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AI to reduce shopping queues

Opr./edited AZ 13 August 2019

POLAND An end to queuing, with less customer irritation and employee stress, along with greater loyalty and higher sales turnover. This is what the store of the near future could be like, according to Itmagination, which has developed a system that analyses real-time traffic and in-store queues.

According to Mastercard, almost half of Polish consumers change their minds about going shopping when they see lengthy queues forming. Knowing the busiest shopping hours in the store is also essential for planning the work and selecting staff.

Itmagination’s system can be used to predict the volume of customer traffic based on the store’s database and when queues are likely to form, thus allowing store managers to open more checkouts before such queues can build up. The system also analyses historical data, taking into account product arrangement, the day of the week, store visiting hours, upcoming holidays and events, regional factors and weather data. Armed with this data, it can generate forecasts well in advance.

A prototype of the artificial intelligence based system is being introduced for one of Itmagination's clients.

“The AI-based algorithms it employs can analyse data in real time, work out when and why queues are formed, and how the traffic in the store is distributed. Furthermore, it can calculate the efficacy of goods being stacked on individual shelves. It also uses algorithms for identifying which products and shelves are the most popular among customers and those that are least available to them,” explains Łukasz Dylewski, the data science team manager at Itmagination.

The system uses the store’s infrastructure and sales data for collating such data. Based on this, the system can suggest which products need buying in. A report with such recommendations tailored to the requirements of the specific customers of the store is generated as a result.

Itmagination was founded in 2008. Along with its Warsaw headquarters, it also has branches in Gdynia, Kraków, Lublin and Płock. The company currently employs more than 450 highly qualified specialists.

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