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27th June, 2016  

Retail: Concepts

By Gaurav Patekar


After having understood how retail works from both, customer’s side as well as retailer’s side, we came up with the following concepts.

These concepts work together to create a new ecosystem promising a better shopping experience for the customer and business opportunities for the retailer. These concepts can also work standalone or in combination depending upon the retail business.

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Smart List App

Many people make lists before shopping, we envision an app that serves essentially as a list making app, made by either a particular retailer (more.) or a generic app.

First the user will download the app and login with their phone number (same number used at POS counter while billing). The app looks very similar to a list making app. It can recognize the items and can suggest Brands to choose from, ongoing offers and relevant items based on preferences.

The user can choose to make and edit the list at any point of time, the app will keep sending the data back to the store whenever the list is changed.

When the user decides to visit the store, based on the gps coordinates, the app can know which more outlet the customer has entered and inform the shop of it.

At this stage, multiple things happen:

  • The list of items is rearranged in relation to the store layout, for example, the items on the ground floor will be arranged together, the items closest to the entrance will appear at the top, making it efficient for the customer to pick up the items in the list.
  • The app can also provide the user with a visual map of items they have listed and the path to be followed
  • As the store knows who the customer is and what he wants to buy, the store can keep the customers cart ready, the customer can then proceed directly to checkout or take the cart and add more items on their own.

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Smart Price Tags

A centrally connected price tag displayed on shelves next to the stack of the products. Currently the tags are printed on paper and changed manually, sometimes the tags displayed are outdated or wrong.

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Smart Signage

Centrally connected signage that can display ongoing offers, information about the product as well as advertisements (instead of or in addition to printed signage

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Smart Cart

A shopping cart that helps the customer

  • Find the items listed in the app
  • Call for assistance when needed
  • Provide additional information about the products such as user reviews, ratings, etc.
  • If the cart is equipped with a scanner (barcode/RFID) it can show the updated product price, add it to the total cost of the products in the cart, etc.

The cart will know its location, who the customer is, purchase history of the customer, etc.

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Smart Shelves

Shelves that can keep track of the inventory stored in real time.

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Floor Analytics

Using the existing security cameras, there can be a solution that can understand how customers behave in the store.

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Personalized Services in Premium Shops

Based on the idea of list making app mentioned earlier, premium shops can have an assigned person who will know in advance the items the shopper wishes to buy and can guide them through the store. The person can also advice them on products based on the customer’s preferences and purchase history.

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Predictive Analysis Based on Predictive Data

Currently the store has multiple data points such as inventory data that is updated everyday, data on purchases coming from POS counters, purchase history of customers, etc.
Using this data collected over a period of time, we might be able to deduce patterns in customer behavior which can be used to predict customer behavior, sales, etc.



The current understanding of retail domain suggests that the proposed concepts will be helpful in enhancing and streamlining shoppers experience as well as making the retailers supply chain more efficient and reducing the manual intervention required which will in turn reduce the scope for manual error.

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