Retail automation

Case study

Virtual store management

A cloud-based solution that enables the users to manage a store virtually – anywhere, anytime. 

Our client is a global leader in retail automation domain, specializing in technology and services that support self-service retail stores. They have a network of over 1500 automated stores in high-traffic locations, like airports, malls & hotels.

Requirements

The software configuration of vending machines installed at airports, malls, retail stores, were managed by a central platform. The key requirement was to build a mobile application that can virtually manage stocks of vending machines/kiosks via real-time data access. On the kiosk front, integration of the vending machines with different devices and payment systems needed to be implemented smoothly.

Challenges

  • Data synchronization between different sources, like mobile devices, kiosks, and the central platform was complicated and unreliable.
  • Lack of a secure, fast, and scalable platform to order products through mobile devices.

Solution

Imaginea designed and created a cloud-based store management portal to virtually handle the end-to-end kiosk operations of a retail store. To ensure a complete self-service retail experience, we designed and built an interactive Point of Sale (POS) interface with integrated product promotions and check-out features. We leveraged machine learning techniques to understand buying patterns and analyze product promotions. We used these powerful insights from POS and built Planogram, which can be used to manage stock and space of the retail outlet.

The portal comes with built-in self-service analytical reports and automated reports that has granular information about various performance indicators, like the number of items sold, best selling products, most effective promotion, etc.

Tech stack

How our solution helped

Store management portal ensures on-the-fly virtual operation, including customized product offers in real-time, planogram based effective stock and shellf-space management.

Our Approach

The portal was developed as a BaaS (Backend as a service) solution using Google Firebase and Rest API. The diagram below illustrates how our solution enables the virtual store management environment:

We used Firebase Realtime database and cloud functions to sync data between different sources:

Results

  • Faster onboarding of new devices
  • Vendors gain access to real-time data to accurately estimate product inventory and prices
  • Quicker customization of product offers through the pricing rule functionality
  • Minimize out-of-stock and over-stock scenarios with Planogram

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