Smooth Customer Experience at Drive-thru Retail Pick-up Points in Scandinavia
Learn how grocery shopping got a whole lot easier for customers of a Swedish retail company thanks to Adaptive Recognition’s smart ANPR cameras.
About the Client
Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Strongpoint is a retail technology and e-commerce solutions provider, partnering with leading grocery retail chains in Scandinavia. The company builds and operates temperature-controlled lockers and drive-thru pick-up points for click & collect orders placed online.
With online order volumes soaring partly due to the COVID pandemic, Strongpoint‘s store pick-up points have seen increasingly heavy traffic. During rush hours, the long line of cars waiting to drive through disrupts traffic on the street, causing delays and disorder. This results in a stressful experience for everyone involved – customers, store staff, and the neighborhood. An effective drive-thru solution had to be found to reduce waiting time by streamlining the pick-up process from car identification through order identification to delivery.
Read on to find out how leveraging ANPR in retail can boost customer satisfaction and streamline work processes.
Enter the automated car registration system supported by Adaptive Recognition.
The ordering process goes like this: customers place the order online. Once the retail store’s staff assembles the order, customers receive a text message informing them of the pick-up details and asking them to enter their car’s license plate into the retail store’s system through a dedicated weblink.
This is where Adaptive Recognition’s Vidar camera and its onboard automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system come into the picture. Upon arrival at the pick-up point, the camera detects the car’s license plate. The on-board ANPR software then recognizes and analyses the captured license plate based on optical character recognition (OCR) and creates data that can be automatically connected to the right order ID stored in Strongpoint’s database. At the same time, the system also sends a notification to the store staff via the automated delivery system, alerting them of a customer waiting while also detailing all the relevant information connected to the particular order. All in all, the average time between the camera registering the customer’s arrival and the customer receiving their order is no more than 3 minutes.
In addition to significantly reducing the time spent delivering the order to customers waiting in their cars, productivity also benefits from this advanced system. Since the staff is only mobilized when customers arrive at the pick-up point, their work can be utilized somewhere else within the business outside rush hours.
From the customers’ point of view, the solution also has many benefits. Aside from being highly convenient and perfectly safe – thanks to the whole process being entirely touch-free – the system is also fair by applying a first-come, first-serve approach. This means that the staff tends to drivers in the order they were registered by the ANPR camera and not by the order they park outside the store.
The solution of course can be used for click and collect delivery of anything and everything. Basically, nothing is too small or too big anymore for Strongpoint’s CAR system.
The core of Strongpoint’s system is Vidar, the latest and most advanced ANPR camera developed by Adaptive Recognition. Strongpoint partnered up with Adaptive recognition in the first phase of their application development. By working closely together with Adaptive Recognition, it was made clear that the most suitable ANPR camera for the application functionality was the SmartCAM series because of the advanced software triggers and inbuilt license plate reading capabilities. The first pilot project was delivered with 3rd generation SmartCAM cameras. When the 4th generation VIDAR Smart camera was released, it was clear that this was the perfect camera for the global rollout of the automated delivery manager application.
What gave Vidar the edge over everything else is that despite being a true powerhouse, it’s user-friendly and can be tailored to the needs of any business. In Strongpoint’s case, they chose Vidar Smart 2xHDx LT for the following reasons:
Built-in Laser Trigger
Laser is by far the most reliable trigger: whenever the laser pointer detects a car, the camera snaps into action right away. Also, this is the first time an ANPR camera comes out with laser triggers included.
Dual Full HD Cameras
Having two full HD cameras in one device already reduces the chance of missing or misreading the license plates of approaching customers. However, Vidar’s cameras can be fully customized regarding the information they need to forward to the store’s staff. In Strongpoint’s case, one camera is set up to focus only on the license plates, whereas the other one gives a general overview of the cars entering the pickup zone. This way, the store staff can find the vehicle faster in the queue, not to mention whether the car’s trunk can be loaded with the ordered products.
Vidar Smart 2xHDx LT is equipped with onboard ANPR, meaning that there is no need to send the data acquired from the camera to external servers. Instead, the camera processes the necessary information on the spot and sends only those images to Strongpoint’s system that are mandatory for the staff, such as the license plate and the car’s general appearance.
This already speeds up the process, but Vidar has an ace up its sleeve. It actually has two processors: one dual-core 1GHz CPU serving the sensors and another quad-core 1.6GHz processor running only the ANPR. In other words, the ANPR doesn’t take away precious memory from the sensors, meaning a smooth and lightning-fast capturing, analysis, and recognition of the customers’ vehicles.
For further information on this specific project, or to find out how this solution could be adapted for your business needs, please get in touch with our experts Alan Tofte and Tomas Rosén.