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Singapore’s retailers venture into unmanned stores

Image credit: straitstimes.com/SPH

Singapore’s retail industry is undergoing some technology changes, with a wider spread of unmanned stores developing within the scene.

The new wave of technology innovations for upgrading customer experiences was displayed at the Singapore Retail Industry Conference and Exhibition 2019 on 17 August 2019.

The event saw three local retailers display the incorporation of technology in their services: radio-frequency identification (RFID), cashless payments and artificial intelligence (AI).

These innovations were supported by Enterprise Singapore.

Retailers Pick & Go, Octobox and OMO Store each have their own versions of unmanned stores.

Biometric palm scanner

Customers will have to create an account with Octobox and register a palm scan. Upon registering, they will have to scan their hand on the biometric palm scammer located at the entrance of the store, every time they wish to enter.

Upon completing the selection of items for purchase, customers will bring all their selected items to the checkout room where the RFID tags on the items which will be automatically scanned.

They will proceed on to pay by scanning their palm to use DBS PayLah and keying in the last four digits of their mobile number for authentication purposes.

QR code

After setting up and account with OMO Store, customers will have to scan the QR code using the company’s mobile app for entering the store.

After having chosen their items, they will bring them to the checkout kiosk where the RFID tags of the items will be automatically scanned.

Payment will be made using cashless options such as credit card, Nets and GrabPay.

QRcode/ facial recognition

Customers will have to set up an account with Pick & Go. Like OMO Store, they will have to scan a QR code with Pick & Go’s, mobile app to enter the store.

Alternatively, facial recognition can be used for authorised customers. They will have to submit pictures of themselves via the app to use this method.

Customers can conveniently leave the store after selecting their items as they will be automatically charged to their accounts. Payment options include Mastercard and Visa.

The appliance of these technologies allows for the automation of inventory management, cashiering, and cash counting, as said by these retail outlets. They will enjoy an increase in productivity by about 50 per cent.

Intelligent analytics will be employed for studying shopper’s habits. Retailers can use this information for redesigning the variety of products, displays and layouts.

Mr Alan Yeo, director of the retail and design division at Enterprise Singapore said that unmanned stores serve a new experience for customers and increase efficiency as there is not much manpower needed for mending the outlets.

He mentioned that while convenience store operators are the current leaders in the unmanned store format, he believes that more retailers will soon hop onto the bandwagon and adopt the format for their outlets.

Analysts have said that retailers who have proven successful in the use of unmanned stores will have to set examples and guide the way for other retailers to follow.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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