Digitalization of retail: marketing research from Recoshelf
In the summer of 2021, Recoshelf carried out market research about digitalization of retail. We’ve interviewed market players and results are presented to your attention below.
Recoshelf is a Retailtech startup that automates store operations. We use cameras, computer vision and artificial intelligence to scan shelves. As a result, in real time we can provide reports on the availability of goods, planograms and prices.
We’ve researched the Ukrainian market together with the inMind agency to find out how big the automation task is and what solutions retailers normally prefer.
The retail trade in brick and construction mortar is undergoing dramatic global changes. As you know, the pandemic has made its own adjustments and made us change our approach to some things. The Covid factor significantly reduced the number of supermarket visits and made us “step forward” faster - towards technological change.
Reducing operating costs and minimizing human participation and presence became essential. Therefore, retailers are increasingly introducing new technologies such as artificial intelligence, computer vision and the Internet of Things.
One of the key challenges that digital technology can handle is Out of Shelf (OOS) control, planogram consistency, and line control. We’ve surveyed eleven top executives, suppliers and retailers to get their views on promising directions for store digitization.
We've heard the following from the experts:
- It is considered to be a very important question for both the retail and the supplier.
- The solution to this problem is a task that requires human action. Warehouse OOS seems to be more important than checking goods on shelves for the retailers.
- OOS control becomes of greater value when connected to a pre-order system, so that the entire chain of product availability is traced: shelf - local storage - regional warehouse.
- Clothing, accessories and footwear stores are less interested in monitoring OOS as sellers are constantly moving goods from shelf to shelf.
- For manufacturers and stores with any level of automation, Recoshelf cameras can simplify and customize product tracking.
It is one of the most important tools for the income increase of both the retailers and the suppliers. Automated control will help reduce personnel costs and improve discipline. The merchandising department can avoid the time-consuming photos sharing from a smartphone through communicators as well as get rid of the planogram manual control, which is now performed with the use of a simple photo. Other thoughts mentioned by the expert are as follows:
- Planogram validation is performed by the retailers and the suppliers. Compliance is important to the business.
- Routine visual inspection of the shelf takes time, as does manual ordering.
- In many cases, retailers are required to keep track of brand planograms on shelves by contract. In case of failing to do so , they may be fined (under the terms of the contract). Retailers generally agree to monitor shelves with IoT cameras.
- Typically, brands spend a lot of time and money checking the planogram. So Recoshelf cameras with CV and ML can play a positive role here and simplify the process.
Retailers are being assisted by an automatic price control and competition analysis. Also, many stores still have the problem of outdated price tags.
For most suppliers, this is not the main issue, as the majority of them announce the prices in advance and rarely change them.
- There are products in grocery stores that require obligatory temperature control. For example: frozen fish, dairy products, beer, dough, etc.
- Beer brands want to instantly know the on / off status of their fridges online.
- Fish and frozen food brands want a stable temperature over a long period of time. It is important for them to know that stores store their products correctly, so that in case of expired products, they can get this information in time.
- Dairy brands also constantly need online shelf temperature tracking.
After all, even for short-term temperature regime violations, fines are most likely to be imposed.
Existing experience of digitalization
Many players have already tested digitalization solutions. Pilot projects were carried out in the following areas:
Most companies have their own ERPs linked to warehouse data, EAN codes and product photos.
Software for merchandising with control of geography, performance and photo reports
Automatic ordering of the on shelf goods that were connected to the camera.
Controlling the number of visitors using an IOT camera
Controlling product availability using an IOT camera
Business Benefits of Recoshelf
Increased sales thanks to timely control of shelves
The Recoshelf app manages the shelves better than the existing manual process. Management can use the shelf handling subsystem in their current ERP system and be notified of deviations from normal operation. Thus all processes automatization becomes even easier and reaches a completely new level.
Reduced merchandising budgets
With Recoshelf cameras, brands believe they can cut on merchandising, driving and fuel costs. The frequency of checks from brands to stores can be revised for many product categories.
Smart cameras reduce the risk of fines for missing food, broken planograms or critical refrigerator temperatures. This is a clear budget saving method.
Recoshelf's Smart IoT cameras replace the manual and semi-automatic process that some companies use. For example, smartphone apps for merchandisers. Now the process becomes more mobile and convenient.
Customers value flexibility, low capital costs, quality and quick installation of the Recoshelf system. Since Recoshelf has offices in Ukraine, brands can always rely on our instant support. We are always in touch, so all communication and all changes take place very quickly and conveniently.