Nordic ID Oyj, a Finnish technology company specialized in real-time item tracking and self-service solutions, has developed RFID technology based automated self-service solutions for agile deployment of unmanned shops. Neste uses Nordic ID’s RFID-solutions in their new, fully automated Easy Deli self-service stores.
The changed shopping behaviour of consumers is greatly impacting the retail industry. Consumers expect the same level of ease and convenience that online shopping offers also in brick and mortar shops. They also want the option to shop around the clock, and preferably close to home. Changed consumer behaviour paired with the current strong sustainability trend result in a growing demand for new shopping concepts.
” We have worked closely together with Neste to develop their automated Easy Deli self-service store. Cooperation on developing this service concept have been highly rewarding and fruitful, but also required quite some problem-solving skills of us. I am very proud of our team, knowhow, and the fact that we have been part of creating this new shopping concept that provides a contemporary and updated customer experience. In uncertain times, winners will be the ones who are able to transform their business to best meet the changed consumer expectations.”
Juuso Lehmuskoski, CEO of Nordic ID.
“When developing the Easy Deli store, it was important for us to find a partner that was able to co-create a full, customized solution according to our needs. We chose Nordic ID as our partner as we found that they have the required technological and service creation knowhow as well as a can do–attitude.”
Jukka Peltoniemi, responsible for automated services at Neste.
Changed consumer behaviour requires new shopping concepts
“The idea to develop this solution was triggered by the change in consumer behaviour – customers want to make their purchases when it suits them, nearby and around the clock. Today, people avoid standing in line, and they might even abandon their purchases if they perceive the queue to be too long. The check-out process at traditional barcode based self-checkouts might take even longer than at a manned register”, explains Lehmuskoski.
With RFID sensor technology (radio frequency identification), individual items are identified without visual sight, which enables large quantities of items to be scanned in an instant. This means that for instance routine tasks can be automized, and streamlined, as well as inventory take sped up considerably. RFID also decreases the risk of scanning errors, as each single item no longer needs to be scanned separately.
” When developing the Easy Deli–concept, we compared different technologies that would enable creating an automated self-service shop. RFID technology met our requirements and we found it to be the best fit to create a truly easy and smooth shopping experience,” says Neste’s Peltoniemi, and continues ”The Easy Deli product scanner is the first of its kind in Finland and a huge leap forward compared to conventional self-checkouts. This makes the shopping experience much quicker and easier. The closest references are found in China where the RFID-based shops have received positive feedback for their user-friendliness.”
Neste opens the RFID-technology based Easy Deli store on June 3rd in central Helsinki, Finland. During the Summer, Neste will open another Easy Deli store in the Helsinki area, and aims to open further Easy Deli stores in Riga, Latvia, during 2020.
RFID-technology enables flexible automated shops
For automated self-service shops, RFID provides many benefits over camera or scale technology-based solutions. Nordic ID’s unmanned shop concept S/MART enables agile customization of the store setup according to customer needs and even fits the budget of smaller retailers. Deployment and maintenance are seamless and cost efficient. In addition, shop assortment and floor plan are easily modified when needed. Thanks to the adaptive concept, S/MARTs fit the most versatile environments such as hotels, self-storage warehouses and business hotels.
RFID-technology was first adapted on a larger scale in fashion retail. In food retail, deployment has been slower due to the initial challenges of reliably reading RFID-tags attached to fluid containers or metal covers.
Download the Press Release (PDF)
Take a tour in the Easy Deli store with CEO Juuso Lehmuskoski.