Technology in the consumer space is easily capturing the attention and subsequent spend of consumers. But choosing to invest in technology is quite another scenario for businesses who have a high CAPEX, and then must report out the performance of the technology to shareholders. That’s where partnerships come into play.
When Walgreens wanted to advance and improve the future of healthcare for its customers, it turned to its partner Microsoft. Microsoft looked beyond the function of technology by looking at it through the lens of customer experience. What technology was needed to create healthier conversations and improved customer experiences across Walgreens stores? And, what was the best solution to deploy it?
That’s where the Atrius solution from Acuity Brands (also a Microsoft partner) came into play. Walgreens had already installed an Atrius-enabled LED lighting and network control system across their sites a few years back, which featured Bluetooth® low energy that could pair with sensors and beacons to drive deeper customer understanding and experiences. The installation was a key component of energy and cost savings initiatives for Walgreens’ sites, but also a digital network and infrastructure that could be enabled with software and IoT technologies in the future.
A recent article from Walgreens News highlights the synergies the connected lighting system from Acuity Brands delivers. By leveraging data delivered through the lighting network, Walgreens now knows more about customer shopping paths and patterns throughout the physical store location and can use this information to make store design updates and changes to product placements in the store to create a better shopping experience for their customers, which is a key goal of their “future of healthcare” initiative. It is a win for their customers but also for the business.
David Leibowitz, Microsoft worldwide director of Industry Strategy Retail & CPG said:
“This is delivered by Microsoft partner Acuity with their Atrius solution, which unlocks data and insights for retailers. Walgreens is now analyzing aggregated, anonymous data for cart traffic though the store. Steve’s [Steve Lamontagne, Walgreens Boots Alliance vice president of physical design and formats] team then looks at the data through heat maps that show an entire store blueprint – some red spots here, some blue spots there. We’re using beacons to capture analytics so his team can make sure the original store designs match what customers actually want. Over time, the data will get more and more useful.”
To learn more about future projects and use cases with Walgreens, visit their corporate blog here or check out the Microsoft Transform: Retail 2020 Blog.
Audey Cash, Senior Vice President Enterprise Technology Solutions
Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.
Audey works in partnership with executive teams and large companies to transform their retail facilities with smart lighting to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. In his role at Acuity Brands, he leads the enterprise solutions teams. From electronics to lighting, Cash has spent over 15+ years in the building market, transforming spaces to further the success of his clients, people and solutions.
Audey received a Bachelors in Computer Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master of Business in Finance and Marketing from Lehigh University.