AI-Boosted Retail Experience Powering Stores of the Future
FN Media Group Presents StreetSignals.com Market Commentary
New York, NY – June 13, 2019 – The entire in-store shopping experience is about to change as total global retail sales move towards a projected $28 trillion by 2020. Retailers, large and small, are implementing high-tech options to meet evolving customer needs through a new wave of retail tech being ushered in by developers and retailers, such as VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp. (CSE:VSBY) (OTCPK:VSBGF), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) and International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM).
The customer experience is about to drastically improve, thanks to innovations, such as high-tech digital displays from VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp. (CSE:VSBY) (OTCPK:VSBGF). The developers’ artificial intelligence (AI) units bring interactive Touch, FacialAnalyticsTM, and Advanced Object Recognition through the utilization of proprietary and ground-breaking displays, cameras and software—delivering boosted sales, and major security improvements.
Key to these futuristic improvements in the retail space is the adoption and integration by major retailers such as Walmart Inc. and The Kroger Co.
Quite possibly the most well-known brick-and-mortar chain in the world, Walmart is leading the way by unveiling an AI-powered store of the future. With AI-enabled cameras, interactive displays and an enormous data center, the store hints at a retail experience straight out of a futuristic movie.
On a smaller scale, grocery chain Kroger is testing out the concept of smart shelves, which utilizes an app on their customers’ phone that identifies and highlights products of potential interest. For example, the app may highlight gluten-free products for a celiac shopper or kid-friendly snacks for parents. As the chain gets to know its customer better, the shopping experience is truly personalized with each visit to the store.
As these major retailers are looking to secure an edge for their customers’ shopping experience, there’s a lot of important research and development going on behind the scenes.
The High-Tech Shopper’s Delight
At the forefront of reinventing the customer experience and disrupting the path to purchase with state-of-the-art shopping enhancements, VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp. (VSBY-VSBGF) is quickly becoming a go-to provider to retailers and event promoters.
Monetizing their services primarily through software as a service (SaaS), VSBLTY has made a name for itself among its clients as a full-service digital consultant—providing not only improvements to sales through interactive touch-screen displays, but also through protection through drastically enhanced security against threats of violence and shoplifting.
The VSBLTY solution involves bringing about the advantages of online advertising into the brick and mortar landscape, through high-tech signage, security, and analytics. These signs can increase brand engagement, customer dwell time, enjoyment, all while providing real-time feedback to clients, and assisting security teams.
These interactive displays can serve as points of sale (POS) for transactions, or just as lively advertisements that double as camera-installed security checkpoints that can monitor objects such as bags and purses on the watch for weapons. With its facial recognition capabilities, the VSBLTY signage can tell by the expressions on the users’ face whether the particular sales pitch and advertising is effective, or whether it needs to switch on the fly. Through constant testing and data analysis, retailers can expect to see their effectiveness increase over time with every interaction.
It’s this strategy that has enticed major innovators such as Intel Corporation and International Business Machines Corporation to throw their hats into the ring.
Through an investment into startup Cloudpick Limited, Intel now has a hand in the enabling of intelligent, cashier-free stores with grab-and-go shopping experiences—starting in Shanghai, China. The system handles everything from automated door access, cameras, and computer vision to let customers check out without a cashier’s help by incorporating weighing sensors, an Intel Core i5 8500T processor, and an OpenVINO toolkit, which utilizes Intel Deep Learning.
Also leveraging machine learning is a partnership between North Face and IBM to use IBM Watson’s machine learning technology to “help you find the perfect jacket for your next adventure.” However, the AI program is used strictly online as shoppers answer a series of questions about what their future jacket will be used for (commuting, hiking, snowboarding, etc.).
Direct and Safe Online Experience in Real Life
While online retails giants such as Amazon.com Inc. continue to grow in sales, there is still a push to innovate the brick-and-mortar shopping experience.
This is where offerings such as those from VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp. (CSE:VSBY) (OTCPK:VSBGF) tout an ability to bring the online experience to real people inside the store, and at venues.
Through offering both sales and security to clients, VSBLTY is strategically targeting a piece of both the $187 billion global security market, and the nearly $32 billion digital display market that’s projected to grow 7.28% CAGR through to 2023.
The company recently announced it has joined international cybersecurity consortium Cyber Ops Alliance (COA) in May.
“We are excited that VSBLTY’s leading-edge technology can now be combined with the advanced security capabilities of other COA companies,” said COA’s CEO, Dan Downing in a press release. “Wherever deployed, VSBLTY can provide perimeter security by looking for ‘persons of interest’ or by identifying objects, including weapons, in real time.”
Later that month, VSBLTY tech was featured at the largest advertising and marketing trade show in Latin America, EXPOPUBLICITAS in Mexico City. The exhibit included a 65” screen command center, as well as interactive displays with touch screens using VSBLTY technology.
Tech Drivers Evolving the Retail Experience
Shoppers and event patrons are made potentially safer and happier through the implementation of the VSBLTY Groupe Technologies Corp. (VSBY-VSBGF). However, VSBLTY isn’t the only ones advancing the retail shopping experience.
Through its new Intelligent Retail Lab (or “IRL” for short), Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is showing the public the future of shopping. Within one of the franchise’s busiest locations, Walmart is testing new, innovative ideas within a real store that contains over 30,000 items, spanning 50,000 sq ft of real retail space. The tech incubator location helps the company gather swaths of information, that helps Walmart adjust its strategies across all its stores.
As part of its $117 million investment in 14 disruptive tech startups in April of this year, Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) got involved in smart retail technology provider Cloudpick Limited. The company offers proprietary computer vision, deep learning, sensor fusion, and edge computing technologies, with highly-digitized, intelligent, cashier-free stores with grab-and-go shopping experiences. The China-based Cloudpick has already collaborated with e-commerce companies, payment partners and traditional retailers around the world in an attempt to upgrade brick-and-mortar store shopping experiences around the world.
Utilizing the simplicity of a phone app, The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) chain of grocery stores allows customers the choice of enhancing their shopping experience or not. Through the concept of using smart shelves, when the customer walks down an aisle and has their Kroger app open on their smart device, sensors instantly identify the shopper and their individually curated tastes. This helps those with special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or vegetarian items, or even providing specialized shopper alerts and personal pricing if a customer’s shopping list has an item on sale.
Lastly, International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) is moving its machine-based learning online to help shoppers find just the right product. Through a partnership with Northface, IBM is using its Watson machine learning technology to help customers purchase the perfect jacket. This is done by asking the customer a series of questions that can lead them to the perfect purchase, precisely fashioned to their tastes and needs.
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