Leading retail solutions company Smollan and digital transformation consultancy DYDX recently partnered with the goal of developing a new service for Smollan clients that was both scalable and, sustainable with a positive social and environmental impact.
To this end, they prototyped Gcwalisa, meaning ‘to fill up’ in Zulu, an innovative product dispenser that allows customers to buy every day, in amounts they can afford. Using their own cups, tins and containers eliminating the need for single-use packaging. In addition to helping customers make the eco-friendly association, it provides an opportunity for brands to own a direct route to market and unpack sales and supply chain data in real-time.
This smart dispenser has the potential to re-engineer the way goods are sold, that not only offers an affordable, accessible option for customers, but an opportunity for brands to engage with shoppers in a socially and environmentally conscious manner. In the main market the solution creates the added benefit of real-time sales and supply chain visibility and defends against counterfeit goods. That said, these dispensers are equally relevant in formal retail channels and as we look to roll them out more widely, we see the opportunity for a large scale positive impact, something which is core to our business.
– Mike Smollan, Chief Growth and Innovation Officer, Smollan
A Bronze Loerie was recently awarded in the ‘Service Design Category’ to Smollan and DYDX Digital for Gcwalisa.
Continuing this push to evolve at the other end of the scale, Smollan’s innovation team in partnership with DYDX, launched the SMARTFILL dispenser for retailers operating in formal retail environments.
Much like Gcwalisa, the SMARTFILL dispenser enables consumers to bring their own bottle or bag and dispense a branded product to the volume they want or the amount they have to spend, with a digital display to make measuring easy. In terms of brand value, the dispensers stand out in-store with brand recognition and ‘innovation appreciation’ being front of mind. The dispenser system allows for individuals who may be under financial pressure to manage their spend more accurately and is increasing the frequency of shop visits.
Every person, in every market, in every region want solutions to plastic waste management. If those solutions, from Gcwalisa to the SMARTFILL dispenser, include better relationships between people and the planet; economic relief and easy choices for customers; influential opportunities for brands and profitability for retail outlets – that is a giant leap forward into a new economy.
The most sustainable way is to not make things. The second most sustainable way is to make something useful, to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved.
– Thomas Sigsgaard, Architect