Enter 2030. Ten years in the future the corner grocery store might look very different from what we are used to today. As 90% of shopping still takes place offline, brick-and-mortar retailers are turning to AI and smart video technologies to track, benchmark, and quantify what happens inside a store.
EasyFlow – the product arm of leading Baltic software developer Agmis – develops Computer Vision applications for retail.
EasyFlow retail product suite helps to mitigate checkout fraud and improve customer experience and shopper turnaround at the checkout. Smart video solutions help to track product stock levels on the shelf level, optimizing their restocking. Using store security cameras to measure visitor footfall, the platform helps to reduce queues at the checkout and optimize the cashier’s work shifts.
“When you unleash the full power of AI retail analytics, your brick and mortar store turns into an e-commerce outlet, where you can monitor and track everything as if it happened online. Think conversion tracking, visitor flow analysis, cart abandonment – you may manage your store as if it was a digital property”, – says Head of Products at EasyFlow Simas Jokubauskas.
Simas Jokubauskas, CEO of EasyFlow
Partnership with NXGen Technology
To boost traction in the DACH market Agmis partnered with NXGEN Technology, an expert in security applications. NXGEN Technology is the author of the NXG GENESIS Cloud platform, a cutting-edge cloud CMS, which integrates with recording devices (cameras, sensors), machines, and IoT devices, to provide a holistic security overview.
“Our platform NXG GENESIS is allowing customers to start working without investing large capital into infrastructure. Being a cloud platform, you can work from scratch, a tablet being already enough for most of the tasks, users can work from anywhere, even mobile and they pay as they go”, – says CEO of NXGEN Technology Yves Neuhaus.
According to Mr. Neuhaus, the cloud architecture allows for the scalability of operations and velocity in development. New features are easy to add via the cloud-to-cloud integration. This includes security-oriented applications as well as other adjacent applications like parking management, early leak detection, and or, like in the case of EasyFlow, a fully-fledged innovative AI retail analytics suite.
“We see Easyflow as a very innovative and agile partner offering well thought and sharp solutions tackling the key needs of retailers. The Easyflow solution portfolio is already addressing the key retail trends at a high level of reliability”, – notes Mr. Neuhaus.
Digital retail transformation of the DACH market
According to Mr. Neuhaus, manpower costs are one of the key drivers of innovation in the DACH market.
“We see many actors testing advanced technology options, starting from the demand management and supply chain optimization up to automated checkout processes. In addition, fraud is always a big subject, the roll-out of new self-service technologies has even increased the need for automated fraud detection. We expect an acceleration of innovation in the coming years especially based on AI technologies”, – adds Mr. Neuhaus.
The drive for increased operation efficiency is only seconded by the need to enhance customer experience, with reduction of queues at the checkout, faster customer turnaround time, improved item on-shelf availability, or even personalized in-store advertising.
“In a somewhat generic retail landscape, innovative technology solutions for cost and service quality optimization are behind the future competitive advantages, which could differentiate your store from the one next door”, – says Mr. Neuhaus.
Building the store of the future
Despite being a technology optimist, Mr. Neuhaus does not see shop assistants replaced by robots anytime soon.
“While I do not believe in supermarkets renouncing totally on local staff – people will still need help from people – I do expect a very high level of automation and digitization. This will be first on all operational aspects, from the supply chain management to the shelf replenishments – that could indeed be performed by robots”, – says Mr. Neuhaus.
According to Mr. Neuhaus, If the user undertakes the shopping trip himself, self/automated checkouts will be the standard staple in the stores with technology making this process seamless and accurate.
“In the mid-term, I can also imagine shopping bots performing the shopping for end-users based on their shopping lists, while the users themselves are enjoying a grande latte in the supermarket’s food court. This will create a totally new customer experience, exposing users to new trends and creating new shopping impulses”, – adds Mr. Neuhaus.
Yet, in the words of Mr. Neuhaus, the future of retail will be driven by smart AI technologies, which digitize the physical world.
“And this technology is already here, it is no longer a promise”, – says Mr. Neuhaus.