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Author's profile photo Michael Osthof

Internet of Things in Retail – a showcase

Internet of Things and HCP in action

The Innovation Lab has built a small, sensor equipped store that shows which IoT scenarios can already today be implemented with the SAP HANA Cloud Platform (HCP). Our retail customers were thrilled by the prospect of using the model themselves instead of having to put up with the usual, extract PowerPoint presentations. The next event in Germany will be the “Handelsforum” in Mannheim on 6th and 7th of July. Feel free to reach out to me if you want a dedicated customer presentation onsite!

Realtime dataprocessing, analysis and action

As soon as a figurine passes the entrance, you can see how the counter on the corresponding Fiori tile switches from three to four in real time. This means our Playmobil friend is the fourth customer to enter the store. When a few steps later he takes his favorite breakfast cereal off the shelf, a message showing the remaining number of boxes is sent to the system. If it drops below a defined value, an employee gets a message send via smartwatch: It’s time to fill the shelf again. The integration with the back-end system allows to initiate a replenishment order too.

Better service thanks to the IoT

In addition, heat maps can be generated to show the path customers take and the time they spend in specific areas. This makes it possible to assess multiple placements and determine whether products are positioned well or whether customers wander through the store for long periods because something is difficult to find. It is even technically possible, based on register receipts, to determine the time when buyers of high-priced articles enter the store. This would make it possible to determine the most favorable time for launching new products. And if the number of items placed in the shopping cart is tracked, the system can even initiate the opening of another cash register when needed – before impatient customers start calling out loudly in a Saturday afternoon queue.

IoT in Fashion

All the same, the Internet of Things (IoT) doesn’t end at the cereal shelves. If a store offers clothing, changing room mirrors that are integrated in the system can suggest different combinations with other articles from the assortment. The customer can virtually browse on the different variants. Sensors on hangars or in the garments allow to report how often a garment was taken into the changing room but then put back again. In such garments, the price and the look seem to be right, but possibly not the cut. As a result, retailers don’t only see which garments are purchased and which aren’t – as is currently the case – but can also deduce why a certain article isn’t selling well.


There are many interactive systems in the meantime, but only very few of them can match and centrally manage huge datasets with one another and integrate into backend systems. That combined with the development features on HCP is a good reason to check with us how to engage. The Retail Innovation Lab offers the experience and the spirit to pilot innovative use cases with Retail customers world wide.

If you want to learn more about our projects please get in contact with me.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Also don't miss the article regarding our IoT Retail Store on SAP News with an Interview here: