Sensormatic IQ launched at NRF as consumer behaviour diversifies to new levels
In 2021, more than at any time in the past, retailers need to understand the whole shopper journey, from entry to exit and all points in between. As the industry in Europe remains in the shadow of Covid, and as the customer continues to demand a more rounded and immersive experience, continuous monitoring and multilevel data gathering will be essential as once predictable patterns of behaviour become unreliable.
According to Kantar, as far back as May 2020 after which these trends became even more pronounced, the Smart Shopper study found that the fashion, home and consumer electronics categories witnessed the biggest shifts to online purchases, as UK consumers had to restrict their movements to essential journeys only. Some 86% of fashion purchases were conducted online in the period under review, with high rates also recorded for the home/garden category (67%) and consumer electronics (73%).
More widely across Europe, about 15% of surveyed EU-5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and UK) countries by McKinsey, shopped for groceries on a website that they had never used before. However, different countries are adopting different behaviours which puts pressure on retailers with stores across the continent to respond flexibly. McKinsey again shows that Europeans are more pessimistic than China, India and the US about their country’s economic recovery after the pandemic.
The media and analysts are now writing extensively about how retailers will need to adapt quickly to consumers’ changed and changing behaviours in 2021 and beyond. However, this diversity of shopper types, behaviours and journeys challenges single-point data gathering and demands inputs from a much wider range of sources than ever before. This is why Sensormatic is working with multiple partners to build an ecosystem of intelligence to provide retailers with a depth of insight not yet seen.
This new intelligent operating platform, Sensormatic IQ, is designed to drive improved shopper experiences and retail outcomes. The open, secure and agile platform integrates the full Sensormatic Solutions portfolio, retailer, and third-party data sources, along with advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), to offer unparalleled visibility into operations and shopper insights.
Sensormatic has challenged the existing definition of experience and now talks about how, where, when, and why engagement happens. By providing data at every stage and in every area, retailers can plan for both the predictable and the unpredictable. This is essential now that the store is so much more closely integrated with ecommerce and is playing a growing number of new roles beyond experience only, notably click and collect, browse and buy on line, click and return, and mini distribution center.
In order to make adoption simple, IQ is using the global reach and scalability of Google Cloud coupled with smart sensors and advanced analytics. This approach also improves the business case for well-established technologies such as RFID, as the best way to match stock to demand and ensure that items are available for fulfilment to every kind of journey, whether direct in store or on line.
Insights from integrated multiple data sources also improves operational efficiency because it enables retailers to streamline execution as well as improve outcomes through better forecasting. And using advanced Artificial Intelligence, they are able to make continuous improvements in core retail disciplines including allocation, assortment, merchandising and replenishment, and more advanced capabilities such as staffing levels against store traffic and shopper journey types.
Sensormatic IQ’s flexible, open platform can incorporate insights from edge devices, such as POS, sensors, EAS, RFID, Computer Vision, and more, capable of delivering AI predictive and prescriptive models to support operations in retail environments from grocery and apparel to home improvement and malls.