TMCnet News says space is the next frontier for retail
[November 30, 2022] says space is the next frontier for retail

By Ricardo Silva, Head of Marketing,

LISBON, Portugal, Nov. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- I want to talk to you about how square metres can disrupt the retail sector. When talking about grocery stores and shops, we're always talking about square metres when referring to chains like Walmart, Carrefour, or Jerónimo Martins. Still, it is not worth a lot if space is not efficiently generating revenues and sizable margins.

Sales per square metre is a key metric of performance. When you think of a supermarket layout, you can see how intelligently designed it has been to drive sales - organisation of different sections, drive for impulse, moving people towards the back of the store, appealing to the senses.

Brick-and-mortar retail still looks at customer experience as if we were still in 1985. Just think of the huge checkout area that stores still have. We are talking about 10 to 15% of a stoe's area, that is not driving active revenue.

Technology can do it considerably better. A combination of Computer Vision, sensors, and AI algorithms can be used to identify what is being taken from shelves, check interaction between customer and product, and automate checkout and payment. The retailer has effectively eliminated queues, driven customer satisfaction up, and won 15% of area to sell more products (or pay less rent). It's a UX, Marketing, and financial move, all in one. Several Artificial Intelligence providers, like Amazon Just Walk Out, Trigo and, have proven and keep developing this technology to increase accuracy, reliability, and user experience.

A store doesn't need to be big to be practical and convenient. The rise of proximity stores makes the point of the importance of having the right assortment aligned to daily life. 2 to 10 sqm microstores (like's) present an opportunity to deliver an exceptional user experience by focusing on the basics - the "I need to buy this product now" coupled with full traditional customer-product interaction.

This concept is enhancing the financial performance of small stores - that have shelves directly facing passer byers, with no real estate solemnly dedicated to aisle space. These MicroStores use technology to deliver fully-functional work-anywhere sales points that disrupt the conventional understanding of a physical store. And that launches brick-and-mortar retail into a very different space.

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