The Path to Make Merchandising Displays Smart

Written by Ed Anderson | Sep 7, 2016 4:00:00 PM


Retailers ship millions of corrugated displays into their US stores every year, but 42% of them never get executed on the selling floor. CPG's and retailers have told us that they don't have the data to tell them which campaigns should be expanded, which campaigns should be cut back, and which campaigns could be improved. Retailers comparable store sales growth have languished for years, traffic is down and subscriptions for newspapers have fallen at least 70%. Seventy five percent of shoppers have a smart phone with them when in stores, yet engaging the shopper with their smart phone is rare. There is an imperative for a solution that offers the likelihood of faster innovation, increased revenue and decreased costs. At Shelfbucks, we have an Internet of Things Ecosystem that addresses these issues for Merchandise Displays:


Source:  Business Insider

We've gathered thought leadership from Accenture, McKinsey and Bain, well known and respected firms, that provide support for Shelfbucks' architecture.

Accenture examines the ideals for an As-a-Service delivery model and postulates that a new path may be required to achieve benefits:

"Getting to As-a-Service requires simplification – removing unnecessary complexity, poor processes, and manual intervention to make way for a nimbler and more proactive way of running a business." 

Accenture brings credibility to IT strategy as evidenced by its number one ranking in Global IT Strategy Consulting.

Disclosure: Shelfbucks created its Merchandising Optimization Platform without any assistance from Accenture, nor were we trying to adhere to Accenture's As-a-Service delivery model. It was serendipity that our design concepts run parallel to Accenture's approach.

In addition to Accenture, McKinsey has a point of view on how retail can improve, and Shelfbucks has included their perspectives in a prior blogs here and here. Now we are seeing McKinsey opine on how the Internet of Things can be applied to retailing to improve the supply chain and the shopper experience. 

"Investing in IoT hardware—from sensors embedded in manufacturing equipment and products to electronically tagged items along the supply chain—is only the starting point of the value equation. The biggest competitive gains come when IoT data inform decisions. Our work shows that most of the new business value will arise from optimizing operations. "

And McKinsey on retailing:

"In retailing, for instance, one of the largest sources of value could be the sales lift that real-time, in-store personalized offers are expected to deliver. This will require the sophisticated integration of data across many sources: real-time location data (the shopper’s whereabouts in a store), which would link to data from sensors in the building; customer-relationship-management data, including the shopper’s online-browsing history; and data from tags in the items on display, telling the customer to enter a specific aisle, where he or she could use an instant coupon sent to a phone to buy an item previously viewed online."

Bain is another thought leader who has published articles on the potential for improvement by the Internet of things. According to Bain:

The Internet of Things is not one market but a set of overlapping markets with strong connections to the data center and analytics. Understanding where battlegrounds are emerging, how platform dynamics will shape competition and profitability, and what barriers exist to adoption (for example, security and interoperability) will help companies determine where to invest and what capabilities are required to win.

And Bain on hurdles that will have to be overcome:

"At the infrastructure and database layers, they will need to learn how to manage the interaction of millions of sensors and find ways to cost-effectively collect and analyze the huge volumes of unstructured data they produce."

The 5 components of Accenture's As-a-Service delivery model with comments about Shelfbucks approach to merchandising displays:

  • Business Processes. Shelfbucks enables CPG's and retailers to measure, manage and improve the effectiveness of in-store product merchandising programs.
  • fApplications and Platforms. Most, if not all large retailers, have an app for their "guests" and shoppers. Shelfbucks plans to insert a custom software development kit(SDK) into the retailer’s app. This enables the shopper to interact with displays of their choosing and receive deals for items they are interested in. Shelfbucks philosophy is to make the shopper's experience be consistent with what the retailers have decided they want their shoppers experience to be like in their stores and with their app. The Shelfbucks platform consists of the array of applications, sensors and physical infrastructure that enable measuring effectiveness of displays and engaging the shopper to improve store revenue.
  • Cloud. Accenture describes the Cloud as the "Connective tissue of the digital business, providing enterprises with the agility to accelerate innovation by enabling them to plug into core business services and scale those services up and down quickly, on demand and at scale." 
  • Security. This subject is too big to be treated here, and it wouldn't be appropriate for us to disclose our policies and practices which go to great lengths to safeguard the shoppers PII (Personally Identifiable Information), and the Retailers and CPGs data.
  • Infrastructure. The Internet of Things applied to merchandise displays starts with inserting sensors into the displays with Gateways placed in stores to communicate with the sensors...this is the starting point for Accenture's "plug-in, scalable, consumption-based business services." Without any manual work, data is automatically uploaded to the cloud. Shelfbucks provides the retailer and CPG with a data analytics dashboard so they, with assistance from Shelfbucks can query their data, obtain insights, improve campaign execution. Offers to shoppers can be changed across hundreds and thousands of stores almost instantaneously. The partnerships Shelfbucks has with the leading Display Manufacturers are essential to transforming corrugated displays into SmartDisplays.

Shelfbucks Helps Retailers and CPGs Improve the Effectiveness of Traditional Merchandising Efforts by Tracking the Entire Lifecycle of Merchandising Displays and Delivering Comprehensive and Actionable Insights that Improve Program Performance

Measurement of Display Effectiveness--at Scale


Shelfbucks Helps Retailers and CPGs Convert More Shoppers to Buyers by Adding Compelling Personal Digital Experiences to Traditional Point-of-purchase Merchandising

Rich Digital Shopper Experiences

Content can be judiciously pushed to

Shoppers based on proximity to merchandising