Lenovo IoT helps stores adapt to new normal

  • November 3, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Hong Kong-based Lenovo has announced a set of ThinkIoT Smarter Store products to help brick-and-mortar shops adapt to today’s new normal environment.

The products can improve customer experience by enabling better inventory availability and product interaction while driving labour efficiency. Additionally, they can help make stores safer for shoppers during Covid-19, giving them confidence during this upcoming holiday season.

A recent Lenovo survey found that nearly half of consumers reported they began shopping online more frequently over the past month and 66 per cent said it’s the retailer’s responsibility to keep them healthy while they shop in-store. For in-store shopping, their top concerns are finding product and product availability, ensuring mask policies are in place, compliance and occupancy levels.

And when it comes to future store experiences enabled through technology, they’re most excited about greater transparency about product availability, targeting advertising for relevant deals, and ensuring prices are updated correctly.

“Brick-and-mortar retailers offer a unique experience for shoppers that cannot be fully replicated online,” said John Gordon, president of Lenovo’s commercial IoT business group. “With ThinkIoT Smarter Store, we’re helping these important retail businesses create even more differentiated customer experiences while improving their bottom line so they can continue to grow during challenging economic times.”

ThinkIoT Smarter Store provides end-to-end, pre-tested and validated IoT to address key customer experiences, productivity and safety needs of stores. By working with proven hardware and software partners, including Avalue, L Squared, Spacee and Viper Imaging, ThinkIoT Smarter Store can help store operations create a smarter shopping experience by bringing in more customers.

This can be done by increasing store visits through targeted advertising and tracking of in-store marketing effectiveness through custom QR-codes using customised digital displays from Avalue.

It can make inventory management more efficient with out-of-stock detection, inventory counts, and planogram compliance leveraging smart shelves and smart pushers using technology from Spacee. Shoppers can learn about products in a dynamic and self-service way using smart displays with interactive product information and tailored ads.

Shopping spaces can be made safer by identifying potentially sick employees proactively. FDA-certified temperature screening from Viper Imaging can help keep sick employees from entering the store. And technology from L Squared can help communicate policy changes, mask requirements and occupancy levels to shoppers simply and easily with digital signs.

Shoppers can pick their set of technologies based on what’s most important to them. Lenovo serves as the one-stop shop for these practical ThinkIoT Smarter Store products, providing validation, deployment and management, especially important to simplify the complexity of large retailers with stores distributed across regions and countries.

Lenovo’s ThinkIoT Smarter Store is backed by validation processes for software that include up to 140 steps covering security, serviceability, scalability and reliability. The company has a field network of more than 20,000 technicians for global deployment and customers in more than 180 markets and expertise supporting more than 125 million devices.

These complement Lenovo’s other smart retail products, helping create an ecosystem of interoperable technology and aggregated data to transform business. With a customised, integrated network of smart retail products, store-wide IT management can be simplified and improved.

For example, the firm’s turnkey PoS and self-service kiosks help retailers grow beyond siloed digital point tools to unlock data and insights, as well as reduce the hardware footprint and expense through connected self-service products. In addition, AI innovation centres can help optimise the business with analytics and machine-learning capabilities to understand shopper behaviour, reduce shrinkage, and meet complex logistics and inventory challenges.