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Retail sales can go up by 21% with innovative technology

The future of the retail industry will involve the use of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology, which makes it possible to optimise the retail cycle management. It was based on this technology that the platform ‘CreativeRetail’ was created, and it not only improves customer satisfaction, but also increases sales between 4 and 21% in stores or store chains. The CreativeRetail was developed by Creativesystems, together with INESC TEC.

The CreativeRetail is an innovative product that can be used to manage and control stocks in retail. It uses new technologies and computing paradigms in intelligent environments to give maximum visibility to products throughout the entire supply chain, while at the same time increasing the interaction with the customer.

INESC TEC’s participation in this project involved two main areas – development of recommendation systems and performance management analysis – and its main advantages are: an increasing control over products received, less time to count stocks, increasing visibility of products in the store, a fast and effective replenishment, and reduction of out-of-stock situations, allowing employees to dedicate more time to customers.

As far as the development of recommendation systems is concerned, it is important to mention that by developing the systems based on data collected with RFID, the models capture behaviour patterns of the clients in the store, making it possible to provide recommendations of products according to that behavior, and thus improve the customers' shopping experience. This represents a significant upgrade comparatively to recommendation systems currently on the market, which are based solely on the products purchased by the client, disregarding the process that led to that choice.

In its turn, the analysis of performance management is more closely related to the definition and specification of key, multidimensional performance indicators, which are customised according to the organisation’s strategy and capable of stimulating a proactive management of the supply chain.

“By maximising the visibility of products (at item level) in the entire supply chain (production, logistics, shop), the CreativeRetail brings significant efficiency gains to the retail area. Through a fast, correct and simple replenishment, the system allows products to be on shelves faster, minimising human error and optimising costs. Additionally, this solution promotes a large interaction with the customer, and a faster customer service, increasing levels of customer satisfaction”, explains Rui Rebelo, project manager at INESC TEC.

The platform, which targets the fashion retail industry – clothing and footwear – is flexible enough to serve small and medium organisations, and allows for a better control of the process of taking the products from the factory to the end customer, passing by the distribution centre.

According to Pedro França, director of innovation at Creativesystems, “using this innovative solution, the retailer can manage the entire supply chain in a more direct and transparent way, making decisions based on reliable, real-time data.”

The project, developed over two years, has received an investment of about half a million euros from the NSRF, as part of the ON2 operational programme. 

Porto, 22 January 2015

Joana Coelho

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