Store UX and the art of user journey enhancement

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This week, we take a look at how digital experience is merging with brick and mortar; we also dive into AI chocolate, Google Assistant and burglar-proof tech solutions that will revolutionise your stores.

Godiva gourmet delight: Chocolate may be yummy but selling it is an increasingly complex business as we become more calorie-wary. Godiva, the leading chocolatier, has plunged for an AI solution to give the brand a head-start on what their sweet-toothed customers would really really like. Using a deep learning platform from Reflektion, combined with a Mad Mobile iPad tool/dashboard for sales assistants, Godiva can help you to identify what chocolate product suits youbased on your previous guilty pleasure purchases and what similar customers bought. Big Brother? For sure, but when faced with the dilemma of what to buy for Father’s Day this may be just the right combo to save the day.

Lock, stock, crate and barrelShopping for new furniture is always stressful (imagine the hassle if you get it wrong) as stores simply have no space to display more than 10% of their range. How can you avoid FOMO on some really exciting items? TagCloud are marking the ranges in-store, then inviting customers to scan the marks and see what are other similar or complementary items. Crate and Barrel (NY-based furniture retailers) are piloting the solution and empowering sales assistants to help customers using iPads with all the choices from stores AND their e-com catalogue. That means you’ll never miss that rose dust option for your new sofa-covering fabric!

Pathfinder slays itTo cut your time spent in furniture stores finding the right chair or desk in the labyrinth of office furniture displays, City Furniture in Florida has deployed IBM mobile app tech to cut down the process and guide the customer directly to the searched-for items via the shortest path. Ikea, are you listening?

Talking heads: For those of us who just can’t bring ourselves to leave the house when the bread’s run out, we can now search for artisan bakery products on the newly launched Google Assistant (just like Alexa by Amazon, but much better) using our voices. You can also check for what’s available fresh in the store as stock is uploaded to Google in real time. It goes without saying that customers can also pay using their voices, which I have to admit is somewhat disconcerting for the older generation. However, the kids took to it like ducks to water so it’s clearly the future.

Retail is detail: Hi-res security cameras are a-coming, and it isn’t a minute too soon. Today the resolution on security cam footage is often so hopeless that even the keenest cop stands exactly zero chance of recognising a burglar from blurry CCTV. Contemporary design firm Nest has just upgraded to 4K and enhanced the zooming feature, which will allow for a greater level of detail that supports the facial identification of suspects using face recognition database records. We’re not sure about how legal the building of that particular set of records was in the UK, in these times of heightened security. So we’ll just say that hi-res is the way to go for both shop and street/public security.

New shows: This week Londoners are being treated to exquisite work by Hokusai and the famous Beyond The Great Wave. The collection of the great Japanese print master is being displayed at the British Museum and it will give you goose-bumps. Go – but not between 3-6 July, as the print works of the great artist are so delicate that they need re-shuffling halfway through the show.