Innovative Retail Technologies

MAR-APR 2017

Innovative Retail Technologies (formerly Integrated Solutions For Retailers) is the premier source for innovative yet pragmatic technology solutions in the retail industry.

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What do modern customer engagement and inventory management applications have in common? Increasingly, they both leverage artificial intelligence. I caught up with Omer Artun, CEO and founder of predictive analytics com- pany AgilOne, in a crowded dining area at the Javits Center during last January's NRF Show. I found Doug Benson, director of America's marketing at image recognition company Trax Image Recognition, about an hour later at the same event. Neither company has much in common, with the exception that both businesses are leveraging AI (artificial intelligence) to drive innovation to their retail customers. On the one hand, you have a company that just released a multiple camera- wielding robot designed to troll store aisles gathering a comprehensive image of the contents of those stores' shelves. That's 6-year-old startup Trax Image Recognition, and its software is capable of recognizing multiple, nearly identical products, regardless of how funky the packaging or whether the view of the product is obstructed, with around 96 percent accuracy. What's the point of gathering these 2 Use Cases For Artificial Intelligence images? Benson says the applications are many. "Consumer product goods [CPG] manufacturers are big users because they spend so much time in stores visually analyzing shelves." That analysis contributes to a bigger- picture understanding of what's going right or wrong with the execution of marketing, promotions, merchandising, planogramming, and more. Combined with POS data, shelf presentation imagery can, for instance, help CPG merchandisers and marketers understand why a product might see sales success in one store while it struggles in another. Shelf-Level Intelligence For Retailers While the camera-armed robot is new, the theory behind Trax's image recognition application is not. Benson says CPG manufacturers have been using the technology for the past five years to help manage specific categories, albeit via camera-wielding associates, not robots. The robot was developed not for manufacturers but for merchants BY MATT PILLAR Consumer product goods (CPG) manufacturers are big users because they spend so much time in stores visually analyzing shelves. ... Retailers want the same sort of image recognition functionality, but they want it across the entire store. Doug Benson, director of America's marketing, Trax Image Recognition What's Next 25 Mar-Apr 2017

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