The future of the retail industry is closer than you think. Technology already available from the 4th generation Intel® Core™ processor (aka Haswell) family is at the heart of new tools that help customers find what they need, exactly when they need it. From the moment consumers enter a store to the point when they make a purchase, new innovations in interactive kiosks, intelligent vending machines, digital signage and point-of-sale (POS) solutions enhance variety, convenience, and personal service.
Connected retail devices play a significant role in the Internet of Things (IoT), the 15 billion devices that will be connected to the Internet by 2015. These devices are part of a shift toward intelligent systems—securely managed machines that autonomously connect, execute applications, and analyze data. This technology is opening up a world of possibilities for retailers who are at risk of becoming mere showrooms where shoppers come to try things out, but go online to make purchases. Retailers who most effectively utilize customer data while keeping it secure and provide tangible value will come out the winners in today’s competitive retail environment.
The 4th gen Intel Core processors offer tremendous benefits to retailers looking to bring the best of the online shopping experience into their brick-and-mortar storefront. To explain this, I’ll touch on six key trends in the retail space made possible by new technology.
Print to Digital:
Captivating visuals are vital for attracting retail customers, and digital promotions are more powerful, colorful, and flexible than print media could ever be. The built-in visual technologies on 4th gen Intel Core processors boast market-leading video playback and up to 60 percent1 graphics improvement for rich 2D/3D graphics that really make interactive content come to life. With the Intel® Perceptual Computing SDK, developers can rapidly develop and deploy new methods of interactivity through multi-touch, gesture, speech, and facial recognition.
Generic to Targeted:
One-size-fits-all ads broadcast en masse were a mainstay in yesterday’s marketing toolkit. This is being replaced by personalized, rich media experiences and targeted ads through devices at the edge such as kiosks and signs that bring online experiences into the store. 4th gen Intel Core processors power the anonymous viewer analytics required to return results quickly, especially in larger traffic areas, without sacrificing performance. Serving up targeted ads in digital signs is a great example of processing power and decision making on the “edge” of the network.
Loyalty Card Programs:
Punch card loyalty programs burden customers with pieces of paper while returning very little user information to the business. Compare this to what online retailers know about their users via browsing and purchasing history. Stores today are looking to provide many of the benefits of online shopping while continuing to offer the benefits of brick-and-mortar shopping—the chance to physically compare products and services and start enjoying purchases on the spot. The increased processing power of 4th gen Intel Core processors power innovative applications that allow customers to receive coupons, shopping lists, recipe suggestions, and product information on mobile devices. This builds a personal affinity between customers and retailers.
Protection of Personal and Transaction Data:
Ten years ago there were no smartphones, location updates, Wi-Fi, or interactive kiosks. Today, the sharing of high-value retail data used to perform financial transactions provides a new opportunity for crime. Intel security capabilities address the full range of threats in retail devices including identity theft, virus/malware, data theft, system compromise, content graffiti, and more. The 4th gen Intel Core processor family delivers security enhancements when compared with the previous generation processor, such as Intel® Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI), which provides faster data encryption and decryption for securing personal and transactional data. This enhanced virtualization-based “below the operating system” security prevents threats that occur during boot without impacting overall system performance.
Truck Roll Support to Remote Administration:
Before Intel® vPro™ technology and Intel® Active Management Technology (AMT), bluescreens meant manually powering off/on devices, truck rolls, and repair time. Remote management is the choice of many retailers today who often use central IT locations that support an entire network of locations. Through Intel AMT, 4th gen Intel Core processors have the ability to gracefully shut down and reboot the OS as well as provide remote patching and updating of software.
Checkout Lines at Register to Checkout Choices:
Some leading retailers today are now allowing customers to make purchases throughout the store with mobile device POS devices. A great example is buying shoes right after you try them on instead of joining the back of the line at the register. The 4th gen Intel Core processors offer 25 percent lower design power versus the previous generation, so OEMs can design thinner, lighter and sleeker form factors for mobile POS devices.
New solutions in the retail environment are driving enhanced user experiences with a real-time exchange of information that benefits both consumer and retailer and enables a deeper relationship than ever before. The 4th gen Intel Core processor family is enhancing “intelligent retail” through improved media and graphics, enhanced security and manageability, breakthrough performance, and more. Look for these latest innovations the next time you visit the mall—from electronic aisle shopping displays, to digital ads that change when you walk up to it, to mobile checkout. Who is doing it well and what possibilities do you see in the market?
1. Projected performance based on 3DMark Vantage Performance Profile Scores.