wall. A motion sensor and a programme developed especially for this purpose recognise passers-by and let them interact automatically with the 5G network by having the network lines follow their steps or stop when they do. Partners in the project are Umdasch, Ledcon Systems and Serviceplan Bubble.

Carrefour: The French grocer Carrefour has introduced a motion-sensing technology in which a motion sensor detects loose goods such as fruit. When the desired item is removed from the shelf, the motion sensor transmits the PLU code to the scales. The customer only has to confirm the purchase on the scale’s display and can then buy the desired quantity unpacked. The solution enables Carrefour to reduce selection errors and product losses and to simplify the weighing process. The project partners are Digi France, HL Display and Mayam.

Category: Best Enterprise Solution This category recognises retail companies that have increased their efficiency by developing and implementing innovative systems and technologies.

Our award winners are:

Bizim Toptan: The Turkish wholesale business Bizim Toptan offers deliveries and Click & Collect via its homepage. For this purpose, the retail company, together with project partners Obase and Microsoft, implemented a data-driven forecasting system based on machine algorithms that decides on stock levels. One of the goals is to accurately predict which products will be in particular demand. In addition, planned activities on special occasions such as the start of school or Ramadan are to be better predicted.

Schwarz IT: Schwarz IT has installed G2K Group’s AI-based platform Parsifal to simplify the IT infrastructure of the Schwarz Group companies. The aim is to bundle the numerous, different and isolated individual solutions. The platform brings together all the different technologies and use cases in one interface and thus enables a standardised, international roll-out of the projects. The use cases can be switched on or off for individual industries depending on local requirements.

Esprit fashion retailer: Esprit has developed an online software solution for its retail stores in Europe. Among other things, the real-time store merchandise management system maps incoming and outgoing goods, inventory management and price changes. The relevant data is sent to a database that combines POS transactions and inventory information in real time. The solution has helped to optimise processes in the store and reduce the amount of paper used in the store by around 50 percent. Project partners are CAS AG and SAP Germany.

Category: Best Instore Solution Retail companies that have achieved demonstrable operational added value through the use of technology at the POS were able to convince in this category.

Our award winners are:

Edeka Aschoff: Together with technology partner KBST and partner Expresso, Edeka Aschoff introduced the digital shopping trolley “SmartShopper”. The trolley is equipped with a tablet. Customers can use the barcode scanner to add goods to their shopping list. To pay, users generate a QR code on the device and scan it at the checkout. A scale on the shopping trolley checks the items. An intelligent system behind it recognises the weight of the products via an algorithm with an accuracy of 2 grams.

Adidas: Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas, together with project partner Sensormatic Solutions and Clickit, developed various touchpoints for stores that identify consumer movements from the street, at the shop window or in certain zones in the shop. The sports retailer wants to accurately track the movements of its clientele in order to be able to adapt music and images to customer behaviour. In the process, the company also wants to attract new members for the “Adi-Club” benefits programme.

Marks & Spencer: With regard to digital customer experiences, Marks & Spencer has renewed the ordering options within its gastronomy concept. The basis for the ordering process is a software solution from Givex that allows customers to pay via app. Diebold Nixdorf has introduced a kitchen management system for the preparation of meals. The kitchen was equipped with new hardware. After ordering, customers take a food tracker to the table so that the staff can deliver the food directly to the guest.

Category: Best Connected Retail Solution This award (formerly Omnichannel Solution) is given to retail companies that have modernised their IT infrastructure and connected the online and offline worlds.

Our award winners are:

Edeka Digital : Edeka Digital implemented a cloud-based event streaming and management solution to stream master data across their stores and supply chain. The “PubSub+” platform helps the grocer distribute master data more efficiently in real time across stores, data centres and cloud services. This way, product details from an ERP system are merged with images from a legacy system and the changes are passed on to different target projects. Edeka Digital implemented the project together with technology partners Thinkport and Solace.

Schuhhaus Meyer : Together with partner Scalerion, Schuhhaus Meyer introduced a cloud-based marketplace solution. With the solution, the shoe retailer only needs to order a sample collection from suppliers and can thus significantly reduce storage and handling costs. Customers can try on the item in the store and order it home via QR code.

MediaMarktSaturn: Together with partner Coma, MediaMarktSaturn developed the internal gamification platform “LaLiga”, where employees from all over Germany and other countries can compete as a store team against other stores. The aim is to score points by selling products and product-related services in order to win against other stores. The participating employees should gain a better understanding of the products and improve the quality of advice.

Category: Best AI & Robotics Application The award goes to retail companies that have been able to simplify, accelerate or automate retail processes through applications from the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

Our award winners are:

Aldi Nord: The first cashierless store of Aldi Nord in Utrecht uses computer vision technology and does without classic payment terminals or self-checkout points. This is made possible by AI technology and an app: sensors in the shelves and cameras on the ceiling record all movements of the products and assign them to the customers – in compliance with all data protection standards. When entering the store, customers check in via QR code. The technology partner is Trigo.

Compass Group: Compass Group developed an autonomous checkout for its grocery shop “Market x Flutter” with partner Aifi. The shop offers fresh meals as well as drinks and confectionery. Customers check in via QR code at the entrance. The AI-based camera technology does not use facial recognition and instead creates virtual avatars for the customers. When they leave the shop, they automatically receive a receipt on their mobile phone.

Shufersal: Israeli grocer Shufersal has introduced an AI-based clip-on device that can be plugged into any type of shopping cart. The tool automatically detects added or removed items. The screen displays a summary of products, special offers and prices. The device also allows users to checkout on their own. The technology partner is Shopic.

Top Supplier Retail The technology partners of the retail companies honoured with the reta awards will again be jointly selected as Top Supplier Retail by EHI and Lebensmittel Zeitung. The bandwidth of the 23 honoured service providers ranges from start-ups to global players. What they all have in common is that, in the eyes of the reta jury, they have rendered outstanding services to their retail partners. The coveted award has been presented since 2015 and has long been regarded as a seal of quality in the retail tech industry.Further information on the award winners:

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