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Deep dive

20 October 2023

Unveiling the Power of Location Based Systems (LBS) and Real-Time Location Services (RTLS) in Retail: A Deeper Dive into Loss Prevention and Shelf Optimisation

In today’s fast-paced, digitally connected world, businesses across various industries are continually seeking innovative ways to harness data and technology for enhanced efficiency and customer experience. Location-Based Services (LBS) and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) are two cutting-edge technologies that have recently taken the spotlight. In this article, we will delve into the world of LBS and RTLS and explore how they are reshaping the retail industry, with a particular focus on loss prevention and the strategic use of heat mapping to optimise product placement and location.

Understanding Location-Based Services (LBS) and Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS)

Location-Based Services (LBS) encompass a range of technologies that leverage location data to deliver personalised services and information to users based on their real-time geographic position. These technologies utilise various tools, including GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular networks, to determine a user’s exact location, providing tailored content and services.

Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), on the other hand, build upon the foundations of LBS by continuously tracking and monitoring the real-time location of assets, individuals, or objects. RTLS relies on technologies such as Wi-Fi Positioning, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and UWB (Ultra-Wideband) to provide highly accurate, up-to-the-minute location data.

Now, let’s explore how these advanced technologies are revolutionising the retail industry, addressing crucial concerns related to loss prevention and revolutionising shelf placement and location through the strategic use of heat mapping.

Loss Prevention: A Strategic Priority

Loss prevention has always been a critical concern for retailers. The introduction of RTLS has opened up new avenues for proactive measures in safeguarding inventory and revenue. This is especially significant in the context of Fast-Moving Perishable Goods (FMPG) where maintaining product quality and minimising losses are of utmost importance. Here’s how these technologies are making a difference:

Asset Tracking: RTLS allows retailers to continuously monitor the real-time location of valuable assets, making it easier to track and locate them in case of theft or misplacement. Whether it’s high-value electronics or designer clothing, the ability to pinpoint the location of stolen items can be a game-changer in reducing losses. Geofencing, as discussed in the next point, can provide notifications to the retailer if merchandise leaves a specific area of the store or approaches entry/exit points.

Geofencing: LBS enables retailers to establish geofences, which are virtual boundaries around physical store locations. When a customer or employee with a tracked device or item enters or exits these areas, the system can trigger alerts, allowing security personnel to respond swiftly to any suspicious activity.

Employee Monitoring: RTLS can help ensure employee accountability and reduce internal theft. By monitoring staff or asset movements within the store, retailers can deter dishonest practices and pinpoint any unauthorised removal of items.

Maximising Shelf Placement and Location with Heat Mapping

Efficient product placement can significantly impact sales and customer experience. LBS and RTLS offer invaluable insights through heat mapping, which visualises customer foot traffic and product interaction within the store:

Customer Flow Analysis Heat mapping provides retailers with a visual representation of how customers move through the store. This data can be used to optimise the layout, placing high-demand products in high-traffic areas. It can also aid retailers in the pricing of shelf space to their suppliers.

Dwell Time Analysis: Retailers can assess how long customers spend in specific sections of the store, helping identify which products attract the most attention. This data can influence promotional strategies and product placement decisions.

Inventory Management: Heat mapping can also assist in inventory management by tracking the popularity of products in real-time. Retailers can use this information to ensure that popular items remain well-stocked and ready for purchase.

Incorporating LBS and RTLS into Loss Prevention and Heat Mapping

As the retail industry evolves, integrating LBS and RTLS into your operations can be a game-changer. By utilising these technologies, retailers can not only enhance loss prevention strategies but also optimise the placement and location of products, resulting in increased sales and improved customer experiences.

Progility Technologies, with its proven LBS and RTLS solutions, can guide retailers in this transformative journey. Stay ahead of the curve and unlock the full potential of these innovative technologies in the dynamic world of retail.

Incorporating LBS and RTLS in your retail strategy can truly set your business apart, providing an edge in an ever-competitive market.

For enquiries on how Progility Technologies can help you revolutionise your retail operations, please get in touch.