Highway 21 service center is strategically located on a main connector highway in the metro Edmonton area. It includes petrol pumps, a convenience store with hot food, a liquor store, a bar, a restaurant, and ample parking for large trucks and other industrial vehicles carrying oversize loads. They contacted Baüne to explore the possibilities of enhanced technology within their service ecosystem. The petroleum retail industry is working toward a new digital transformation of the future gasoline retail locations. With the goal of driving a new and improved customer experience. To get there, ESSO Highway 21 needed to implement and harness the value from Baüne’s internet of things (IoT) devices.

Responding to a Changing Retail Climate

634,063 homebased and/or small businesses 1 – 4 employees (Stats Canada – Dec 2017). Many home-based businesses and small businesses are challenged to showcase their products in an affordable way in a physical store. Additionally, many do not have access to media for customer acquisition. In other words, media is now a cost of sales and rent is now a cost of customer acquisition.  

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated changes already taking place in North America. A trend to the online purchase of goods was accelerated by home isolation. Additionally, orders and retail closures enforced by governments forced many retailers into great financial distress.

At the same time, the use of digital media enabled many businesses to find a lifeline. In the case of Highway 21, its gasoline business remained open as an essential service, but the ancillary businesses in the ecosystem suffered from enforced closure.

The owners decided to try a hybrid model: to keep their core business going through Covid-19, yet adding the capacity for media-based retail to add another dimension.  

Highway 21 ESSO Station owner uses machine to sell local, high value products.

They needed to do so, because in the age of the pandemic, more than two thirds of North American customers learned to go online to search for a product. All forms of media have become “the store”.  Because of the LIPK kiosk adopted by Highway 21, the hybrid model offers shoppers both an online experience, and the ability to physically make a transaction. Online merchants can display more products, provide more accurate and robust product information, and transact seamlessly in one click. Media is not merely becoming the store; it's becoming the ultimate store.

Conversely, however, physical stores are going through a very different but corresponding evolution. Brick-and-mortar stores are no longer simply a channel for the distribution of products. They no longer act as the final point in the purchase funnel. Physical stores are challenged to be a powerful media channel, and nowadays, there are the first point of contact between brands and consumers. As consumers become increasingly technologically entrenched, they crave far more and better physical retail experiences.

With that in mind, ESSO Highway 21 gas station and its convenience store are driving toward digital transformation to survive as the world changes and the business paradigm shifts. In this intersection of hybrid, cyber-physical space, is a new set of intelligent IoT devices powered by 5G, sensors and smart displays. AI is behind all of it with a set of algorithms to drive automation of the business. In Alberta,  Highway 21 and its convenience store partnered with Baüne to offer local, homebased retailers and brands the opportunity to draw the consumer into the brand story. Delivering an immersive brand and product experience in a multitude of buying channels and locations.

By implementing Baüne’s Learning Intelligent vending kiosks (LIPK), ESSO Highway 21 was able to manage their local vendors with a digital workflow that optimizes critical and revenue-generating assets. Offering retailors an economic space to sell and advertise their products and offering customers, a new, digitally advanced experience.

The digital transformation is the future and retailers must be prepared to sell something no one else sells or sell in a way no one else does.

About Baüne & Intel

Baüne, powered by Intel technology, has transformed the customer experience with a 5G-enabled intelligent kiosk that enables the next generation of touchless retail, providing safe and secure purchasing from any mobile device. They key system elements from Intel® Core™ i5-8350U Processor or Intel® Core™ i7-8650U Processor , Intel vPro® Platform Technology and Intel® 300 Series Desktop Chipsets are powered by Intel.

At Baüne we have developed the first 24/7 days Retail Cognitive IoT and Intelligent Kiosk and platform that address the changing consumer behavior. Baüne has design and tested an agnostic and multilingual marketplace connecting consumers, retailers, and brand marketers. Our solutions (called LIPK, Learning Intelligent Public Kiosk) provides a complete set of building blocks to support the changing industry and supports a retailing business model operating virtually and physically in any environment, which translates into an increase of profitability and availability. With no Point-Of-Sale devices attached, consumer transactions are primarily cashless using mobile payment through app and QR-Codes Scan mode. An Artificially Intelligent (AI)-driven retailing kiosk is powered with machine learning and computer vision.

Summary of Smart Kiosk Functions

  1. Dispense products and services for better retail and healthcare outcomes  
  2. Provide store digitalization and extend the commerce fulfillment solutions  
  3. Mobile app for touchless dispensation using QR Codes  
  4. Real time reports & monitoring  
  5. Scalable performance with common development tools from low to high end
  6. Remote management and end-to-end security
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