Zumtobel Group of Dornbirn, Austria, and E.Leclerc of Langon, France a hypermarket of the major France retail chain are joining forces on a pilot project to bring the “Internet of Light” to retail stores. The two companies plan to work with partners to validate innovative Internet of Things (IoT) use cases in the E.Leclerc Hypermarché branch in Langon.
The pilot project will bring IoT applications to Langon branch of E.Leclerc Hypermarché including virtual customer assistance, mobile push marketing, indoor location, and smart parking. During the trial project, the main focus is to determine the value of the applications to the business bottom line. The LED lighting system will unlock the value of the IoT applications.
Help from ecosystem partners will enable the existing luminaires to act as location beacons with light based communication and a customer loyalty app. Also, other ecosystem partners will use sensors integrated into parking lot luminaires to show users of a parking app the location of unoccupied parking spaces. The parking app can also help direct customers back to where they parked.
The virtual customer assistance will use the information about a person’s location to direct customers to particular items. Push marketing will use information about a customer’s previous purchases stored in the cloud to show advertising and offers that the customer would likely be interested in similar to the recommendations on popular retail websites such as Amazon.
“We believe that light is predestined to be the infrastructure for applications in the Internet of Things. The Internet of Light can create completely new customer experiences and services in retail stores. The new E.Leclerc Langon pilot project reveals the spectrum of opportunities created by connected lighting. The importance of light is growing for retailers – as an important cornerstone for the optimal presentation of goods and as an enabler of shopping experiences,” said Stephane Vasse, Head of IoT Business Development, Zumtobel Group, summing up the pilot project.
“What is special about this project is the cooperation between multiple partners who share the same vision: transforming brick-and-mortar stores into modern and interactive stores where customers experience a whole new way of shopping – all this with the help of connected lighting. Together we will create greater customer loyalty and satisfaction, based on the Internet of Light,” said Alain Laffourge, Président Directeur Général of E.Leclerc Langon describing the collaboration and the project.
In addition to using Visual Light Communication, the location service app will also use Bluetooth (BLE) beacons integrated into the Zumtobel and Thorne luminaires. Zumtobel points out that using existing light installations significantly reduces investment costs and claims that the existing lighting infrastructure can easily be used to implement new applications such as location-based services.
“The approach of Zumtobel Group towards IoT – creating an integrated solution with ecosystem partners really centered around us and our customers – is the only way to move from hype to real value,” says Alain Laffourge Président Directeur Général of E.Leclerc Langon. “We are excited to continue our cooperation to validate and quantify the benefits of these use cases in the coming months.”