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There is no better example than the retail space to understand how the power of digital agility can innovate an industry. In the last few decades, we can see how the birth of “e-commerce’ has weaponized retail companies to proliferate their businesses to new heights. Retail companies have gained significant market expansion and consumer visibility with the e-commerce ecosystem. Cloud computing, Data Analytics, and Microservices are the core domains behind the evolution of this $27 trillion-dollar worth industry. Speaking of such technological advancements, Edge Computing is the new prospect that can innovate retail companies across myriad business functions.

What is Edge Computing?

Edge computing is most capable of real-time data processing scenarios. It is a distributed computing framework that brings the computing closer to the data source (i.e.) edge devices, because of which, the latency & bandwidth usage can be reduced to a remarkable extent. Edge devices include IoT sensors, smart devices, network devices, etc.

Now let’s get into the most exciting part:

How can Edge Computing innovate Retail Companies?

Retail companies can leverage edge computing to realize well-optimized outcomes in both online and in-store contexts. Below are four critical areas where it can add tremendous value.

Smart Inventory Management

Leveraging edge systems with IoT devices can help build intelligent inventory systems, bringing radical improvements in overall operational efficiency. Coupling classic RFID devices with edge analytics can provide real-time stock insights for efficient inventory planning & management. Mobile Edge Computing can take video surveillance to a greater extent, which analyses real-time inventory rack visuals & provide immediate alerts for stock replenishment.

Stellar Customer Experience

Edge systems are nothing short of a magic wand for retail brands looking to provide exceptional customer experiences & brand loyalty. Customers can create a shopping list on their smart devices; in-store Edge IoTs can fetch that information and guide them with a store route that makes shopping much more accessible. Likewise, Edge systems can analyze customer data like search intent, purchase history,& locations to provide instant personalized suggestions and more relevant real-time promotions. Customers can virtually explore and trial the products thanks to the immersive experience offered by edge-powered AR/VR technologies.

Enhancing In-store Performance

Edge systems can elevate retail store performance from multiple perspectives. Real-time computer vision edge systems can monitor customer movement and activity inside the shop and supply crucial data for well-optimized product displays & layout planning to increase sales. Cashier-less checkout is made more practical with edge systems. Customers can use an app to enter the store, pick the products, walkout & make the payment online. Amazon Go is the frontrunner of this innovative retail model.

Strategic Analytics & Advertising

Edge analytics empower retail brands in multiple business functions. They can identify purchase patterns & with multi-access edge computing systems to plan inventory planning & marketing campaigns for a chain of stores. Brand-level strategic decisions can be made by syncing edge data with a more sophisticated cloud analytics platform. Edge systems fuel Digital-Out-Of-Home advertising to deliver more contextual & meaningful ads by harnessing the customer data in specific proximities.

Here’s how SRM Tech improved order-fulfillment efficiency by 27% for a global fashion retail brand

SRM Tech is a strategic technology partner for a prominent fashion retailer based out of the US, and we helped them enhance their inventory operations with edge computing solutions.

Previously, whenever a web order was placed, it would get reflected in Warehouse MIS. Then workforce is delegated to manually search & pick the respective SKUs from the nook and corner of the warehouse inventory. This manual approach hindered the overall order-fulfillment process efficiency. Now what we proposed was an Edge AI-powered robotic solution to overcome this. And this is how it works: 

A robot is mobilized across the warehouse inventory. Whenever a web order is placed, the edge system will get order details immediately, and it finds the optimized path to reach the respective SKUs with the help of its reinforcement learning capabilities. With the presence of Edge AI, data processing happened swiftly, positively impacting the order-fulfillment process efficiency by up to 27%.

As a comprehensive retail solution provider, we are optimistic that there are many more edge-powered value additions around the corner for retailers. Our demonstrated competency in Edge AI solutions can be instrumental in innovating multifaceted retail operations and achieving business agility. Connect with us to explore how we can pilot your edge-adoption journey for retail success.

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