Business to Human with Hans Fischmann and Matthew Bertucci

By the end of 2024, Vericast will be working toward deploying a full suite of technologies designed to enhance the retail experience for both retailers and consumers alike — but this isn’t a challenge they’re taking on alone.

Vericast’s Matthew Tilley speaks with Matt Bertucci from Lenovo and Hans Fischmann of Vericast — two powerhouses of in-store retail media solutions — whose combined expertise will help shape the future of shopping as we know it. They dive into how the overall consumer experience can be improved through collaboration and innovation and shed light on the contributions each company is making toward their collaboration.

Collaboration between Vericast and Lenovo

Vericast and Lenovo have been working together to bring consumer solutions that are easy to understand and implement.

A key factor in this effort has been ensuring both Vericast and Lenovo have the right parts and the right partners working toward a shared goal — understanding the customer’s flow of use of digital projects and how it’s expanding.

Gaining this understanding allows all parties to evaluate what they need to do to make solutions easy to implement and cost-efficient to manage. “Lenovo takes care of service needs from deploying screens to identifying placement and managing support mechanisms,” says Hans. “This allows Vericast to focus on what we do well: providing marketing capabilities for advertising and brand clients.”

Innovation incoming: an in-store retail media network

Vericast and Lenovo are taking a new approach to the physical in-store retail experience as we know it, aiming to create an in-store retail media network and experience.

For the most part, the experience of walking into and shopping at a grocery store today is the same as it was in the 1920s and 30s, although a little more refined. Grocery stores have been iterated upon to a high degree and are very efficient at landing sale items into consumer baskets.

However, many other aspects of our lives have improved and modernized — take e-commerce for example. This evolution has left the physical experience of going to the store and shopping in need of improvements especially when it comes to personalization. There is an opportunity to use technology in a way that better serves retailers and consumers by giving recommendations or suggestions to personalize their experience. ”For example, if I pick up a potato, maybe there’s a recipe that could be displayed on an adjacent screen, or maybe Land-O-Lakes wants to talk about their sour cream or butter and give me some ideas,” says Hans.

The goal of this network is to create an improved experience by marrying technologies and ideas from great companies — like Lenovo — to bring the idea of a retail network from imagination into reality.

Deploying and implementing the retail network

The collaborative team is actively working on deploying this new retail network. Sensors, screens, servers, compute power and media players provided by Lenovo are set to be in place with well-recognized retailers by the end of the year. One retailer has been shipped equipment, and the collaborative team is scoping for more. The target is to have over 100 stores set up with full implementation of equipment by the end of 2024.

Vericast is taking a dual-edged approach to implementation by enabling capabilities with retailers specifically so that marketing clients may take advantage of the new network.

“The utilization of resources from a marketing and advertising perspective actually enhances what we can do,” says Matt. When it comes to funding, it used to be that the dollar was king — if you had the funding, you’d spend it, and if you didn’t, you’d have to wait.

Now, costs can be so great that it’s about bringing financing in through advertising, therefore, making it a monthly operational expense rather than a capital expenditure.

The beauty of having a project that is capable of generating its own funding is that it harmonizes the omnichannel experience and earns you more loyalty tie-ins.

How the retail media network can help brands overcome challenges

Retailers are increasingly becoming engaged in conversations around networking back ends.

“They are trying to get themselves ready for new technologies, and because they’re starting early, this is a perfect time to bring in the network,” Matt says.

Retailers are on the ground floor of what these possibilities could become and need to start implementing parts and pieces now to stake their claim on the front lines of advancement.

“Traditional in-store marketing and merchandising often face the problem of delayed data analysis,” Hans says. “A simple change with this network implementation is the increased speed of processing data and the ability to make changes to an advertising campaign mid-flight.”

The network is focused on supply path optimization by getting advertisers immediately adjacent to the supplier of inventory, thereby removing the middlemen and saving money.

Sensors determine when someone is actually there to see an ad and will only display advertisements when an actual human is present. As a result, there is less waste because an ad won’t be showing if there’s no one there to see it.

In turn, this generates more revenue per screen per opportunity because the advertiser gets more of their money spent on actual advertising.

Benefits of implementing the new retail media network

“Outside of having that proximity advertising, there’s also a lot of valuable data for the retailer to gain as that person gets to the point of sale,” Matt says.

This data opens doors to make it easier to make smart decisions whether you’re the retailer carrying the hardware product or the product manufacturer.

Furthermore, implementing this network is an open door itself. Retailers will have the new capability in-store to continue to build new functions related to the network. This is affordable now with a tangible ROI but also establishes a new ground level for what’s next.

Want to get the rest? Check out the full episode of “Business to Human” with Matthew Tilley and guests Matt Bertucci and Hans Fischmann where they dive into the collaboration between Vericast and Lenovo and dissect how the consumer experience can be improved through collaborative efforts and innovation. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player.