Canadian Tire has now completely switched over to digital price tags, wireless e-ink shelf displays that show the item name, price, and barcode.
Under the hood I imagine this both saves hundreds of hours of staff time, and involves running a complicated hundred-thousand-device wireless network in every store.
In the store today I noticed a new feature, one that transformed the shopping experience.
The Achilles heel of Canadian Tire is that staff are never available when you need them (by contrast, at Home Hardware they are always available, and often ask if you need help). This means that finding things can require multiple frustrating waits to get directions.
The Canadian Tire mobile app now supports both real-time inventory and information about which aisle the product is on. What’s more, if you tap a button, the digital shelf tag will flag its bright LED to help you locate the product precisely. It’s really rather magic-seeming.
Well done Canadian Tire!
How long before this type of innovation will be in our supermarkets? I am certain we are only a short time from being able to do a grocery store search in the building or online for hard to find … “Belgian endives”… and to be told where they can be found in the produce area … or apologies the item is not in stock but will available on a certain date… and the store may give a customer an option to be notified.
I eagerly await the future.
I'm stingy about adding apps...other than that, looks useful, especially as Ray writes---at a grocery store that I'm likely to use more frequently.
The inventory information has been in the app and on the website for some time... They have had the e-tags for about a year now... Did not know the flashing feature though... Neat!
Now I'm wondering what kind of authorization and rate limits they've included, and whether it's possible to script requests to make an entire aisle's tags all flash at once...
Since the price tags are attached to shelves, I imagine they might all connect by wire rather than wirelessly.