When you’re running late to a friend’s dinner party, exhausted on your way home from work, or juggling a stroller and a massive to-do list, the last thing you want is to face the lines at the local supermarket. And for business owners, these consumer frustrations have real impacts on their bottom line.
Smart retail will bring revolutionary ease to shopping. Technologies like computer vision and AI can deliver custom, engaging experiences such as real-time personalized recommendations while enabling retailers to proliferate autonomous stores. The result is an experience that’s hassle-free, allowing consumers to simply walk into the store, grab what they need, and walk back out again without having to go through a check-out line. This is a win-win for customers and business owners alike.
Technology solutions are integral to the retail experience of the future—scanners, weight sensors, cameras, smart display screens, and more. Ensuring that retail experiences function flawlessly means relying on key technologies to enable the retail transformation, computer vision, AI, and the power of 5G connectivity.
Grab and Go Shopping
If you want to see what’s in store for the future of retail even now, Cloudpick* is a great example. This startup offers consumers an amazing grab-and-go retail experience based on computer vision and machine learning. Shoppers download a QR code for access at the automated door, then cameras keep a running tally of their selections, and they simply walk out of the store and receive a receipt via email. The Cloudpick technologies—weight sensors, cameras, and more—that create the frictionless shopping experience are enabled by Intel.
Cloudpick also helps store owners run a more efficient store. Behind the scenes, Cloudpick’s Intelligent Retailing Platform (C-IRP), powered by Intel® Core™ Processors and the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit, analyzes traffic patterns to help retailers optimize store layout, plan promotional calendars, and streamline staffing requirements. The toolkit extends deep learning workloads across Intel® hardware and maximizes inference performance on devices at the network edge.
The result goes beyond a more streamlined shopping experience in brick-and-mortar stores. With 5G, this type of cutting-edge pop-up retail solution can be used everywhere it needs to be, regardless of location and existing infrastructure. For example, vendors at music festivals can provide refreshments or sell merchandise without staff on hand and retailers can deploy pop-up shops everywhere from metropolitan areas to rural areas.
Essentially, 5G can deliver smart retail to areas without traditional wired infrastructure, opening up possibilities for brands to connect with customers whenever, wherever.
A Personalized Shopping Experience
Along with convenience, the other big promise of smart retail is that it will provide a more customized shopping experience to consumers. Think of it as having your own personalized shopper to help you find products, make purchasing decisions, and discover new products that delight you through custom recommendations.
Digital advertising displays from LG*-MRI, the market leader in digital outdoor LCD display solutions, can show animated rotating offers to attract customers. When a customer enters the ‘engaged zone,’ the display will switch to show targeted offers based on an AI generated customer profile. The AI platform can suggest products based on a variety of criteria, including age, gender, area demographics, weather, and even purchase history for return customers or make suggestions based on the customer’s interests.
The sweet spot is where the combination of AI and the human touch meet to reduce customer frustration. Because staff is no longer tied to the check-out station, they’re free to offer a more concierge-like shopping experience, once again aided by technology. Computer vision and AI can also track whether or not a customer seems to be having trouble and alert a customer service agent to approach for help. By enabling repetitive tasks to operate autonomously, there are new ways that staff can bring more value to the business and consumer.
This solution, developed with the AT&T* Foundry, uses a multi-access edge (MEC) server that incorporates Intel® Xeon® processors provided the Smart Edge. Intel FlexRAN reference architecture software with Intel® Silicon Photonics enables 5G connectivity to deliver the scalability and performance for tomorrow’s 5G-based applications.
The Future of Retail is Powered by 5G
Intel is proud to be a catalyst and key partner for the transformation of the retail experience. Since we formed the Retail Solutions Division ten years ago, our solutions and partnerships have worked toward shaping the future of retail, and our Open Retail Initiative is designed to remove barriers to technology adaptation and promote a free exchange of ideas about technological advancement within the retail industry.
At Mobile World Congress (MWC), attendees can stop by the Intel booth to experience Streamlined Shopping from Cloudpick and LG-MRI digital signage developed with AT&T utilizing a Smart Edge server. With these industry-leading smart retail solutions, attendees can see for themselves just how streamlined and personalized the future of shopping will be.
Come see us at MWC, and get a taste of the retail experience that’s just around the corner!
*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.