Internet of Things based Smart Shelves Prototype Implementation
From customers’ point of view, out-of-stocks occurs when a product is unavailable or not shelved in the expected location and this can cause the customers to either switch to another brand or retailers. When facing out-of-stock, customers will eventually stop substituting the product with another product. The customer will instead go to another retailer to satisfy his needs. This behavior has a negative impact on retailers, since retailers will lose a full shopping basket, and potentially the customer. This study provides a proof-of-concept of smart shelves system that is equipped with force-sensitive resistors, Raspberry Pi and the Arduino microcontroller. The system is able to monitor all stocked items and send item status updates to mobile phones/electronic devices when items become sold out. The prototype undergoes interoperability test, compatibility test and functionality test to ensure the hardware and software are able to function according to the requirements. The overall results show that the prototype is able to measure the monitored items and transmit the data to the mobile application in real time. The prototype presented in this study may facilitate the development of smart shelves solution using IoT technologies in the retail environment. An expansion of this prototype in the retail environment can have an impact in both retails and supply chains when on-shelf inventory can be collected automatically and efficiently.
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