Exceeding Shoppers’ Connected Retail Expectations 

Produced by Dell

Hayley Tabor VP, Global Industries, Sales and Solutions Dell Technologies, leads the discussion on how retailers are innovating and the opportunities in the area of seamless checkout processes, data integrity, and edge infrastructure. There is a focus on the challenges and critical success factors for retailers looking to deploy these solutions, such as ROI, accuracy, and the importance of having a partner ecosystem to address fragmentation. The panelists also discuss the importance of technology companies ensuring quality infrastructure and time to market, and the need for business decisions to be made in partnership with the infrastructure and technology validation.

Kevin Howard, CEO and co-founder of AWS, said, "Although retailers may be excited about implementing cashierless checkout, the true objective is to enhance convenience and optimize labor. Instead of just focusing on checkout, retailers should consider automating processes throughout the entire environment, including front of house, back of counter, and beyond. The primary goal is to achieve labor optimization and increase profitability."

The real barrier for the industry toward going fully frictionless has been cost to implementation versus ROI. AWM Smart Retail has now introduced proprietary Activity-Based Inference (ABI) to its solutions. ABI is a new set of AI optimizations resulting in a major cost reduction for AWM Frictionless™ shopping and retail analytics. "In a frictionless environment, inference is necessary to understand what is happening in the space. ABI employs a multi-tiered AI processing approach that will limit inference by 80%+, creating the industry’s most cost-effective and least heavy infrastructure reliant frictionless solution. This, while not sacrificing accuracy in any manner," notes Kevin adding, "This latest set of optimizations is a game changer for the industry at large. It not only drastically improves ROI, but also opens the door to deploying to large format locations which did not make sense previously. Frictionless environments are the here to stay and this release makes AWM the most cost-effective provider.”

David Dobson Global Retail, Hospitality and Consumer Goods Industry Director Intel Corporation, observes Autonomous technology has the potential to disrupt the retail industry by enhancing customer interactions and improving operational management and fulfillment processes. Intel emphasizes the importance of flexible edge infrastructure that can support various solutions and workloads that can eventually be offloaded to the cloud. Retailers must rethink their operations and procedures to accommodate the technology's cost and build confidence in its capabilities. The service side of the division needs to understand the technology and deploy it at scale while managing its maintenance and management. Customer experience is also important, and retailers must ensure that their solutions are well-liked and comfortable for customers.

Rick Widford, Managing Director, Edge AI Offering Leader Deloitte Consulting, suggests using AI and computer vision to solve problems related to freshness and product rotation. The industry is seeing small proof of concepts (POCs) in targeted areas for autonomous stores. Consolidating solutions and using flexible architectures that support multiple use cases is seen as a way to reduce costs and hardware in retail stores. Partnerships between tech companies, including POS manufacturers, are crucial to navigate the complex ecosystem. The convergence of technology, cost, and business cases are starting to align, resulting in better benefits for retailers. Rick emphasizes the importance of executive buy-in, selecting the right partners, and connectivity for success in implementing autonomous stores.

FEB 2023