New technologies in retail
Innovative activity becomes an objective condition for the development of modern trade and ensuring the competitiveness of enterprises in the long term. By introducing innovations, the enterprise responds to changes in the macro and micro environment and adapts to market conditions.
Currently, there is a decrease in the purchasing power of the population.
Trade enterprises are forced to reorient themselves to goods of a low price category. Stores strive to win the customer on a long-term basis, to make him become a regular customer by improving the quality of service. At the moment, trading enterprises most often take a defensive position against threats from market participants, and only a few of them retain a leading position in the trading business. One of the main ways for them is the use of innovations. Innovation requires financial investments that large trade organizations can afford. In most cases, the purpose of financial investments is not so much to obtain additional profit, but rather to maintain a leading position in the market and the opportunity to develop a business. Large retail chains cannot develop without the introduction of advanced technologies in the system of product distribution, management of commodity and financial flows, and technological processes.
The introduction of innovative technologies contributes to a more efficient management of inventory and supply. The stock of goods on the trading floor of the store is promptly monitored, since a signal about an insufficient number of goods on the shelves is sent to the distribution warehouse when it is reduced to 30%.
As an example of innovative technologies, an innovative retail project “Shop of the Future”, which is implemented in the practice of X-5 Retail Group N.V., is given. in 2012 based on the Perekrestok network. This project is unique because there are no cashiers and sellers and the store operates on the basis of full self-service for customers. Here, innovative RFID technologies are used, which allow marking goods with radio tags with unique identifiers for each unit of goods. The buyer independently selects the product, places it in a basket or in a bag, then goes to an automatic self-service checkout, which does not have a conveyor belt, but there is a special scanner placed in the hatch into which the basket is placed. The buyer uses a special one-time anonymous buyer card, applies it to the scanner, and the purchase amount is displayed on the screen. Payments are made by all known methods (cash and non-cash payment).
Stores save money and space. Store throughput is increasing. This innovation allows to reduce the buyer’s time when paying for goods at the checkout, regardless of the purchase price, up to 15 seconds. Automatic cash desks can work around the clock.
The possibility of full self-service is far from the only advantage of RFID technology.
Individual RFID tags help track the progress of goods from the supplier of the goods to the consumer, allow you to control the goods by expiration dates, which is extremely important for both the store and the buyer. Labeling of goods by store employees is carried out independently, each product is assigned a code stored in the store database.
Tracking expired goods is helped by special shelves of commercial equipment, which are equipped with RFID antennas integrated into the computer systems of stores. “Smart shelves” become thanks to a business application that highlights expired products in bright red. To attract customers, regular customers are issued a loyalty card, the number of which in the “store of the future” has reached 500 units.
One of the types of modern equipment in stores is a display trolley equipped with a navigation device that allows you to link to the catalog of all products in the store and show their location. On the display, you can read detailed information about the product you are planning to buy (manufacturer, composition, scope, useful properties, preparation method, etc.), detailed information about related products for the purchased product is presented. For the buyer, reliable and timely information about the product makes it possible to eliminate errors when purchasing the right product, focusing on a healthy diet and compliance with expiration dates.
The use of this technology makes it possible to reduce the loss of goods from the so-called unauthorized removal of goods from the trading floor, since the use of electronic receipts reduces the loss of goods from theft. It is known that theft can bring losses in the amount of 1-2% of the volume of trade. Stores are forced to introduce additional control over work with customers and, thereby, increase labor costs.
An important point in this technology is the introduction of electronic liquid crystal price tags connected to the database.
It is known that buyers’ complaints are often associated with upward price changes during the day. And the buyer will know about it already when paying for the goods. This situation leads to conflicts and complicates the accounting of goods. The use of electronic price tags allows you to make changes to prices within one to two minutes. If you need to change the prices of all goods, it will take about half an hour. Such price tags can work in freezers at a temperature of -18 degrees.
An important innovative solution to improve the efficiency of staff work and resolve disputes related to servicing at the cash point is the introduction of a control module for cash transactions. What does it give? First of all, it provides continuous control of payment for purchases, the ability to assess the quality of staff work in real time. The information from the surveillance cameras located along the checkout line is synchronized with the information of the cash terminal. Surveillance is carried out in real time and video is stored in the archive, which makes it possible to restore events for the previous period of time.