IBM is collaborating with Tesco, one of the leading retailers of the world to ensure that its in-store displays are arranged according to the plan. This has been made possible by Tesco, with the use of IBM’s augmented reality app. The app helps in arranging the products on the shelves of the store in accordance with the display plans. When the arrangement of all the products is properly done, it helps in providing the customers with a better shopping experience. This is a one-of-a-kind collaboration between these two big firms.
Using the App
Tesco employees use tablets or smartphones to check whether the shelves in the shops have been stacked in the correct way. With the app, they check if the arrangement of the products meets the consumers’ demands. The product placement depends on the day to day change in the demand of the consumers.
The user clicks a picture of the shelf and discrepancies, if any, between the actual arrangement and the planned one, is checked by a back-end server. This is possible as the AR app connects with the product database of Tesco and identifies and analyzes the images. The server flags up areas which require modification so that it matches with the layout that has been projected. Items which have been placed in the wrong shelves or products which are in insufficient quantities or boxes that have tumbled down are all flagged up by the app.
This is currently done manually. Presently this technology is being piloted by Tesco in a store near London. Once the pilot test is a success, it will be implemented in all the stores of Tesco.
Boosting Customer Experience
According to the CIO of Tesco, Mike McNamara, the collaboration between IBM and Tesco has been done with the intention of boosting the customer experience. He explained that a better shopping experience delivery means, to make sure that all the products can be easily found out by the shoppers and that they are also well stocked. He also added that with the IBM application, store operations can be improved from manual and barcode-based processes.
With shelves which are well stacked and easy to find, it will ultimately cause better sales for supermarkets. The collaboration between these two firms shows that to what extent retailers can go to meet the demand of the current day shoppers.
According to IBM’s head of Retail Research, Sima Nadler, enterprises can make use of mobile technology to maximize their sales and inventory and in the process stay ahead of others.
By benefiting the customers in one way or other, retailers can stay in this hot competitive market.
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