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07/12/2022

GetGo equips coolers with digital ‘smart screens’

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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GetGo is applying digital technology to in-store coolers.

Customers at GetGo Café + Market no longer have to open the refrigerator to see what’s inside.

The food-focused convenience store chain, a banner of regional supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, is partnering with Cooler Screens to replace traditional cooler aisle doors in select stores with digital smart screens. Cooler Screens technology provides a real-time digital door display of the contents of an in-store cooler, along with superimposed, contextually relevant retail media and merchandising content. resulted in an improved consumer experience, same-store sales lift and operational improvements for GetGo.

Seeking to transform its in-store shopping environment, GetGo’s primary objectives were to improve the consumer experience, increase same-store sales, and bring innovation and a modern feel to its stores. Now, GetGo consumers at Cooler Screens-equipped stores can have instant access to the type of up-to-date product information in-store as they receive when shopping online.

Across the store and when approaching the aisle, consumers see full door, contextually-relevant brand stories, designed to increase brand awareness and consideration. When shoppers approach the coolers before making a potential purchase, the display switches to a planogram. The planogram provides product, pricing, promotions, and nutritional information.

Cooler Screens’ digital merchandising and advertising content is provided by modules running in Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform IoT Edge runtime. The Azure IoT Edge runtime also enables the display solution to communicate and manage the edge devices contained in each cooler door. Cooler Screens leverages data and analytics capabilities such as Microsoft Power BI data visualization software, along with Azure Synapse analytics, to measure the effectiveness of digital merchandising and advertising. 

Leveraging Cooler Screens and Microsoft Azure technology, GetGo increased same-store sales, improved the consumer experience, and utilized insights it obtained to drive operational improvements. Specifically, the retailer recorded a 4.9% incremental same-store sales lift for beverages, driven by soft drinks, coffee, and energy. 

GetGo also experienced 4.4% growth in beverage transactions in digitally-enabled stores compared to non-digital stores. On the consumer end, between 82%-86% of surveyed shoppers had a positive experience with the digital cooler doors and said the doors made it easier to find sales items

In addition, real-time out–of-stock reporting allowed GetGo to monitor out-of-stocks at a brand and store level. Insights from out-of-stock data identified a peak-period supply issue that GetGo was able to address with the supplier.

“Innovation and modernizing the shopping experience have always been critical to GetGo’s strategy,” said Rug Phatak, chief of staff and senior director of marketing, GetGo. “Our ongoing partnership with Cooler Screens to bring digital merchandising and media into our stores has improved our guests’ in-store experience and increased our same-store sales.”

Giant Eagle remotely ensures product freshness
GetGo parent Giant Eagle is also involved with IoT technology rollouts. The company is moving forward with implementation of the Digi SmartSense Internet of Things (IoT)-based temperature monitoring platform. With this latest phase of IoT deployment, Giant Eagle is remotely, automatically and continuously monitoring its critical food assets.

Founded in 1931 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle Inc. operates more than 470 stores under the Giant Eagle, Market District, and GetGo banners throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland, and Indiana.