How to be a retail innovator October 18th, 2018

How to be a retail innovator
Did you know that physical stores still account for more than 90% of retail sales, according to Forbes?

It’s a surprising statistic given the rise of online shopping, but it does demonstrate how traditional stores are still at the heart of the best retail experiences.

But even physical stores need to move with the latest technology, and to survive in a rapidly evolving landscape many are turning to new technology to improve the experience and meet shoppers’ expectations.

Store reinvention begins with enhancing the consumer experience. Today’s consumers expect easy, fast and flexible options no matter when, where, or how they choose to shop. Retailers must look to recreate the same ease of shopping online inside their stores.

This includes offering the convenience of being able to checkout anywhere with multiple checkout options. By providing choice, retailers can appeal to a broad consumer base and don’t turn away segments of the population who may have a strong preference for one technology versus another.

While adopting new technologies to attract and retain shoppers is important, operational excellence remains a cornerstone of successful retailers. As retailers invest more in the consumer experience, they must offset these costs by improving productivity and efficiency while reducing shrink.

Take new innovations such as artificial intelligence and digital recognition, for example. This can speed up traffic at the front-end and at the same time aid in the battle against potential fraud at checkout by sensing and identifying items and using shopper history, demographics and even how the consumer shops in the store.

BlueStar partner NCR has several solutions to help retailers meet their customers’ needs, including:

  • Speedier Scanning: Picklist Assist - NCR’s Picklist Assist helps alleviate the hassle of manually looking up the product within an entire Price Look-Up (PLU) list. The system uses computer vision to identify what’s on the scanner, and machine learning so the system becomes more accurate over time. Once an item is placed on the scale, the shopper can easily select the right PLU from a short list, which improves efficiency and accuracy.
  • Minimising Front-End Fraud: Produce Assurance - Using the same computer vision technology as PickList Assist, NCR Produce Assurance helps reduce shrink and possible fraud by identifying suspicious self-checkout transactions in real time.
  • Instant Video Verification: SmartAssist - NCR SmartAssist is a video tracking system that uses real-time object tracking to help verify items in a basket are scanned through the self-checkout. The system automatically alerts an attendant whenever there is suspicious activity so that intervention can happen immediately.
  • Maximising Associates’ Reach: Remote Attendant Program - The NCR Remote Attendant Program alerts an associate whenever a sales transaction stops, the attendant can review the alert and remotely intervene to resolve the issue.
To find out more about NCR’s retail solutions, contact BlueStar today.


Samantha is BlueStar's Digital Media Specialist, and the primary contributing writer for VartechNation. Previously, she has worked as a Public Relations Associate and a Social Media Manager.