Revamping Supermarket Shopping with HCLTech’s IoT-Based Analytics Solution | HCLTech

US supermarket chain revamps shopping experience with IoT-based analytics solution

HCLTech's RII platform boosted inventory management and efficiency, saving labor costs by 20%
5 min read
5 min read

Amid an expansive landscape of in-store and digital purchasing options, a leading US-based supermarket chain partnered with HCLTech to integrate an omnichannel retail model and revamp its fulfillment and replenishment systems. The company's long-term strategy was anchored in innovative store transformation. Harnessing HCLTech's expertise, the partnership aimed at integrating shopper analytics to enhance inventory visibility, drive quicker sales turnarounds and expedite cost efficiencies. The collaboration sought to design and roll out a future-ready solution to stimulate growth. By capturing real-time data across all customer touchpoints, they extracted actionable insights, laying the groundwork for a comprehensive in-store strategy that revolutionized the shopping experience for their customers.

The Challenge

Scaling organic growth through enhanced in-store buying experiences

In today's retail environment, customers generate valuable data during their in-store shopping experiences. This supermarket and grocery chain faced outdated delivery processes, lean store-planning and operations, resulting in considerable inventory shrinkage and heightened operational costs. Subpar in-store footfall volumes, coupled with insufficient insights into consumer behavior, hampered their long-term growth strategy. Ensuring customer privacy while collecting actionable data was a significant concern for them. By leveraging insights from customer-generated data, they sought to enhance seamless interactions, improve the shopping experience and drive growth.


The Objective

Strengthening the store’s digital maturity

Our client sought a scalable technological solution to drive a unified, 360° view into real-time in-store customer interactions. They also needed to enhance customer support via assessment and re-validation of their legacy technology to integrate in-store points of sale with web and mobile interactions.


The Solution

Accelerating the selection of the best enabling platform

To devise a tailored solution, HCLTech carefully assessed their current business landscape, incorporating inputs from C-suite executives, store professionals and key stakeholders. We proposed an IoT-based Real-Time In-Store Insights (RII) solution with a four-week implementation on Microsoft Azure Marketplace, utilizing advanced laser-beam spectrum technology to monitor customer movement anonymously, safeguarding customer privacy.

During the proof of concept, RII was installed in select areas of a store, implementing Microsoft IoT Azure components like IoT Hub, IoT Edge and Azure VMs. This approach enabled the transformation of the shopping experience by providing unprecedented, actionable insights. Independent of end-user devices, RII employed radar-sensing imaging, distributed computing and advanced AI models, generating visual contextual data on customizable web-based dashboards, in-store hotspot maps and trend reports, empowering swift tactical and strategic decision-making.

Key functions of the RII solution include:

  • In-store movement tracking: HCLTech chose Texas Instruments’ 60 GHz industrial mm-wave radar imaging sensors to achieve highly accurate results without jeopardizing customer privacy or incurring line-of-sight limitations
  • Demographics analytics: This module estimates age and gender data based on visualization movement extracted from IP cameras
  • Footfall analytics: Azure IoT Hub collects data across IoT gateways and VM/storage services to perform analytics operations

The Impact

Speed, scalability and seamless user experience

HCLTech’s RII solution helped our client analyze customer engagement and buying patterns to transform store layout, redefine product lifecycles, create personalized shopping experiences and re-imagine staffing around shopper interactions based on footfall and purchasing trends. These moves equipped them with a competitive edge by enabling speed, scalability and a seamless user experience, outcomes that can significantly move the needle on the company’s growth agenda. RII helped accelerate the store’s organic growth by reducing:

  • Inventory shrinkage up to 15%
  • Labor costs up to 20%
  • Marketing costs up to 20%

RII’s resounding success established its amazing potential. Possible future initiatives include mapping out its use in all sections of the store and at other locations, as well as using 5G-enabled IoT devices to track truck fleet movement on the roads. This move would provide greater supply chain visibility, allowing the company to respond quickly to supply chain issues. Scaling the implementation to their entire retail ecosystem promises even more resounding success in their progress to digital maturity.