Dubaian Supermarkets Upgrade Shopping Experience with Philips LED-based Indoor Positioning System

Philips Lighting, a Royal Philips company and global leader in lighting, announces its first connected lighting indoor positioning win in the Middle East with United Arab Emirates (UAE) based retailer aswaaq, one of the world’s most innovative supermarkets and community malls. The new system uses lights that act as a positioning system which allows customers to use smartphones to access new location based services. This empowers the retailer to provide a smooth shopping experience for their customers, which may help boost sales and customer loyalty. Working with Philips on the project is Aisle411, a leader in digital store mapping. Philips Lighting is partnering with the US company to extend its indoor positioning offering to deliver a comprehensive end-to-end capability, including professional services such as digital store mapping, product search and analytics.

Philips upgrades UAE based reailer aswaaq with new lighing system, enabling shops to communicate with consumers via LED light using smartphone apps. (All Photos Courtesy of Philips Lighting)

The system works by the individual light points transmitting their location through a modulation of light (a technology called Visible Light Communication) that is imperceptible to the human eye but detected by the customer’s smart phone camera. Once the customer downloads the retailer’s app they can choose to access location-based services, such as locate items on their shopping list to an accuracy of 30cm. The data stream is one-way and no personal data is collected by the lighting system.

“We are committed to delivering extra value to our retail customers which in turn, they can use to provide additional benefits to their consumers. By working with leaders in the industry, we are able to deliver a complete suite of services that unlock the full value of Philips LED-based indoor positioning system and location analytics,” said Parik Chopra, Segment Leader Retail and Hospitality for Philips Lighting. “We’re excited to join forces with Aisle411 as our location based services partner and see this brought to life in aswaaq’s Al Bada’a supermarket in Dubai.”

The system is expected to enhance shopping experience and boost sales and customer loyalty.

Enhanced shopping experience boosting sales and customer loyalty
Since the beginning, aswaaq has been focused on technology to achieve a competitive edge. By installing Philips LED-based indoor positioning technology in its Al Bada’a supermarket, Dubai, aswaaq will benefit from a 50% reduction in lighting-based energy consumption, maintenance cost savings and a reduction in its carbon footprint. At the same time, aswaaq customers will benefit from navigating its aisles more easily and accessing new services via their smartphones.

“Our customers’ time is precious and having one of the most advanced indoor positioning technology from Philips Lighting allows us to make shopping faster and more enjoyable,” said Affan Al Khoori, Deputy CEO of aswaaq. “It opens up new possibilities that improve the shopping experience, and empower our staff to operate more efficiently.”

The Philips LED-based indoor positioning system enables customers to use the retailer’s app to receive information relevant to the items around them such as special offers and even look up prices of items on their phone instead of on the shelves. Retail shop managers can use the system to identify the most popular areas of the store to better place products, as well as help streamline tasks such as stock checks and restocking shelves.

Philips Lighting now provides lighting infrastructure and indoor mapping sevices for retailers.

A turnkey system for retailers
Philips Lighting is now offering retailers both the lighting infrastructure to deliver the world’s most precise indoor positioning system, as well as the mobile platform and indoor mapping services needed to enable shoppers to quickly find products. To help do this Philips has signed a partnership with Aisle411, a leader in digital store mapping, product search and analytics. Philips will also partner with other companies on location based services for retailers.

"Philips Lighting pioneered a hassle-free, hyper accurate indoor positioning system that when combined with Aisle411 indoor maps and optimized product location data, creates exciting new opportunities for retailers. They can engage with their customers in new ways and understand the path to purchase inside the store," said Nathan Pettyjohn, Founder and CEO of Aisle411.

Aisle 411 and Philips Lighting will work together on the aswaaq project which is due for completion in summer 2016.

Philips named Top Supplier Retail 2016
The innovative indoor positioning technology being piloted by aswaaq was installed by the French retailer Carrefour in its hypermarket in Lille, France. For that project the German retail institute EHI awarded Carrefour with the Retail Technology Award 2016 for Best Customer Experience in February 2016. Subsequently Philips received the Top Supplier Retail 2016 award. 

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