Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Hong Kong retailer boosts inventory management with smart shelf tech

Iain Morris
July 9, 2014
Two Hong Kong-based technology players have developed what they call a ‘smart shelf’ service providing real-time inventory data to one of the country’s jewelry retailers.

Using the service, ISA Boutique (Hong Kong) has been able to improve security and ensure that sufficient merchandise is always in stock, as well as reducing manpower and related costs.

Developed by software player Alpha Solution (Hong Kong) and communications specialist CSL (Hong Kong), the asset-tracking and inventory-management service is designed to generate reports that can be viewed on computers, tablets and smartphones.

ISA Boutique has also been using the smart shelf solution to gather data on customer behavior, and says it has led to an increase in sales of its products at its flagship Hankow Road store.

It now plans to install the system in a new store set to open in the second half of this year.

The technology is designed to automatically record the number of goods per smart shelf in real time, and also to gather data about which items are being picked up most frequently.

If an item is being picked up too frequently but is not selling, say Alpha and CSL, the likelihood is that pricing is too high.

ISA has been using the service to track jewelry as well as eyewear products but it plans to expand the system to include watches and other fashion accessories.

Using consumer behavior data generated by the system, it says it can make pricing changes and launch promotions to fuel interest in items that are not selling quickly enough.

“Our … solution is able to monitor retail shopper behavior and provide valuable, statistical data that cannot be accurately gathered by store personnel alone,” said Tafe Tsa, director of Alpha Solution.

According to Jerry Garrett, the managing director of CSL, ISA began to see a return on its investment in the smart shelf service immediately, with sales increasing and the time needed to take inventory falling by as much as 70%.

“The … solution allows retailers to gather enhanced market analysis and reap the full benefits of customer relationship management,” he said.
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