Innovation is the name of the game in technology, and as a result, the tech we use to analyze and manage stores is always changing – and this is a good thing! Questions that we couldn’t answer years ago are answerable now precisely because RetailNext is constantly innovating, bringing new technology to bear on the questions that retailers have to answer.
RetailNext has always been agnostic to the hardware we use to gather the data that powers our sophisticated retail analysis. We talk about the sensor layer of our technology stack as consisting of all sorts of in-store hardware, some purpose-built for gathering analytic data, and others that have other primary purposes but that produce data that we integrate. The latter is the “internet of things,” where everything from POS systems to refrigerator doors are connected and produce information that can be gathered by a savvy in-store platform like RetailNext’s.
There are also purpose-built sensors like cameras that automatically and efficiently record the locations of customers in the store, and also the gender, age, employee/customer classification, and other demographic information. Companies like Xovis, Axis, Vivotek, and Hella all make cameras that gather person-location information, while software companies like Percipo, Cognitec, TCIT, and NEC are able to extract demographics from the feed of any standard video camera.
There are other purpose-built sensors as well, designed to help us understand various aspects of what happens in a retail store. Impinj, for example, produces an automatic inventory management and tracking system whose data feeds directly into the RetailNext platform.
Of course, we don’t expect that innovation in sensors will stop – in fact; it’s going to accelerate! Today’s ‘best’ stereo camera may work for one store-type or layout, but not another. And, of course, the best today may no longer be the best for what a retailer needs to do next year, next month, or even next week.
As a result, we’ve designed the RetailNext software platform to be future proof. The sensors we use today will change and evolve tomorrow, and our customers (the retailers) need to be able to adopt new sensor technologies and capabilities to their advantage. They can’t afford to be locked into suboptimal solutions.
By tapping data streams and applying real retail experience to transform data into insights and answers, RetailNext unlocks the power of current and future technology to drive improvements in brick-and-mortar stores. With an agnostic hardware approach, we can deliver a laser-like focus to empowering retailers with actionable data, regardless of how data is collected or through what future combination of sensors.
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