A taste of what’s to come at #ThinkSmart3

Technology and Innovation Centre


25 September | Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow

With the unique #ThinkSmart3 festival of tech, data, digital and innovation just around the corner, we offer you an insight into some of the solutions that you will be able to see this month.

With technology, data and insight set to play a massive role in shaping the future of the local retailing sector, SLR is helping retailers, wholesalers and suppliers across the UK embrace the new world order with the third in its series of annual festivals exclusively for the convenience channel.

#ThinkSmart3 will see a top-quality roster of speakers and exhibitors who will offer a glimpse into what will be happening in convenience stores of the future – and what is available right now in order to take the first steps into future-proofing your business.

To give you a flavour of what to expect, here are some insights into some of the companies presenting and exhibiting at #ThinkSmart3…

Henderson Technology: solutions by retailers for retailers

By retailers, for retailers, is the guiding principle of Henderson Technology, part of the Henderson Group in Northern Ireland, one of the only companies on earth that actually uses and develops its own solutions in its own stores.

Centred around its EDGEPoS system, Henderson Technology has developed a suite of fantastic, innovative tech and data solutions that integrate seamlessly with the core EDGEPoS system and offer retailers plug and play access to solutions that can help transform their businesses. These include:

  • EDGEPoS Self Checkout – the self-checkout is simply bolted onto existing EDGEPoS tills and requires no additional counter space.
  • EDGEPoS APPetite – full function app specific to your store which allows customers to process orders for either Click & Collect or Home Delivery. Fully integrated with the EDGEPoS Back Office for stock visibility online and full reporting.
  • EDGEPoS Queue Buster Tablet Till – a static till, a Queue Buster till, a multiuser back office and a portal for analytics all in one handy portable tablet.
  • EDGEPoS Loyalty – a powerful customer and staff loyalty scheme through the Azpiral authorised partnership. With over 2.5 million customers using the Azpiral system, this loyalty partnership allows retailers to understand, engage, reward and retain their customers and staff.
  • EDGEPoS Analytics – real-time graphical interface that enables retailers to keep track of their business remotely, providing key information and alerts in an easy to read format at the touch of a button with real-time reporting.
  • EDGEPoS Café – full solution for retailers offering sit-in or takeaway food, facilitating more accurate transaction detail and reporting, including different taxes.
  • Scales Integration – EDGEPoS is fully integrated with Mettler Toledo scales, allowing a full reporting transparency on department and article sales, profit and stock control. The Receipt Resolution function allows multiple items to be selected within one transaction, allowing for more accurate reporting and stock management.
  • Third Party Integrations – EDGEPoS has a plethora of third-party integrations such as PayPoint, BPme app, Azpiral, cigarette vending machines, EFT Card Services (hosted by Sagepay) and all fuel cards to name a few.

For more information, visit henderson.technology.

JUUL Labs: technology in action

From a standing start in 2015, just four years ago, JUUL Labs has grown faster than almost any business in history and is now one of the world’s largest tech companies with a valuation of around $15bn. After launching into traditional retail channels, it took JUUL just eight months to become the number one closed vaping brand in the UK.

JUUL is, however, first and foremost a technology company. At #ThinkSmarts3 JUUL will be discussing the primary role technology plays in its business and will be discussing its latest tech solutions including C1, a world-first mobile app solution allowing users to monitor their consumption and to lock their JUUL device to prevent anyone but the owner using it.

For more information, visit: juul.co.uk.

KAM Media: technology is data

Retail research specialists KAM Media will be discussing the impact of technology and data in the convenience retailing sector and why getting ahead of the tech and data curve represents a massive opportunity for local retailers.

From improving internal processes to enhancing the customer experience, technology will play an ever more important role in the everyday operations of a store.

It will allow retailers to do things they’ve never done before – but it will also allow them to do the things they’re best at even better.

Technology can help convenience to protect its existing USP and also potentially, to create a new one.

The presentation will also cover the ‘experience economy’, the latest trend that shows shoppers are increasingly more interested in buying things than in doing things. In-store experiences will become ever more important as well any contact your customers have with your store be that in the real world or online.

This represents a huge opportunity for a channel that already enjoys a very close bond with its shoppers. Technology and data can help strengthen that bond even further.

For more information, visit kam-media.co.uk.

MHouse: the home-grown solution

Motherwell-based MHouse Solutions is one of Scotland’s leading Epos providers, delivering systems that can report on and manage every aspect of a local retailing business from pricing, promotions, staff, security and stock to ordering, merchandising and advising on what’s selling, what will sell best and where to put it on your shelves and in your store to sell it faster.

MHouse can demonstrate an uplift of 3% in gross profit using their system by giving storeowners much greater control over a wider range of store procedures.

The company is constantly developing and improving its product, adding new features with time- and money-saving ideas, making operations faster and more efficient and making the life of the store owner more secure and easier.

The sleek, easy to use touch screen at the counter is backed up by a powerful back office system that delivers in-depth reporting and analysis on every aspect of the store’s operations. The system also offers direct data links to the major suppliers allowing downloading of supplier price changes, invoices and promotions, one click order generation and stocking with increased control.

To find out more information, please visit mhousesolutions.com.

Miconex: the first payment card-linked city-wide loyalty scheme

Mi Rewards from Perth-based Miconex is the first payment card-linked city-wide loyalty scheme in the UK and was launched in Perth in September last year. It’s the first scheme to offer rewards that can be earned and spent across a whole city or area. What makes it unique is that participating consumers don’t need a loyalty card or an app to participate. The frictionless system means they simply link existing payment cards to the programme and when they spend money in participating businesses they are automatically rewarded.

The scheme was created to encourage people to shop locally, rather than online or at another retail destination. It also helps stimulate additional spend when reward cards are redeemed and creates new ways for businesses to communicate with their customers. The data also allows them to gain a greater understanding of how consumers shop. There is no joining fee, no staff training is required, and no additional hardware or software is necessary.

The cost to participate is 1% of qualifying card transactions; this 1% goes to customers who will earn 1 point per £1 spent. Accumulated points can then be spent back at the participating businesses.

For more information, contact Colin Munro at Miconex on 01738 444376 or colin@mi-cnx.com.

MyStore+: bringing retailers and brands closer

MyStore+ is an innovative new app launched by The Sun and The Times publishers News UK and Glasgow-based field marketing and sales solutions agency McCurrach that aims to bring brands and local retailers closer together than ever before to deliver business growth for all.

The app, described by its creators as “the biggest tech innovation in convenience retail”, aims to help brands and retailers grow their business together by enabling retailers to access category and brand advice, offers and rewards. MyStore+ enables retailers to access category advice to help them stock the right products and planogram their space to maximise sales. Retailers can also then access exclusive offers and cash rewards from brands for executing activity in their store and for sharing that insight with brands – typically by sending a photograph of the finished fixture or display.

For brands, MyStore+ will help drive engagement by providing retailers with new content, offers and rewards to access all the time. MyStore+ has been developed to make it simple and cost effective for brands to provide retailers with the advice, offers and rewards that drive execution and sales in-store. This makes connecting with convenience retailers accessible for all brands.

News UK will work with McCurrach to engage with the 12,000 retailers they visit through their retail sales team and the 35,000 convenience retailers who sell news every day of the year. The MyStore+ app is available across iOS and Android platforms and is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

For more information, visit: mystoreplus.com.

QueueCheetah: smart ‘scan, pay and go’ app

The QueueCheetah app is a highly creative solution that allows shoppers to effectively skip the queue while in-store. All shoppers have to do is scan their selected products and add to cart, pay from their mobile with VISA or MasterCard, receive their verification and leave the store. It’s that simple. Queues currently cost the UK economy £3.4bn with 10% of walk-outs by customers who are basically dissatisfied with wait times. When a consumer sees a long queue it puts them off coming into a store.

This happens mainly at peak times like lunch and evening. QueueCheetah provides the ideal solution to that problem. With customers focusing on the value of their time more than money, QueueCheetah aims to help. Peak-times see a large increase in queues, which put off the peak time customer. A simple lunch time transaction can become frustrating to the customer having to wait and pressure on the staff to be quicker. QueueCheetah eliminates this giving control to both parties ensuring a smooth, stress-free experience. For consumers it saves time, reduces effort – unpacking and repacking, is zero cost, eliminates queuing and improves the shopping experience. It also means they can receive special deals in real time.

For retailers, the solution reduces costs, increases revenue, influence purchases in real time, increases footfall and shopper conversion. Additionally, QueueCheetah has no technical hurdles, no big infrastructure costs and allows retailers to minimise waste by incentivising perishables.

For more information, visit queuecheetah.com.

TWC: insight-driven decision-making

With over 50 years’ experience spread across retail, wholesale, buying groups, convenience and foodservice, TWC (The Wholesale Company) is firmly focused on delivering transformative business results for clients. Critically, the business is all about harnessing the power of sales data, insights and smart technologies to drive sales and growth.

TWC aims to harness the power of customer data, enabling clients to adopt a “data-led” approach to their channel strategy. The key is putting sales facts at the heart of decision-making.

The company’s background is in merging disparate wholesale data to deliver cutting edge reporting. The rise of digital means that TWC has extended its reporting solution to bolt into customised products that create a digitally enabled enterprise.

The development team has expertise in digital innovation and delivery and its IT solutions for wholesalers, convenience retailers and suppliers are all underpinned by the principle that great digital execution is only achieved from excellent insight.

TWC is currently working with Unitas to create a sales data reporting initiative to help suppliers and members understand market influences and opportunities to facilitate faster commercial growth.

This gives members and suppliers visibility on Unitas’ sales to customers, (including sales by named members). The results furnish stakeholders with valuable insights, show previously unknown data and present a reliable read on what is happening across independent wholesale and individual categories therein.

Tools such as heat maps identify underperforming regions and depot scorecards highlight opportunity by branch. Suppliers also have access to reports that summarise 13-week, year-to-date, and moving-annual-totals.

“Never has data been so important in understanding market trends, insights and influences in order to ‘get ahead’,” says John Baines, Director of Trading for Unitas.

For more information, visit twcgroup.net.

UWS: transforming wholesale and retail

United Wholesale Scotland is in the midst of a ground-breaking new programme of technology and innovation-driven activity currently taking place in both the wholesaler’s flagship depot and with its retailers.

The depot is being transformed with a range of technologies including the installation of digital shelf edge signage and enormous digital signage in the depot that will help improve both the customer experience and the efficiency of the business.

Under discussion will also be new initiatives set to enhance the performance of UWS’s retail partners including a comprehensive plug-and-play home delivery service.

For more information, visit uniteduk.co.uk.

WiseShelf: transforming shelves to IOT

Well merchandised, appropriately stocked shelves are a fundamental in retail yet the problem of on shelf stock availability is as big an issue today as it has always been. So what if you could reduce out of stock events by up to 50% and increase shelf replenishment efficiency by up to 40%? What if you could ensure product facings are maintained, planogram accuracy is supported and staff are directed to focus on what is most important? What if you could even reduce average stock holding for certain lines because you knew with confidence what was needed and when, to keep shelves adequately merchandised?

With the smart shelf solution from WiseShelf you can… and more besides! WiseShelf’s smart shelving solutions are based on patented technology and have been proven to improve stock availability, increase replenishment efficiency and support planogram accuracy. The smart shelf utilises unique light sensor technology that can detect 1,000 light levels meaning that the connected software can understand, in real-time, the difference between an actual product and shadows, opacity of liquids and where exactly items are on the shelf. The solution provides actions, alerts and analysis at store, regional and head office levels for both retailers and their suppliers through its cloud-based SaaS software.

International clients and partners include Super Pharm, Dansk Supermarked, X5, Coca-Cola and Albert Heijn. Having launched recently in the UK, the company ran a successful project for Iceland Foods in the bread and soft drinks categories. Not only did out of stocks reduce substantially, additional insights were uncovered such as the key times of the day, and days of the week when certain lines came under pressure and risked lost sales. Iceland was also able to identify opportunities to improve ordering and replenishment processes.

Jim Clifton, Head of Merchandising for Iceland, stated: “We ran a successful project with WiseShelf in our Buckley store and demonstrated measurable improvements in the availability of key products in the bread and soft drinks categories. The benefits were strong enough to justify us to look at substantial extension of the solution to more stores and look to increase the functional scope of processes to include ordering and theft reduction. The WiseShelf team built a strong relationship with us and we continue to be impressed with the level of innovation and creativity from them.”

Later this year, the company will be launching the next version of the solution which will include in-shelf wide-angle cameras for enhanced planogram monitoring and the ability to manage products in shelf-ready packaging.

For more information, contact David Morgan at david@wiseshelf.com.

To book your #ThinkSmart3 place email events@55north.com