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Physical meets digital on Walmart Canada shelves, with SES-imagotag IoT technology

a close up of a basket

With shoppers returning to the stores, retail investments are flowing to omnichannel priorities to digitize stores, support frontline workforce across all channels, connect inventories across platforms, and accelerate fulfillment.

Recent research conducted by The Economist shows that retailer respondents saw the pace of, and investment in, digital transformation accelerate during the pandemic.1 Improving the customer experience was the industry’s biggest driver of digital transformation and investment. Retailers are developing, acquiring, and utilizing in-store technologies that give shoppers a new level of convenience, a more personalized experience, and a more consistent offline and online experience.

In 2021, Walmart Canada chose SES-imagotag Retail IoT Cloud platform, the global leader in shelf-edge solutions, to bring accurate pricing and product information to the shelves in their 328 stores—with an eye towards providing Walmart Canada’s customers with consistent prices and promotions whether they are shopping or checking out online, or in person. The SES-imagotag VUSION IoT Cloud platform runs on the Microsoft Azure IoT platform.

“At Walmart Canada, we’re on a mission to innovate and provide the best possible shopping experience. We’ve accelerated and prioritized digitizing the environment in a way that removes friction for our customers and associates. Part of this effort is rolling out electronic shelf labels to more Walmart Canada stores across the country,” Sam Wankowski, Chief Operating Officer of Walmart Canada.

Microsoft WorkLab research shares that the key to employee wellbeing and resilience is a sense of purpose and control over their work, which grows when employees engage in fewer avoidable manual tasks, and engage in higher-value tasks that increase their sense of purpose at work. One example of higher-value tasks is helping customers. The SES-imagotag digital store shelf technology enables centralized price monitoring and managing, which in turn helps the retailer improve safety, provide consistent and timely pricing and promotions, and optimize product assortment in the stores. It improves employee satisfaction by freeing up time from cumbersome low value-added tasks and allowing them to focus on customer service and merchandizing tasks.

“At Microsoft, we’re deeply committed to connecting the end-to-end retail experience. We look forward to partnering with SES-imagotag in the rollout of their VUSION solution, built on the Microsoft Cloud, to Walmart stores throughout Canada. The rollout will enable Walmart Canada to boost in-store efficiency as well as provide accurate pricing at the shelf ultimately delivering a better experience for customers and employees in their stores.” Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, WW Consumer Goods and Retail Industries at Microsoft.

During the pandemic, retail played a huge role in ensuring continuity and resilience, providing customers with access to food and other essential products and services, and offering employment and wages to a huge global workforce. Many customers shifted their spending to e-commerce channels, in the biggest test to date of the sector’s work on digital transformation. The SES-imagotag solution, based on the Microsoft Azure platform, is helping Walmart move forward with its digital vision.

“We are delighted to be working with Walmart Canada. They are by far a champion in the industry and a leading example for other big-box retailers in need of in-store innovations. This is an exciting opportunity for us to deliver our VUSION Retail IoT Cloud platform that will allow them to remain agile and competitive in a very dynamic market,” says Philippe Bottine, CEO North America, SES-imagotag.

Learn more about how SES-imagotag helps retailers transform their physical stores into high-value digital assets, growing automation, and making organizations more data-driven and connected.

Learn how Microsoft empowers every retailer to achieve more to improve customer experience and enable their employees with the right tools.


1 Economist Intelligence Unit research.