THE GRID* invited to the Smart Retail Startup Challenge 2019 last week. Eleven young retail professionals presented, under the guidance and moderation of Mr. Bruno Bensaid, Shanghaivest & Mobile Monday, their retail solutions at the fancy location of We Work in the not less hip French Concession in Shanghai. Not an easy job for the judges to nominate three of them for the final round. To emerge as the one winner the nominees had to present at the retail trade fair C-star 2019 in Shanghai a week later.
The jury consisting of Alvin Foo, Reprise Digital, Ashmit Bhattacharya, KargoCard, Susanna Chiu, East China for Li & Fung, Dominic Penaloza, WeWork China, Alexis Richez, ZTP / Creadev, was impressed by the overall good and spirited ideas. Their decision was linked to those presentations that seemed to offer a realistic and suitable solution for the retail industry.
AI for more customer insights
As there was Addreality, an AI-based platform. Taken that even in China, where customers are comparatively very online-orientated, still over 80 % of shopping is offline, the idea is to get better customer insights. Addreality uses the analysis of instore-behavior to measure e.g. the effect of promotions. With cameras and face-recognition it dissects in real time instore audience recognition for example after an advertising campaign and will give the retailer better understanding of what attracts people’s attention.
Cloud-technology prevents out-of-stock
Gastronomy becomes more and more attractive as an integrated part of retail shops or in shopping centers. Customers appreciate this extra service and retailers have thus the chance to extend the time spent in their locations. Bevsight is an in-stock management solution for bars and restaurants and runs on every mobile device. To compare sales with inventory you take a photo of your items in stock. The software uses cloud-technology and creates graphs and analytics to give an accurate calculation of inventory.
Customer loyalty and positive side-effects
Retail Connect is basically a loyalty-system for customers in shopping centers – with positive side-effects beyond loyalty. Customer can scan the specifically tagged QR-code at their receipt and – while cloud computing is calculating the consumption – add loyalty-points after every purchase in real time. The data performance allows effective cross-store promotion and offers an accurate knowledge of store transaction which serves as the revenue-rent basis for the landlord of shopping malls.
At C-star, spin-off of EuroShop for the Asian market, the final winner was elected a few days ago. Proudly Dr. Matthew Wang, Retail Connect, was honored with the award.
*THE GRID is the networking hub aiming at connecting the digital platform sphere – all those internet companies, providers of disruptive technologies and digital transformation start-ups – with the physical platform sphere, exhibitions and its companies from those industrial sectors. Founded in 2017 by Messe Düsseldorf Shanghai in China, THE GRID links digital innovators with their future markets helping them grow from zero to hero, and connects representatives of the classical industries with them.