Coca‑Cola HBC is making its cold drink equipment smarter through seamless connectivity, enabling it to track performance and product inventory, interact with consumers and more.

With 1.6 million coolers across 28 countries in Europe, Russia and Nigeria, serving more than 4.2 million retail customers, Coca‑Cola HBC has a vested interest in setting up a future-proof fleet of cold drink equipment.

By harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT) – the inter-networking of smart devices that collect and exchange data – we have created our own network of smart coolers that helps us to improve our operations, boost sustainability, gain consumer insights and drive sales.

A black and white photo of Galip Onar holding a bottle of coca cola with the label showed in red.
A pilot scheme in five markets in early 2017 revealed very promising results, leading us to commit to approximately 90,000 connected coolers last year and further investment plans to expand our connected cooler fleet in 2018 to 365,000. Galip Onar, Group Enterprise Strategy & Solutions Director, CCHBC

Coolers enabled for the future

Previously, we had limited insights into cooler performance and the process for collecting inventory and monitoring cooler health was very time consuming for our salespeople. In short, our standard coolers on the market were branded boxes with a chilling functionality.

With the help of connected coolers, we can monitor the performance of our equipment and anticipate any maintenance before it is needed, ensuring that we can always deliver a perfect serve!

Built-in cameras provide real-time insights into product transactions and inventory, allowing us to optimise product placement, manage out-of-stocks and troubleshoot issues virtually. Sensors link door swings to transactions and trigger low-performance alerts. The camera recognises stocks running low and sends an alert to our sales teams, enabling automatic RED (Right Execution Daily) survey measurements to maximise on-shelf availability.

Two beverage fridges glowing in a dark space, the drinks inside lit.

Engaging with consumers and adding more value to our customers

Connected coolers are central to Coca‑Cola HBC’s eMarketPlace Execution initiative and sales automation platform, iFSA, through which we serve our retail customers, facilitating nearly 200 million transactions a day.

Data collected by the smart devices provides valuable market insights to enable us to engage better with our consumers and provide offers tailored to their location and behaviour. For example, proximity beacons send tailored coupons and offers to nearby consumers who have downloaded a mobile app.

Portrait shot of a man in a blue shirt
Retail outlets also benefit. Owners have reported that Coca‑Cola HBC innovations, facilitated by the connected coolers’ smart devices, have increased in-store traffic of both young people and new consumers. Neil Spickett, Group Commercial Services Director, CCHBC

And not only that, our network of smart coolers can even combat crime. Because they are equipped with GPS tracking, police were recently able to successfully retrieve a stolen cooler in Switzerland and catch the perpetrators.

We have plans to expand our connected cooler fleet well into 2019 as part of a broader connected environment and a digitised route to market - it’s just one example of how we are applying technology solutions to enhance our operations and the customer and consumer experience.