Understanding Edge to Cloud in Retail and Trending Use Cases
The concept of edge to cloud is growing in importance within the retail landscape. Retailers are increasingly implementing edge-to-cloud solutions to positively impact their businesses.
In the latest episode of “Intel To the Edge and Beyond,” host David Dobson, Intel’s Global Industry Director for Retail and Hospitality, visited the subject with VMWare’s Ryan Wehner, Industry Director for Retail and Consumer Goods EMEA, and Charles Cockshoot, Edge Industry Solutions Architect. The conversation touched on measures retailers are taking to transition to edge to cloud, it’s benefits, as well as some of the challenges that exist.
But what exactly is ‘edge to cloud’ and why is it seeing more activity in retail?
Wehner defines edge as, “Where the customer data is processed … it’s close to the source where we’re collecting data as possible. So an edge platform would allow a retailer to run these applications in the store that they couldn’t do before.”
In a move to stay abreast of rapid industry shifts, retailers are now choosing to get ahead and make smarter decisions, as well as work towards more advanced technological solutions to stay on top of new trends. And most importantly, stand firm in their competition. “They want to leverage those stores to gain strategic advantage over their competitors,” says Wehner.
This means retailers are utilizing the software programs best suited to give them that advantage, while also allowing them to meet the needs of their customers and become more well-versed in their habits and activities. Additionally, it helps retailers potentially reduce spending costs with the assistance of AI.
Another impressive factor is one that facilitates the shopping experience. Cockshoot notes that shelf edge labels were once signs of information. But with the use of AI, these simple labels have improved knowledge of products for both the employee and customer. He cited how the label scan is capable of indicating if a product is in stock in the store or online.
“If you think the amount of cloud-to-edge processing that’s going on there … the experience you can give a customer when they go in your store is one of delight. They know if it’s there or if they just like it, or want to touch it, or prefer to buy it online,” said Cockshoot.
Not only that, it keeps the retailer in the know on product sales and returns, and what’s being demanded.