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EuroShop recognises IT excellence

By Retail Technology | Tuesday February 18 2014

The annual European retail technology awards recognise customer-friendly initiatives as well as those that enable enterprise and store efficiencies

A distinguished audience of retail technologists gathered in Düsseldorf last night to recognise the winners of this year's European Retail Technology Awards (reta).

Organised by industry research company, the EHI Retail Institute and held during EuroShop, Europe's largest retail trade fair, the awards, which are now in their seventh year are designed to draw attention to the best IT projects completed during the last year according to three categories: Best Customer Experience, Best Instore Solution and Best Enterprise Solution.

Given a record-breaking number of entries, each category included three equally-ranked award winners were chosen in the categories by a panel of expert judges that included Retail Technology's own editor, Miya Knights.

"I have supported the reta awards since their inception and so can testify to the strength and depth of entries from across the region this year," said Knights. "This makes the winners all the worthy."
Putting the customer experience first

German grocer Edeka and Netto, working with project partners Valuephone and Deutsche Post, won a joint customer experience for their work to provide customers with a new mobile payment service. The app, which integrates mobile payment and mobile couponing, allows customers to check out with their smartphone. 

Optical retailer Edel Optics won by combining the best of both worlds - online and instore - in its physical store location. Working with IT providers Novel Media and evolvem medialab, the optical retailer used iPads in its store to help customers find the right product for them. The system also links through to the back-end warehouse so customers are served efficiently once their choice is made.

The third winner, Leder und Schuh won for its 'Humanic Avatar' project in partnership with Wincor Nixdorf and Online Software to make buying shoes easier. Every model of shoe is scanned in every size before being delivered to stores, while customers' feet are scanned to match them with the perfect size. The judges particularly commended the fact the project enables the retailer to accurately fit shoes even if the customer is not present in the store, allowing them to also buy with confidence online.

Optimising store operation

An oversized billboard by Gebr. Heinemann, positioned at the departure gate in Frankfurt, won in the Best Instore category with partners PORESY, hmmh and airport developer Fraport for its ability to extend the store into the airport. With some 60 different duty-free products on display for travellers, a quick response (QR) code is displayed next to each product and can be scanned using the 'Heinemann Express Shopping' app or any other standard QR code reader and purchased via credit card. 

Electronics retail group Media-Saturn also achieved reta recognition for its work with Pricer to equip its Dutch stores with a digital price tagging system. The roll out of electronic shelf-edge labels (ESLs) allows for dynamic and centralised pricing management and helps the retailer assure consistent pricing across channels.

Luxury retailer Gucci worked with project partner and business intelligence (BI) software vendor MicroStrategy, also won for its  two iPad apps, known as, “BI in Store,” which use the same database but for different purposes. One app provides store managers with data on products, customers, and employees, thus simplifying store management. The other app supports sales staff as they help customers, allowing staff to call up inventory, availability in other stores, product information, and customer information. 
The best for the enterprise

In the Best Enterprise Solution category, fashion retailer Adler, working with systems integrator TAILORIT, and technology suppliers Syspro, nedap and Sato have successfully rolled item-level radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking in its stores. Since all clothing articles are equipped with RFID transponders, the technology is also used to monitor warehouse stocks and store inventory, increasing inventory accuracy and improving on-shelf availability. 

Hypermarket chain Kaufland implemented a system that takes products that have almost reached their best-before date and itemises them separately in the enterprise resource planning system (ERP). Store staff are alerted when merchandise is close to reaching its expiry date, enabling them to immediately print new price tags at the shelf with a mobile printer. The project was commended for eliminating inefficiencies associated with generating and processing manual orders, as well as waste, while also facilitating increased sales.

Retail garden, plants and business Sagaflor was the last of the enterprise winners with its project to roll out new enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to its cooperative retail member network. Working with IT partner ComSol, to facilitate centralised cost and management efficiencies, and master data accuracy and visibility, while facilitating local deployment flexibility, Sagaflor developed the first centrally hosted instance of SAP for franchise systems.

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