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IMCo technology connects the retail shelf to the internet of things

IMCo Shelf

German specialist delivers key technology for Retail 4.0

Digital technologies are taking over retail. After the NRF Big Show, now this year’s EuroCis in Düsseldorf is also showcasing the potential of data analysis at the point of sale. The global leader in smart shelf technology, IMCo, holds the key to efficient POS data analysis with its developments in the area of smart shelves. IMCo retail hooks and product pushers deliver precise data for both product removals and stock levels - in real time. IMCo creates the platform for efficient digital out of stock analyses, in-store analytics as well as the connection of the retail shelf to the internet of things.

Intelligent retail shelf as data source

No subject got more attention at the NRF in the USA than retail going digital. Providers of video analytics and robots that scan complete shelves and analyse out of stock as well as misplacements caused a real stir. Worldwide attention was given to the subject thanks to the opening of the first checkout-less Amazon Go Shop in Seattle. Amazon is focusing on camera technology that monitors all customer activities and is connected to weight sensors on the retail shelves.

These examples show clearly that big data technology connected with AI and deep learning is moving ahead very fast. Establishing data sources at the point of sale (POS) will become the focal point for further development of digital in-store analytics and for the connection of the retail shelf to the internet of things (IoT). The German specialist for loss prevention is global leader in smart shelf technology and currently already delivers solutions that work right at the shelf. Data collection with IMCo is direct, more precise and much less expensive than any current video and robot supported technologies.

Double Benefit: loss prevention and out of stock detection

The patented IMCo Smart Shelf exists as a product pusher based system, IMCo Push, as well as for retail hooks, IMCo Hook. Both systems have proven themselves in thousands of installations worldwide. The retail shelf now becomes fully intelligent and recognises every customer shelf activity with its smart technology. The removal of a product is registered and interpreted. Atypical multiple product removals cause an alarm so that potential thefts create immediate awareness. Store associates can go to the shelf right away and intervene in a customer oriented manner.

The IMCo Smart Shelf gives even more added value: this intelligent shelf technology is in fact also a data source. The product removal and return data allow for substantial loss prevention and out of stock analyses directly at the POS.

Instore Analytics: Data linkage increases sales

IMCo technology delivers in depth data, whose analysis offers great capabilities for optimising sales. Fast recognition and elimination of out of stocks increases sales by 3-4%. Numerous independent studies repeatedly support this, e.g. Edeka (2015) and the University of Arkansas (2006). IMCo Smart Shelf recognises precise stock levels at the shelf in real time and sends this data onto a store assistant´s smartphone and if desired into the Cloud. Out of stocks can be detected preemtively. Warnings reach staff on time so that stocks are always kept up to date. Out of stock conditions can then be documented on a product level according to time, duration and frequency.

Further measures to increase sales can be added thanks to the systematic analysis of this data. A connection to the cash register allows for determining the conversion rate. The basis of sound data helps optimise product category management as well as product placement.

Last but not least IMCo technology can improve the customer service. The system reports customer presence in areas of high cost products that need particular support and a personalised customer service.

Customised solutions for retail

IMCo Smart Shelf is fully adaptable to the retailer’s needs. Changing the set-up of the existing retail shelves onto Smart Shelf technology is quick and easy (plug and play). Every retailer can determine their hot products and chooses which Smart Shelf sensors are needed, i.e. for loss prevention alone or also for stock monitoring.

Retailers also choose their desired connection possibilities freely. The analysis data gathered can remain at store level and support the store associates accordingly. The IMCo Smart Shelf is scalable and can be used as a self sufficient entry level system or can be fully integrated into the existing security infrastructure. For example, it can be connected to CCTV or the PA system as well as various remote alarm options.

Retailers also choose their desired connection possibilities freely. The analysis data gathered can remain at store level and support the store associates accordingly. The IMCo Smart Shelf is scalable and can be used as a self sufficient entry level system or can be fully integrated into the existing security infrastructure. For example, it can be connected to CCTV or the PA system as well as various remote alarm options.

About IMCo Inventory Management Consultants e.K.

IMCo is manufacturer of innovative intelligent retail shelf solutions that help to sell more and lose less. With thousands of installations worldwide at major retailers such as dm drogerie markt, Müller Drogeriemarkt, Coop, Netto, Safeways and Lowe’s, IMCo is now global leader in smart shelf technology. IMCo Smart Shelf loss prevention solution stops organised retail crime directly at the shelf. As a data source IMCo technology also provides efficient POS data analysis and detects out of stock. Global leader IMCo offers retailers flexible entry-level options and upgrades for digitalisation at the POS and for Retail 4.0. The company was founded 2000 in Germany and distributes its solutions through its worldwide partner network.