Fujitsu Solutions for Distributors--Making Shopping More Fun!

[Fujitsu Forum 2016 Exhibition Report]

Fujitsu's largest event, Fujitsu Forum 2016, was held on May 19 and 20 at the Tokyo International Forum in Yurakucho, Tokyo. This report features the Retail and Logistics area in the exhibition hall.

Future Solutions for Distributors that Connect Consumers, Goods, and Information

Exhibition hall crowded with visitors

"We want to actively use the purchase history information collected through POS terminals for other purposes than sending direct mails, but we don't want to alienate customers by sending them advertisements that they are not interested in."
"Although customers are interested in our products, it takes a long time to deliver the products depending on the inventory status. How can I provide what customers want--or think they want-- easily?"

We hear the words "big data" and "cloud" as the key to solving these problems, but we have not been able to fully utilize these technologies.

With the help of the Digital Business Platform MetaArc, which incorporates cutting-edge cloud, mobile, big data, IoT, and AI technologies, Fujitsu will support the construction of smart stores and supply chains by accelerating the digital transformation of retail and logistics. The following gives details on some of the solutions:

FUJITSU Business Application Operational Data Management & Analytics for Foods

FUJITSU Business Application Operational Data Management & Analytics for Foods (ODMA for Foods) is a solution for converting data collected on POS terminals into a usable state (data cleansing) and returning the converted data to the stores so that it can be used to identify bestselling products, predict customers' needs, and formulate sales expansion strategies.

When stores are built in multiple locations, it is possible to see the sales figure for each store but it is difficult to group the sales data or utilize them in a comprehensive manner. In the ODMA for Foods solution, stores are automatically grouped according to their characteristics based on sales performance, product DNA (safety, quality, and health), and other factors.

ODMA also helps users to analyze data by incorporating big data, such as the population of the area where the store is located and the current weather, in a way that is useful for the stores. This makes it possible to plan a more attractive line-up of products.

CHANNEL Value, a workshop-type analysis service platform, is also a solution for fostering good relationships between stores and consumers.

In the exhibition hall, we explained about an experiment conducted at a department store. We provided a dedicated smartphone application to participants of the experiment for them to connect to the Wi-Fi of the department store when they visit. This allowed us to detect their location in the store. During the experiment, we were able to track their movements, such as the stores and floors they visited, duration of stay, number of visits, and where they made their purchases.

For example, we tend to think that customers who shop at the cosmetics section and then go to the food section on the basement floor on weekdays are not interested in interior goods. However, these customers may in fact repeatedly visit the furniture floor on weekends and holidays to see sofas. We can provide such customers with unique offers in a timely manner by grouping customers who take similar actions and employ the push promotional strategy by sending them coupons and recommendations that will influence their decisions to purchase when they visit the sofa section next time.

Getting the Best Outfit Coordination from the Mirror

When a customer is deliberating whether to buy a product, a self-service terminal that combines Fujitsu's RFID solution, Mirror Signage (tentative name), the long-distance gaze tracking technology, and Human Centric AI Zinrai, makes one last sales push in a fun manner.

When a customer stands with a product in front of a mirror, details of the product, stock quantity by size, and coordination examples are displayed on the mirror.

Long-distance gaze tracking technology: Detecting a person's gaze with a sensor and accumulating the data

When a customer stands in front of a mirror with a product that has an RFID tag, the system displays the stock quantity, coordination examples, etc. on the mirror. This system also includes a Coordi-Roulette function which displays other recommended products that go well with the clothes in a roulette-like manner.

Coordi-Roulette, in combination with Zinrai, recommends outfit coordination to customers according to their preferences by analyzing attributes of store customers, purchase history, data acquired by the long-distance gaze tracking technology, and weather information.

This technology can support sales staff when there is a staff shortage, and also allows customers to take their time and enjoy shopping alone without unnecessary advice from the sales staff. Since this system is connected to the inventory, the stock quantity can be checked immediately on the spot.

Displaying Recommended Products by Analyzing Customer's Eye Movements

Analyzing customers' eye movements and duration of stay, and reflecting the analysis results in the next recommendation

In this area, we gave a demonstration of the short-distance small gaze tracking system EyeExpert and Zinrai, using a hamburger shop as a case study. When a customer stands in front of the menu screen, recommended menu items are displayed according to the customer's attributes. When the customer touches an item that caught their eyes on the screen, information on the item (calories, popularity ranking, ingredients, etc.) is displayed. The information that the customer looked at for the longest time is then reflected in the next recommendation. The experience is similar to being served by a skilled sales assistant.
Going forward, Fujitsu would like to utilize Zinrai further and develop this technology into a tool that will provide more optimized information. For example, changing what the system recommends depending on the current weather and regional characteristics.

Shopping for the Right Size--Body Measurement Application that can be Integrated with EC Sites

Fujitsu also showcased a solution that enables customers to find clothing that fits their body sizes. Some clothes may not fit well even if they are in the customer's size, due to differences in brands or design. This leads to a loss of sales opportunities on the manufacturer's side and difficulty in finding clothes that fit on the consumer's side.

Fujitsu's SMUGFIT, a body measurement application, is a solution for such a problem. To measure your size, take full-body photos from the front and side using a smartphone camera. Lines are displayed to measure the body parts that are required for sewing, such as the body width and leg length. These lines can be extended or shortened using fingers and adjusted to the body size. Next, select how you like to wear your clothes, such as "loose." Going forward, Fujitsu plans to expand the application of this software so that users can search and find clothes of other brands that fit their body size by linking with EC websites.

SMUGFIT was started as a solution for a school uniform tailor and is now used to make tailored clothes

Screen of SMUGFIT measurement application

Originally, SMUGFIT is an application developed to solve the problems of a school uniform tailor in Okayama Prefecture. New students of a school in Okayama Prefecture had to gather in the gymnasium so that the tailor can take their measurements for their school uniforms. It was hard for students to wait patiently for their turn, and it was also difficult for the staff to measure nearly 100 students all at once. This application was very well received by both students and the tailor for having minimized the time and labor required to make school uniforms.

Robot Cart with a Tracking Function

Automated inspection and classification by robots

Fujitsu is also working to improve operational efficiency in logistics, and has achieved success in its efforts. For example, by combining FUJITSU Logistics Solution Logifit WM (logistics center management system) with inspection/classification robots, the company was able to improve the efficiency of inspecting products delivered to the distribution center by trucks and picking and packing products to be shipped out.

CarriRo, logistics support robot

In Fujitsu Forum 2016, Fujitsu also showcased CarriRo, a logistics support robot. CarriRo is a cart robot with a tracking function called Karugamo (named after the way Karugamo ducks follow their mother). It tracks the sensor held by the worker in front of it. At the moment, a worker can only push one cart, so it takes a lot of time to pick the right products. By using the Karugamo function, a worker will be able to carry two carts, which allows them to do twice the amount of work. This solution is expected to greatly improve work efficiency without significantly changing the current work flow.

In the exhibition, we presented demonstrations which showed the changes in the consumers' minds and feelings that we could not see before by making use of the big data on people and goods as well as IoT, such as the gaze-tracking device, allowing us to create new ideas based on the visible information. In the retail business area, in particular, there were many attractive solutions and we received positive feedbacks from customers who stated that they would like to visit stores offering such solutions. The future where we can experience Fujitsu's new solutions in stores is just around the corner.