The retail sector is changing rapidly with offline and online changes and new available technologies. In the Future-Proof Retail project, a collaboration of more than 20 partners, retailers and students explore the question of how retailers can be ready for the future. TMO fashion business school organized HYPE labs in Delft and Rijswijk to investigate the 21st century skill of employees. For 3 weeks in April, 12 different stores tested 7 different technologies: such as NFC tags, robotic assistance, VR-glasses, and Vicar Analytics (see video impression). Vicar Analytics was installed in a large Albert Heijn supermarket in Rijswijk and two clothing stores in Delft.
Customer Insights with Vicar Analytics
With Vicar Analytics the retailer can get insights into the emotions and characteristics of their customers. A small camera and computer installed in the store immediately analyses people that walk by without recording any video data. At the Albert Heijn the camera was placed next to a food display where people could sometimes have a small bite (see picture on the left). One can then compare which bites give the best response and whether target groups respond differently.
In the Instore Concept store, the camera was placed above the mirror (see picture on the right). Consequently, the store got insights into the customer appreciation of the clothing while they were trying them on in front of the mirror. The employees could also try out different service styles or lighting conditions, to see which is most advantageous. A small pilot study showed that when employees made more active clothing suggestions, there was a small increase in average percentage of happiness (see an example of the dashboard below). Once these strategies are repeated frequently, Vicar Analytics can be used to give objective data on which strategy works best.
Retailers find Vicar Analytics easy to use
On the first of July the students nicely presented their research to all the partners. The research into the skills of the employees showed retailers were interested in these new technologies. Retailers thought the software was advanced and ready to be used in stores. One difficulty that arose was that Vicar Analytics generated so much data, it was difficult to determine the most relevant trends. One solution to this is the data insights module we are developing with our sister company, Sentient, which will offer key insights into which patterns are significant. If you want to know more about making a store ready for the 21st century, read more about Vicar Analytics here.
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