Through video analytics and various connected sensors, a convenience store can reduce costs and improve customer safety and shopping pleasure.

The use of connected sensors and video feeds can help to minimize resource wastage while improving shopper safety and, ultimately, sales.

One convenience store in Indonesia was fitted with various IoT devices between 25 Aug and 30 Sep, and the trial proved to be useful in improving numerous aspects of store operations and sales.

For example, analyses of the video monitoring feeds helped to divert the limited staff numbers to cater to the busier checkout queues, reducing waiting time for customers. Employee efficiency was also improved through observing their work practices for areas requiring adjustment.

In this period of social distancing as the norm, the IoT system, implemented by NEC for the Lawson Graha Tamiya store in Indonesia, also helped in the control of crowding. Shopper traffic flows throughout the day were monitored to facilitate better store product layouts and ushering. Furthermore, valuable statistics about the shopper age and gender profiles helped the store manager to optimize stock levels for various products based on popularity.

Other than visual analytics, sensors were also deployed throughout the store to monitor power consumption patterns, storage space usage and temperature fluctuations due to staff movements in and out of the cold-storage room. Through the captured data, energy consumption was optimized, while cost control was now possible in terms of adjusting staff habits when using the various electrical and lighting amenities.

Based on the results of this Proof-of-Concept trial, the Lawson franchise of Japan will optimize store operations and improve sales at many of their other 71 stores in Indonesia and Asian countries. Furthermore, NEC will use the results of this project to continually improve Lawson store operations to create pleasant and safe customer shopping experiences.