The project will seek to harness insights gained through 207 in-store sensors, allowing the supermarket to quickly detect things like spillages, out of stock products, or the need to open more checkouts to manage queues.
Asda will also use this technology to understand how it can make the in-store experience more convenient for colleagues and customers, with the potential to include other applications if there is demand for this.
In order to make this possible, the grocer has teamed up with Leeds-based Internet of Things (IoT) software provider, Hark, and Manchester-based AI software provider , SeeChange. Asda will use Hark’s cloud-based platform to understand real-time data and analytics that will give feedback on everything from on-shelf stock availability to pinch points in the store.
Hark’s platform will help to analyse in-store behaviours and use the data to suggest ways to improve customer flow, understand how shoppers interact with items and make improvements to the overall customer experience.
In time, the aim is to integrate Hark’s platform with other devices and systems in store, such as electronic shelf edge labels and self-checkouts, to further optimise the customer and colleague experience.
Charlotte Gidney, Asda’s Innovation Project Manager, said: “We want to create a frictionless in-store experience for customers, from the moment that they step into the store to the moment they leave, which is why we’re working with Hark and SeeChange to harness the power of their retail expertise that will help us understand the best way to connect every element of the in-store journey.
“Initially the project will look at how customers are shopping in store, taking these learnings and working on key projects that will make the experience of shopping with Asda even more convenient.
“As we move to phase two of this exciting journey, we’ll look to evolve the technology and integrate this with our wider ecosystem, so we can understand how the insight gained will benefit colleagues and customers.”
Jordan Appleson, Hark’s CEO & Co-founder: “It is so exciting to be a part of the digital transformation of Asda’s Stevenage store. The project brings together truly powerful machine-vision and analytics technology and continues to be a pleasure for our team to work on.”
Jason Souloglou, SeeChange CEO, said: “We are delighted to be part of Asda’s journey to build a modern, in store experience, and give them access to the future of retail using our advanced computer-vision and scenario-recognition technology. It’s really great to be working with such innovative and capable teams at both Hark and Asda.”