Case Study: Weather Data Integration Helps Conventional Retailers to Make Right Offers
In recent years, entire retail industry is shifting towards digitalization. Various technologies have been adapted by online as well as conventional retailers. It has been always proved easy for online retailers to not only change prices of the products in less time but also avail all reviews and detailed specifications to their customer. So, it becomes challenge for them to attend each and every customer efficiently. As online stores provide up-to-date details and easy buying process, popularity for e-shopping is rising these days. On the other side, it becomes time consuming for conventional retailers to change price tags on the products frequently, plus most of the staff get engaged in the process.
Electronic shelf labels help retailer to reduce the burden regarding the task of changing price tags. But not with the technological advancement, this solution comes with more advantages.
Bison Schweiz AG (Bison)—a IBM Business Partner—provides electronic shelf labeling (ESL) systems to help conventional retailers to pool the gap in these areas. Erik Haas, product manager at Bison explained, “The time is ripe for retailers to replace paper price tags with electronic shelf labels, which enable brick-and-mortar stores to update their displays whenever the retailer wants to show the customer some new information.”
Bison wanted to show its customer that its retail solution is able to provide more benefits than just saving the time. Even if Bison was already working with IBM, it was looking for a brand that can be trusted by their client. When IBM acquired The Weather Company, Bison decided to take advantage of weather data service, available on the IBM Cloud.
“By integrating IBM Weather Data for Advanced Analytics into ESL Manager, we can potentially help retailers achieve return on investment three times faster”, said Haas.
Now, clients of Bison are prototyping the system with a few hundred products and the company claims that it is expecting the labels will increase from 20 million to 100 million in the future. It start started to collect the data and perform detailed analytics into the relationship between weather and sales and IBM Cloud infrastructure became a compelling platform for such a large-scaled deployments.
The weather data integration offered various possibilities for retailers to boost sales, strengthen customer relationships, and improve inventory management. “Some of our clients have already seen good results with product lines such as cut flowers,” says Haas. “People don’t buy flowers when it rains, so if a rainstorm is forecast, you can start a promotion to try to sell out before the bad weather hits. There are also clear advantages for products such as fans, ice boxes, barbecue equipment, and, of course, umbrellas!”
Also, this solution helped retailers to not only optimize pricing for weather conditions but also help to give customers the realization that the store is a hub where they can come for advice than just buying the products.
“Retail is such a competitive industry that you can’t always afford to have enough salespeople on the floor to answer every customer’s question,” says Haas. “Instead of making them wait until an assistant becomes available, ESL Manager lets retailers be proactive and dynamically provide useful information about each product. Instead of a customer becoming frustrated and walking out of the store without buying anything, you can give them all the insight they need to make the right purchasing decision, before they even ask for it.”
Neha writes articles on sectors including medicine, food, materials, and science & technology. A qualified statistician, she has the ability to observe and analyze the trends in global markets and write compelling articles that help CXOs in decision making. She is a bookworm and loves to read fiction, lifestyle, science and technology. Neha comes with 6 years of experience in content writing and editing that involves blog writing, preparation of study materials and OERs.