Infosys Helps Retailers Track Customer Behavior

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New sensor-based technology developed by Indian IT services company Infosys Technologies provides information to retailers and consumer products companies on shopper behavior.

The technology, called ShoppingTrip360, can serve as the basis for a variety of applications at the retail level, such as better planning of store layout, including checkout counters; better utilization of electricity; location of new products and promotions; and using location-based services to reach out to in-store customers on their mobile phones, Infosys executives said on Thursday.

The company is already doing pilots of this technology with some of its customers in the retail industry.

Infosys' retail practice accounted for 12.2 percent of the company's revenue in the quarter ended June 30. The company has over 70 retailers and consumer products companies, including 12 of the top 20 retailers worldwide, as its customers, said Sandeep Dadlani, Infosys' global head of sales for its retail, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and logistics business unit.

Retailers get sales data from their point-of-sale systems, but they don't have good visibility into what really goes on in the stores, Dadlani said. They don't have information, for example, on how many shoppers picked up a product from the shelf but later put it back, or came up to a shelf looking for a product that was not in stock, he added.

Infosys' ShoppingTrip360 creates an information network in the store that can include the shopper as well with his permission, said Girish A. Ramachandra, head of innovations practice in Infosys' retail, CPG, and logistics business unit. The shopper can install an application onto his mobile phone, that can help him use the mobile phone while at the store to access his shopping list, locate products, retrieve recipes, and download coupons, with personalized promotional offers that can be redeemed electronically, he said.

Infosys is offering ShoppingTrip360 as a managed service to retailers, who can opt for a monthly subscription model, pay per insight provided, or through sharing with Infosys the benefits to the store from the technology, Dadlani said. The information and insights will be made available through a self-service portal with different information access levels for different employees, Ramachandra said.

The technology is described as "non-disruptive", and does not link into the store's information systems unless the retailer specifically wants to use the information for one of the existing store applications.

Sensors, designed by Infosys, are placed at various points of the store including the shopping baskets, carts and store shelves to track information, such as the shopping trip path, Ramachandra said. The sensors use the store lighting to power themselves, he said.

This wireless network of sensors can be used for a large variety of applications, such as anticipating store traffic patterns and opening new checkout counters when lines start forming, and identifying the most attractive locations in the store for in-store promotions, Ramachandra said.

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