Retailtech Japan 2017 is the largest exhibition in Japan aimed mainly at people working in the distribution and retail industries. This year, it was held from March 7 to 10 at Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake - where cutting-edge ICT, technologies, systems and services supporting the management and operations of distribution business were exhibited. Five Fujitsu Group companies, including Fujitsu Frontech Limited, Fujitsu Marketing Limited, Fujitsu FIP Corporation, Fujitsu Isotec Limited, and PFU Limited, exhibited jointly at the Fujitsu booth.
This Year's Business Concept: Connected Retail - Making Stores Closer to Consumers to Continue to Serve Them
At its booth, Fujitsu presented the latest technologies in the special-feature Experience Market zone with the concept of Connected Retail. There, customers were able to experience for themselves near-future stores that they would wish to visit every day. Other zones of the Fujitsu's booth included the mass merchandiser, specialty store, food service, department store and shopping center, handheld terminal and logistics zones.
Showcasing Customer Case Studies with a Focus on Improved Customer Service
At the main stage, Fujitsu, which responds to the ever changing retail business environment, presented its initiatives as a partner supporting retailers' business expansion. In addition, Fujitsu showcased two implementation case studies along with customer interviews.
Life Corporation implemented the LaCuCa Card point service with an electronic money feature and streamlined the cashier operations. At its booth, Fujitsu shared an interview it conducted with an executive from Life Corporation on the effects of implementing the system. Furthermore, Fujitsu heard from the executive from Life Corporation about future prospects with respect to marketing using the LaCuCa Card to individual customers.
Next, Fujitsu presented a case study of a pharmacy, Qol Co., Ltd., which started operating the Health Support Pharmacy with a 'family pharmacy' function ahead of others. The Health Support Pharmacy provides a simple health check service to measure weight and blood pressure at the store. This enabled Qol to centrally manage health information of community members and provide detailed medication guidance to them. This case represents a case of pharmacies' new value that leads to activities to raise health awareness among community residents.
Advanced Technologies That Support Improving Customer Service Together with Retailers
Many visitors experienced first-hand Fujitsu's latest technologies that support near-future stores that make our lives more convenient and fun, improve store value and streamline store operation.
Advanced Technology Zone
Future Shelves (Reference Exhibit) Hatched from a Co-creation Workshop between Retailers and Customers
Future Shelves was created from the concept of a "source to transmit information that relieves housewives from worrying about menus." It is an output of a design thinking co-creation workshop between Ebara Foods Industry, Inc., a food manufacturer, Summit, Inc., a supermarket, and Gakushuin Management School. When a customer to the store approaches the store shelf, a list of products automatically appears by projection mapping. Then, once the customer lightly steps on an item to select it, a menu for the dinner is determined.
Making Day-care Centers More Secure: Unlocking Doors via Smartphone Authentication (Reference Exhibit)
You can use your own smartphone to unlock the door of a day-care center by biometric authentication. Fujitsu showcased such convenient and secure physical access control. In the demonstration, an IoT authentication solution that uses the biosensor of a smartphone was put to practical use. This solution will surely be a reliable support for parents.
Point Link Solution Using Latest ICT (Reference Exhibit)
Fujitsu showcased FlowSign Light, a technology for reading information embedded in LED light, and a demonstration to simulate a buying experience in a point-scoring campaign using blockchain technology. By linking the blockchain network and a customer management system, retailers are also able to analyze customer behavior.
Furthermore, Fujitsu introduced a new point service, Point Marketplace, which uses blockchain technology, and artificial intelligence (AI) based solutions that streamline call center operations by automating responses to customers.
Mass Merchandiser Zone
Robots Checking Display Shelves in Place of Humans: MATEY Autonomous Shelf Management Robot (Reference Exhibit)
In this zone, Fujitsu presented MATEY, a store robot that walks in front of display shelves autonomously and notifies store staff of sold out items and timing to replenish shelves. MATEY walks around the store autonomously based on a store map prepared in advance. It uses a technology to recognize 2D bar code, such as QR code and AR code, to collect POP data on sold out and expired items. Then, MATEY sends information on the optimal timing to replenish shelves to staff's tablets and smartphones in real time. This robot is expected to contribute to the streamlining of store operations in this era of labor shortages.
Specialty Store Zone
Using AI to Advise on Coordination: Mirror-type Digital Signage (Reference Exhibit)
Fujitsu demonstrated a mirror-type digital signage that proposes better coordination for the customer through a conversation with AI. Holding an item with an RFID tag over the mirror and answering questions from AI displays perfect coordination for the customer on the mirror. For the purpose of giving advice, Fujitsu taught AI coordination patterns created by professional stylists.
Furthermore, Fujitsu showcased SNAPEC-EX, an omni-channel measure that best serves the customer based on the customer's behavior history on EC sites and customer information. We demonstrated how an AI engine encourages customers to buy items. In the demo, AI used the gyroscope function of a smartphone to sense the emotion of a customer wondering what to buy based on the movements of the customer's hand and displayed a product ad at the perfect timing.
Moreover, Fujitsu exhibited the Pastel Plus RFID Option, which streamlines inventory process, etc. by reading multiple item tags at once from a hand-held device held over them from a distance.
Food Service Zone
In the Food Service zone, which was set up by simulating a restaurant, Fujitsu proposed a new food service style in two separate sections - kitchen and store.
Next-generation Kitchen Operations Support a Solution that Uses Head-mounted Display (Reference Exhibit)
In the kitchen section, Fujitsu presented a solution that uses a head-mounted display to support next-generation kitchen operations. This solution uses augmented reality (AR) technology to read AR marker information on the order slip and displays a step-by-step recipe from experts on the head-mounted display. It enables hands-free cooking and helps improve the cooking skills of the entire restaurant by passing the know-how of skilled workers to other staff.
Smartphone Self-order/Payment System (Reference Exhibit)
In the store section, Fujitsu presented a self-order/self-payment system that uses its cloud service to allow customers to place their orders and make payment for food and drinks from their own smartphones.
Hospitality Using a Robot (Reference Exhibit)
Fujitsu presented Bistron/R, a new hospitality service using a robot. It is an order entry system that uses smart devices as handy terminals. When the user enters an order in the terminal, the robot reads aloud the order and serves the customer.
Furthermore, we showcased a self-payment device for restaurant that allows the customer to make payment on their own and eliminates the handling of cash by restaurant staff.
POS System Exhibition
As POS systems, Fujitsu exhibited a lane POS system, self-payment system, and face-to-face payment system for mass merchandisers.
In the demonstration of TeamStore/M, a POS system for mass merchandisers such as supermarkets, we showed how POSMIL, a journal-linked image search system, searches for a recorded image of the cashier at that moment based on the serial number on the receipt.
As a POS system for merchandisers and restaurants, Fujitsu presented FrontStore+ Palm Vein Authentication Payment System, supporting cash-less payment using a palm vein authentication.
For Customers to Come Closer to Consumers and Create Stores that Continue to be Chosen by Consumers
While people's buying styles such as web shopping and payment methods change day by day, it is said that there are still many needs of customers who wish to visit stores to carefully choose items. Amid conditions where people point out there is a chronic shortage of labor due to a decrease in the number of people in the workforce, visitors to the exhibition gained first-hand experience with Fujitsu's technology that has been supporting the creation of attractive stores for improved customer service. Fujitsu will continue to propose applications for IoT, big data, cloud computing, AI, and other technologies to the retail sector by taking advantage of knowledge gained through our support provided to various retailers.