BT has announced that leading shirt-maker and luxury clothing retailer Thomas Pink has deployed the Acuitas Digital Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which helps retailers to digitise the physical store, at its Wall Street New York City store.
Thomas Pink installed the pilot Acuitas Digital IoT digital store solution as part of its digital strategy. It will enable the retailer to track in real time the movement of merchandise and people around the store, use big data analytics to predict shopper behaviour and provide a foundation for real-time interactive in-store experiences. This will help the retailer personalise customer service, optimise store layout, improve employee workflows, reduce cost and grow sales.
Launched in January 2016, the Acuitas Digital Alliance brings together like-minded technology innovators determined to bring the full benefits of the new digital era across the entire retail supply chain. Its members are BT, Intel, RetailNext, NexGen Packaging, SATO Global Solutions and Valmarc.
Acuitas Digital’s solution uses IoT multi-sensors to automatically scan the whole store in real-time to improve efficiency and unlock new interactive in-store experiences. The IoT powered Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensors provide real-time inventory visibility and movement tracking of merchandise throughout the store, increasing efficiency and delivering near 100 per cent stock accuracy.
This new IoT approach to digitising the store overcomes the limitations of legacy handheld RFID systems that rely on manual weekly or daily store scanning. Manual scanning can be error prone, time consuming and of limited value to retailers looking to deliver in-store interactive customer experiences or for real-time analytics.
The IoT powered video sensors within the Acuitas Digital solution will allow Thomas Pink to understand the behaviour of customers in the store. They will provide insight and intelligence on what customers are buying, who goes where in the store, merchandising effectiveness and how the stores are performing.
Alex Field, marketing director, Thomas Pink, said: “The Acuitas Digital solution will give us the insight to ensure that we have the right products, in the right place at the right time, all of the time. This is fundamental to delighting our customers and delivering great new digital experiences to the store.
“We will now be able to use big data analytics to improve store efficiency and performance to help our people to spend more time with customers rather than getting tied up in admin tasks. We’re incredibly excited about how it will transform the store for our people and customers. It will bring our digital store strategy to life and will show how it can become a real driver of growth.”
The Acuitas Digital solution is offered world-wide by BT. It brings together best-of-breed components powered by the Intel Responsive Retail Sensor, in-store analytics by RetailNext, software by SATO Global Solutions and RFID tags by NexGen. This is underpinned by global BT’s Cloud of Clouds and networking capability and international support.
Bas Burger, BT’s president for the Americas, said: “There are many solutions on the market designed to help retailers predict customer behaviour and improve experiences for shoppers. However, these solutions do not easily integrate with each other, and that lack of integration translates into data silos and limited usefulness.
“BT is working with Thomas Pink to maximise the business benefits of our Acuitas Digital solution, bringing together the power of IoT sensors, software and analytics to give a single comprehensive view of store operations and customer behaviour. This will help to grow sales, boost productivity and deliver a greater experience for customers.”
The Acuitas Digital solution will help Thomas Pink and its customers in a number for ways.
For example, if a customer picks up a men’s shirt, carries it elsewhere in the store and then abandons it for another product, the next person who’s looking for that shirt may not be able to find it. A sales assistant will then get tied up searching for the item, while the new customer waits. With the Acuitas Digital Alliance solution, the Thomas Pink sales assistant will know exactly where to find the item, saving time, removing frustration and giving the customer a better shopping experience.
Moreover, if a garment sold happens to be the last one of its style and size in the store, the real-time nature of the Acuitas Digital solution will allow for a replenishment order to be made instantly and automatically by sending an alert notifying a sales assistant, rather than waiting until the end of the day for a stock check.
When combined with digital signage, the solution could also prompt a customer buying a shirt to consider a matching tie or cufflinks, improving service and helping grow sales. Fitting rooms will be transformed. New Smart Fitting rooms will improve customer experience and increase sales conversion.
Mike Beedles, chair of the Acuitas Digital Alliance, said: “Today’s customers have higher expectations of the retail experience than ever before. Digital solutions are key to helping retailers meet this challenge and seize the opportunities new shopping behaviours offer. We’re delighted to be working with Thomas Pink as it develops its digital store strategy and look forward to our mutual success.”