The Faraday Centre for Retail Excellence at Leeds Metropolitan University is an institution that conducts scientific research into shopping behaviour around the world.
Tensator Group’s head of media and technology solutions Ajay Joshi was recently invited along to the centre to present to some of the UK’s most powerful retail managers, including representatives from Nestlé, Mars, Procter and Gamble, Arla, Unilever, Molson Coors and Cisco.
Ajay facilitated a discussion examining how in-store technology is moving from a luxury to a necessity, in order to meet the requirements expected of customer service in 2013 – both in terms of efficiency and bringing a product, service or message to life.
With the high-profile audience, Ajay discussed how high-tech products like the Virtual Assistant have impacted on both customer behaviour and their satisfaction with the overall retail experience.
For example, benefits for various retailers have included a 50% increase in dwell time, whilst placing the 50cm x 50cm Virtual Assistant Ultra at strategic points in the stores of a well-known high street name resulted in a 75% sales increase for the featured product.
Perhaps most interesting for the people there, who included the University’s professor of retail innovation Cathy Barnes, was a discussion about the future of retail technology. With the advent of systems that can manage customer profiling for more personalised service, and integration with social media channels, the constant evolution, the customer experience is on the verge of a very exciting technical revolution.