Retail Innovations

(Author : Springwise)
Waitrose, in partnership with CNG Fuels and Scania, have introduced 10 trucks that run on biomethane, which produces 70 percent less pollution than diesel.

UK supermarket debuts delivery trucks fueled by food waste

Waitrose’s 10 new delivery trucks are fueled by biomethane, a renewable fuel made from food waste. Supplied by CNG Fuels, the trucks are able to cover 500 miles without refueling, which is 200 miles more than previous capacity allowed. Swedish transport company Scania and the United States’ Agility Fuel Systems designed a new carbon fiber fuel tank that is not only lighter than previous versions, it is able to hold more fuel.

Biomethane gas is a much more environmentally friendly option than diesel and costs up to 35 percent less while emitting 70 percent less carbon dioxide. Previously, biomethane-powered vehicles had much lower ranges than traditionally powered cars and trucks, making transport businesses less interested in using them. Now, the latest versions of biomethane trucks could generate up to GBP 100,000 savings over five years of use.

Finding ways to make transport work harder by introducing dual functionality is one way to improve its sustainability. Trucks in Germany use e-ink signs on the backs of trailers to display local ads, road information and weather updates. And office shuttle buses in Belgium turn commutes into work opportunities.

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(Author : Paul Skeldon)
Jaguar drivers can now use their car’s touchscreen to pay for fuel with a new cashless payment app at Shell service stations in the UK.

Jaguar and Shell put mobile into mobile payments with touchscreen in-car fuel payments with PayPal

Rather than using a card at the pump, or queuing in the forecourt shop, Jag owners who install the Shell app can simply drive up to any pump at a participating Shell service station in the UK and use the vehicle’s touchscreen to select how much fuel they require and pay using PayPal or Apple Pay. Android Pay will be added later in 2017.

An electronic receipt will be displayed on the touchscreen, so customers can leave the forecourt confident of having paid. A receipt will also be sent directly from the pump to the driver’s email address so it can be added to accounting or expenses software.

Peter Virk, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Connected Car and Future Technology, explains: “In a world where cash is no longer king, customers are increasingly using electronic payments and contactless cards. Making a payment directly from a car’s touchscreen will make refuelling quicker and easier. With this new system you can choose any pump on the forecourt and pay for the fuel even if you’ve forgotten your wallet or can’t find your credit or debit card.”

“You will save time because there’s no more queuing to pay in a shop, and for drivers with children, it won’t be necessary to wake them up, or unstrap them from their seats to take them into the shop. Expenses and tax returns will also be made much simpler, with no receipts to lose as these will all be sent electronically.”

Unlike current phone-based payment methods, Shell and Jaguar Land Rover have created a simple but secure customer experience that uses geolocation technology and a cloud based pre-payment check with the PayPal or Apple Pay wallet.

David Bunch, Global Vice President Shell Retail Marketing and Chairman, Shell Brands International, said: ““As the world’s number one global fuels retailer, this e-commerce collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover is part of Shell’s commitment to continuously improve the digital experience for our customers at the forecourt. In 2015 Shell introduced mobile payments at the pump in the UK. Today we are proud to offer the next step in cashless motoring, with Jaguar and Land Rover customers in the UK paying for their Shell fuel using the car’s touchscreen. With around 30 million customers every day, we have a mission to continuously find ways to make our customer’s journey’s better. We look forward to further exciting developments like this across our 43,000 sites around the world soon.”

The Shell app with in-car cashless payments will be available to download from 15 February in the UK and will be rolled out in additional markets across the globe during 2017.

Virk adds: “We are working with leaders in e-commerce such as Shell to enable our customers to enjoy cashless motoring via their car’s touchscreen.Whether it’s paying for fuel, parking, tolls, or even at a drive-through restaurant, the aim of cashless motoring is to make life easier for our customers.

“Our technology allows users to put their phone away out of sight and use it via the touchscreen in the car, because as the car becomes more connected to the Internet of Things, we will always be guided by what is appropriate and safe to do while driving. So in-car payments would only be enabled when it is safe to do so, preventing unnecessary driver distractions.”

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(Author : Joey Haar)
Alibaba Buy+ is a new e-commerce concept from the Chinese retail giant that has the potential to completely revolutionize how people shop for products. 

Alibaba Buy+ is a Virtual Mall Showcasing the Company's Products

Due to its ability to create immersive private worlds for each user, VR has an unlimited amount of potential in a variety of fields. Alibaba’s new technology is the natural extension of how VR will come into play in the world of digital retail.

Alibaba Buy+ is a virtual reality shopping mall. By donning just a VR headset (with the option to add two handheld remotes for HTC Vive owners,) consumers can walk through the virtual space of the mall, visit various stores, and make purchases that will then be delivered in the real world. The program is currently available in beta only.

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(Author : Brielle Jaekel)
Sephora is implementing a new system for its store buyers that runs on mobile for a more streamlined behind-the-scenes operation, making it easier to find new products that will boast well with each store’s audience.


The beauty retailer, an innovator in modern business operations, has partnered with retail-buying platform RangeMe for a contemporary practice in product buying. Sephora will now be able to find new products from suppliers in a streamlined manner through a mobile application. “Our technology expedites the time it takes for retailers to source products at scale resulting in increased sales and competitive advantage,” said Nicky Jackson, Founder and CEO of RangeMe.

Modern operations
Sephora is known as a fan favorite for beauty lovers because it focuses on modern technology and a new way of doing business that caters to customers. The strategy boasts well for the retailer, who is always implementing new innovations in all areas of its business.

A partnership with RangeMe will now innovate behind the scenes for Sephora allowing buyer associates to operate within an app. Suppliers are able to submit their products for possible purchase and Sephora buying team members can browse what products to carry in store. The modern platform operates similar to a consumer-facing retail app to make it easier for employees. Associates can save a product for future reference, request a sample and select connect to take the next steps in the buying process. Sephora buyers and suppliers can discuss directly through the platform. Users can create categories and receive notifications when new products are available within those categories.

Sephora strategy
The beauty retailer Sephora recently took a huge step in ecommerce innovation by rolling out an artificial-intelligence-based app that helps consumers find specific shades by simply uploading a photo. The platform, the product of a partnership with facial analysis and visualization technology firm ModiFace, will likely have far reaching consequences outside of the beauty industry. The technology will be an organic ancillary to Sephora’s online buying process and will encourage transactions by allowing the consumer to visualize product benefits post-transaction.As one of the first beauty retailers to institute the use of chatbots, Sephora also continued its streak with some extra features for its chatbot service aimed toward improving consumer experience both at home and in-store. The two new features focus on different areas of the consumer experience. One will help customers book appointments with a Sephora beauty specialist and the other will give customers help with making purchasing decisions on their own.

“We are excited to facilitate the product discovery process for one of the largest and most innovative beauty retailers in the world,” Mr. Jackson said.

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(Author : luxurydaily)
German automaker BMW is bringing its vehicles closer to consumers with a new augmented reality platform as part of its ongoing strategy to provide more information to interested customers wherever they are.


Leveraging Google’s smartphone AR technology and the mobile application Tango, BMW is allowing users to get to know its i3 or i8 vehicles without leaving their homes. In its beta testing phase right now, the AR Product Visualizer will rollout to all consumers who have a tango-enabled device through an app on the Google Play store.

Augmenting innovation
Consumers interested in a new BMW i3 or i8 will be able to get up close and personal with their ideal vehicle through its Product Visualizer app. Users can customize each vehicle how they like and test it out through the AR app. Because the app is augmented reality and virtual reality, the BMW vehicles will appear in the space the user is located currently. Using the camera function of the smartphone, the app will produce an image of the BMW within the real space. Each vehicle can be customized with the exterior and interior of the user’s interest. For instance, colors inside and out can be altered as well as wheel rims.

Participants will be able to open the doors, turn on light switches and “climb inside” of the vehicles. The app is being piloted in a double-digit number of sales outlets. Users are also able to save the AR experience and share through social media, email and a QR code. Accenture, a technology platform developer, created the initiative with BMW.

Future of BMW
The Visualizer app is a part of BMW Group’s Future Retail program that specializes in innovating the car shopping experience. The program designs new digital properties to help consumers arm themselves with more information. BMW was also recently at the start of what could be a dramatic shift in the television advertising industry by allowing users to interact through their remote controls. Consumers with smart television sets such as Roku are able to interact with new BMW ads for a more personalized and helpful ad experience. Interested users can grab their remotes to view a BMW X1 in various colors or different angles while the ad is playing. Also, BMW India hoped to increase attendance at its BMW Festival this year by making a lasting impression through personalized videos that brought individuals into its content.

Targeted Facebook users in India saw videos tailored specifically to them, incorporating consumers into the adrenaline inducing content. BMW’s video addresses the viewer’s name and location while getting their blood pumping with cutting edge footage of its vehicles completing intense driving feats.

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(Author : Ben Sillitoe)
Grocery chain Coop Italia has opened its digitally-led ‘store of the future’ at the Milan University campus, having showcased the concept at Milan Expo in 2015.


The new flagship store, located in Milan’s university area of Bicocca, merges physical and digital aspects of retailing to create a modern version of the traditional open-air markets popular in the local area.

Features aimed at providing a fresh take on the in-store customer experience include interactive food display tables and smart shelves that use digital technology to display product information in new ways. The project incorporates a series of technical solutions originally developed by Accenture for Coop at Milan Expo 2015, based on designs by MIT professor and head of Carlo Ratti Association, Carlo Ratti.

Products are exhibited in the supermarket on large interactive tables where a movement of the hand shows augmented information about the product on a monitor, including its origins, nutritional facts, the presence of allergens, waste disposal instructions, correlated products and promotions. This experience is facilitated by Microsoft Kinect sensors that use body detection to interpret the customer’s gestures.

Real time data visualisation
During the shopping journey, consumers have access to a large real-time data visualisation screen displaying content such as Coop’s brand values, top-selling products, special daily offerings and cooking suggestions, and social media information including posts on the retailer’s Facebook account.

Working with Avanade, a joint venture company between Accenture and Microsoft, Accenture helped implement the IT infrastructure, and analyse and develop point-of-sale touchpoints. The tech is underpinned by a Microsoft Azure cloud-based platform which can be scaled to a large number of stores if Coop opts to roll out this concept across its wider portfolio.

Marco Pedroni, president of Coop Italia, commented: “Following the great success and positive feedback we received when we showcased the Supermarket of the Future concept at Expo Milano 2015, we got straight to work to make our vision a reality.

“Using their digital expertise, Accenture and Avanade have helped us redesign the grocery shopping experience through a digital journey that meets customer demand for information, engagement and functionality in a simple and intuitive way.”

Source : www.c/news

(Author : AFP)
In the concept store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, Washington, customers can fill their shopping carts and walk out — with the costs tallied up and billed on their accounts with the US online giant.


Amazon on Monday unveiled a new kind of retail store, with no cashiers. In the concept store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, Washington, customers can fill their shopping carts and walk out — with the costs tallied up and billed on their accounts with the US online giant.

Amazon Go, which is being tested in a single store with Amazon employees and will open to the public next year, is a “checkout-free shopping experience made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning,” its web page says.

Our Just Walk Out technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt.”

The store in Seattle of some 170 square meters (1,800 square feet) is selling a variety of food products including breads, cheeses and ready-to-eat meals, as well as Amazon Meal Kits, which has the ingredients for home-cooked dishes.

It was not immediately clear whether Amazon will expand this model with more physical stores or offer the technology to other retailers. The online giant has been rumored to be looking at creating brick-and-mortar outlets but so far has only announced a handful of bookselling outlets.

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(Auhor :  retail design blog)
Nothing is taking off faster than urban farming at the moment: on your balcony or any unused piece of ground you can get your hands on. Any restaurant worth its stars is also cultivating its own kitchen garden nowadays. And with good reason.


Fresh herbs, just off the plot, definitely provide the best flavors. It’s not incredibly difficult to grow your own herbs. But not everyone has the time, space or minimum of green fingers required for successful gardening. So: What if the supermarket does the gardening for you?

Albert Heijn is the first supermarket in the Netherlands with instore farming. The flavor of fresh herbs straight out of the soil, combined with the easy access offered by supermarkets, could be every easygoing foodie’s dream. The biggest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, is taking on this experiment with the ingeniously made Help-yourself Herb Garden, designed by studiomfd.


In this herb garden you as a shopper get to harvest the herbs yourself in a mini-greenhouse where the herbs are brought when they’ve reached the final stage of the growing process. Customers can pick the herbs themselves, picking exactly what they need. You can pick two big handfuls of mint to make tea for your friends who are coming to visit, or three sprigs of rosemary, if that’s all you want. And of course there’s an unobtrusive little water tap, where you can wash the soil off your hands after harvest.

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(Author : Elisabeth Menant)
Shelving the correct product in the proper place is always a big challenge for retailers, especially when it comes to large-scale retail outlets. For example, retailers often encounter “false” out-of-stocks, that is, the item is nowhere to be found, at least not by the customer. It is simply misplaced.


In general, by hand, the scanning process would take an employee about a month to complete in a Walmart store. To improve the efficiency and lower prices, Walmart planned to deploy drones in its stores, as it just takes a day or less to accomplish the same task. Before scaling the use of these drones across its network of roughly 190 U.S. distribution centers, Walmart is currently conducting the test in its 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas. The drones, which can operate on autopilot, fly through the aisles snapping 30 images a second, and delivering real-time datato employees in back office. The real-time imaging on the screen will tell whether the correct product is shelved in the proper place: when a green box pops up, it signals the all-clear for the shelf in question; a blue box indicates the product is missing, and a red icon means there was an error while stocking the center’s shelves.

While most of business owners consider “Shelf-facing” of critical importance in the supermarket, “small things” like shelf verification also make a difference. Letting customers find easily right product on the right place, with right label gives them a differentiated shopping experience.

For supermarkets owners like Walmart, deploying automated tools to replace human labour in large-scale place saves both time and energy. In addition, as machines can work constantly, employees in the back office will get real-time data and react in time if something goes wrong. And data generated by the drones can be used afterwards to help in decision-taking.

Another advantage of machines deployed in the workplace is their versatility. According to Shekar Natarajan, a Wal-Mart vice president working on the Walmart project, the technology could also have additional uses across the business, from everything to crop monitoring to package delivery.

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(Author : Rian Boden)
Customers at Lotte Department Store in the Bundang district of Seoul, South Korea, are being offered a new service that enables them to shop by scanning the barcode on their desired products using a shopper scanner device and completing the payment at dedicated terminals by tapping the handheld device against NFC dongles.


The Smart Shopper facility is being offered as part of a shopping platform called Smart Department Store, designed in collaboration with mobile network operator SK Telecom (SKT). The devices are equipped with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology that will be utilized for sending out offers and promotions. The platform also offers Smart Lockersmall refrigerated units for storing goods that can be used with a shopper’s mobile phone — and Smart Table, an interactive shopping information desk. If the implementation proves successful, the companies plan to roll it out to Lotte Department Store’s 34 branches across the country.

Smart Scanner will take the place of physical shopping carts, says SK Telecom. “With the 16cm bar-type device, users can read barcodes on items to add them to their own virtual shopping carts. Also while shopping, they can conveniently check and edit items in their shopping carts at large touchscreen devices called order viewers installed in several sports within the store.

“Once they are done shopping, customers can walk up to a self-checkout kiosk named Smart Checkout instead of the existing POS checkout counters and place their device on the NFC-enabled smart dongle to confirm selected items and make payment. The items they have purchased will then be delivered to their homes at the desired date and time.”

Customer notifications
“Going forward, by utilizing the BLE, speaker and geo-fencing functionalities of Smart Scanner, retailers will be able to conduct on-site promotions, notifying customers with a voice or vibration notification when they are located in close vicinity of certain products,” the mobile network operator continues.

“Smart Locker is a storage cabinet that can be used with a mobile phone. After choosing a locker they want to use on the touchscreen display, users are to enter their mobile phone number to receive a password with which they can open the locker.

“Smart Lockers installed in the Bundang branch are built as refrigerated cabinets to keep customers’ groceries fresh while they spend time in the department store. Going forward, the companies are planning to add new features to these lockers so that they can be booked and managed through a smartphone application.”

“Smart Shopper allows retailers to use their space in a more efficient manner,” SK Telecom adds. “Instead of displaying a large amount of stock for each and every product, stores can place only a small stock of goods on their shelves, and can even sell non-displayed products virtually via barcodes.

“In addition, the two companies will continue to design the future of Smart Department Store by adding more features including Smart Signage, Smart Closet and video-based business intelligence system T-View.

“Smart Closet is an interactive touchscreen display attached to empty spaces like walls or columns within the department store to display items that are not physically placed there.

“Moreover, once tagged by a user’s smartphone, Smart Closet becomes synchronized with the user’s account, thus enabling the user to review shopping cart and purchase history, search for items and make new purchases.”

“We have successfully transformed the conventional department store into a smart shopping venue that offers new and unprecedented value and experience for customers,” says Kim Young-joo, senior vice president and head of enterprise business office at SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will continue to work closely with Lotte Department Store to lead a new shopping paradigm through innovative smart shopping solutions.”

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