Today’s time-starved consumers want to complete transactions quickly and seamlessly, especially in grocery stores, where shoppers are rushing to complete their lists and move to check out.
To ensure shoppers have a streamlined shopping experience free of long wait times, Foodland, a Hawaii-based grocery retailer, has implemented thermal-powered people counting and checkout management solutions from Irisys. Using these technologies, the retailer is empowered to pinpoint high-traffic times, leading to improved employee scheduling and more efficient checkout processes.
“Foodland is committed to delivering superior customer service that keeps our shoppers coming back,” said Robert Murphy, CIO of Foodland, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We know the checkout experience can leave lasting impressions on our customers, particularly if it feels understaffed, time consuming and unorganized.”
Foodland piloted the Irisys solutions in four locations. The goal, Murphy explained, was “to learn as much as possible about our customer traffic, such as how many people enter Foodland stores and when. We also wanted to measure wait times and learn how to better manage the front end.”
Company executives, store managers and employees noted a variety of benefits during the trial, according to Murphy. For example, the technology “helped us run our stores more efficiently and ensure that our customers didn’t wait in long checkout lines,” he said. Due to this success, Foodland has deployed the people counting and checkout management solutions in all 32 locations across Hawaii.
Getting A Comprehensive View Of In-Store Shopping Behavior
Using the solutions from Irisys, Foodland now can detect and track body heat to identify high-traffic areas and learn unique patterns within particular stores. Additionally, people counters at the entrance and exit areas provide the retailer with comprehensive data on store traffic flow, which then is integrated with insights gathered by sensors stationed at the point of sale.
Together, the people counters and checkout management sensors provide a “comprehensive view of shopper traffic,” Murphy reported, "which empowers store managers to make staff assignments more effectively and “prevent wasting resources during slower shopping times.”
When all data are combined, they are instantly converted into footfall analytics, which spotlight areas that can be improved either immediately or over time. For example, Foodland managers can better determine how many staffed registers will be needed every 15 to 30 minutes.
“If our checkout is staffed appropriately — particularly during peak times — we don’t have to call back-up cashiers to the front end,” Murphy said. “Our employees instead can focus on their core duties, whether that’s servicing customers on the floor or keeping shelves stocked. We also can minimize the potential for idle time and over-staffing during slower periods throughout the day.”
All of these benefits mean one very important thing, Murphy explained: “Our managers and employees can remain engaged in what they’ve been hired to do and are enthusiastic about doing, which will have a direct impact on our customers’ shopping experiences and their perception of our service.”