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Set Up to Scale: Trax Retail Enhances Customer Experience with Real-Time Inventory Management

by Ashley Lozito
5 min read

Retailers face an ongoing challenge with real-time inventory management. The ability to accurately monitor shelf stock, track product availability, and ensure planogram compliance is crucial for maximizing sales and enhancing customer satisfaction. Traditionally, maintaining this level of oversight has been cumbersome and error-prone, leading to lost sales opportunities and frustrated customers. However, advancements in technology, particularly with the MQTT protocol, offer a solution to these challenges.

Real-time inventory management has long been a pain point for retailers. According to a report by the IHL Group, out-of-stocks alone cost retailers nearly $1 trillion annually. These out-of-stocks not only result in lost sales but also damage brand reputation and customer loyalty. Additionally, inefficient inventory management processes can lead to inaccurate pricing, misplaced products, and poor planogram compliance, further exacerbating the issue.

To combat these challenges, Mark Serdze, director of cloud infrastructure at Trax Retail, turned to MQTT to find a better way to manage inventory information. MQTT, a lightweight and efficient messaging protocol, has emerged as a powerful tool for real-time inventory management in the retail sector. MQTT facilitates the rapid exchange of critical inventory data, such as shelf stock levels, product availability, and pricing information. 

We recently spoke to Serdze about his decision to bring on MQTT and HiveMQ to make data-driven decisions, optimize stocking processes, and enhance the overall customer experience.

Building and Scaling a Single Source of Truth for Store Notifications

Serdze recognized that Trax Retail needed a way to provide store associates and managers with up-to-the-second shelf stock data, out-of-stocks, and planogram compliance alerts to improve in-store execution and reduce lost sales. Its existing notification system for task changes, new promotions, and critical updates was inconsistent. The company needed a centralized way to deliver push notifications across all retail management devices and browser-based dashboards. Since its client base was expanding quickly worldwide, the company would benefit from a notification infrastructure that could scale seamlessly without performance degradation.

To meet the demands for scale and reliable messaging, Serdze turned to the popular IoT protocol MQTT and the leading MQTT platform, HiveMQ.

HiveMQ's focus on the MQTT protocol was ideal for lightweight, efficient messaging, especially with our high volume of inventory and notification updates. The ability to use both MQTT and WebSockets gave us the flexibility necessary for our varied tech stack.

Mark Serdze Director of Cloud Infrastructure at Trax Retail

Because the team knew it would grow and expand its notification infrastructure quickly, the decision to implement HiveMQ was an easy one. 

“HiveMQ's reputation in high-throughput scenarios and enterprise-grade features ensured our system would perform under the pressure of our growth trajectory. HiveMQ's flexibility in deployment options allowed us to run seamlessly on our chosen public cloud providers. The well-structured documentation and availability of libraries for our tech stack have streamlined the integration process, even as far back as 2018,” added Serdze

MQTT and HiveMQ Increase Sales and Decrease Complaints

The implementation of HiveMQ has had a significant impact on Trax Retail's operations. Store associates now benefit from real-time alerts, empowering them to address restocking, compliance, and promotions promptly. As a result, sales have increased, and customer complaints stemming from out-of-stocks have decreased. The robust notification infrastructure provided by HiveMQ has also opened the door for new use cases, such as real-time pricing optimization and personalized customer interactions.

MQTT's simplicity and HiveMQ's tooling have consistently minimized development and maintenance efforts for our notification infrastructure. We've smoothly scaled to support hundreds of new stores globally without compromising performance – a testament to the solution's scalability.

Mark Serdze Director of Cloud Infrastructure at Trax Retail

The combination of MQTT and HiveMQ has revolutionized real-time inventory management for Trax Retail. By leveraging HiveMQ's scalable and reliable messaging platform, retailers like Trax can enhance operational efficiency, maximize sales opportunities, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

As the retail landscape continues to evolve, investing in MQTT-based solutions like HiveMQ will be crucial for staying competitive and meeting the demands of today's consumers.

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Ashley Lozito

Ashley Lozito is a corporate marketing professional with 15 years of experience amplifying brand stories and helping B2B buyers convert. Her work for high-growth tech organizations has been featured in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and more. She's helping to build HiveMQ’s brand story and thus helping enterprises leverage IoT, IIoT and MQTT to transform their businesses.

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