Capgemini launches 'digital shop of tomorrow'

Global consulting firm Capgemini has unveiled a digitally-enhanced bricks and mortar shop for the post-COVID world.

The “live testing environment” has been developed in collaboration with SharpEnd, a connected experience platform, and media firm The Drum.

Capgemini is preparing to organise tours of its CornerShop in London for brands, retailers and shoppers - once the pandemic subsides - to allow visitors to get hands-on with the latest technologies that reimagine the shopping experience across food and drink, cosmetics and fashion.

Consumers will also be able to purchase items in-store as well.

CornerShop is split into four sections, each exploring fundamental aspects of the shopping experience: the automated store, the augmented store, the purposeful store and the personalised store.

As soon as a visitor enters the store, their mobile phone becomes the “retail experience remote control”, leading them through the space, allowing them to engage with the new shopping concepts and experiences on offer, and providing insights on the technologies harnessed.

Using Bluetooth-based location technologies, customers will be greeted with a personalised experience when they enter the store, and they will have the ability to customise the physical space to their preference of artwork displayed on walls and in-store screens that greet them using their name and virtual avatars.

A virtual try-on solution explores how users can create their digital twin and then view products on themselves without trying them on physically. When an item is hung up on the virtual try-on display, computer vision and RFID identify the product, convert it into a digital image and map it to the consumer on a full-length smart mirror.

Customers will also be able to browse and buy fresh produce that lines the walls of CornerShop and which has been grown in-store using the latest vertical farming intelligent agriculture technologies.

And through a combination of the CornerShop mobile app, connected packaging, AR and digital screens, customers will be able to share their individual needs, preferences, intolerances and sustainability goals, which the store will use to guide them towards the right products.

In addition, CornerShop will house a fully contactless barista experience, serving fresh coffee and self-serve snacks.

Social distance automation is delivered through cameras and computer vision to enable store staff to manage customer safety, and CornerShop allows customers to retain control of their data with “strong data governance”, security and integration to a central data platform.

Steve Hewett, head of retail customer experience at the Capgemini Invent unit, said, “While the long-term impact of the pandemic on retail stores is yet to fully reveal itself, the events of the past year have radically escalated retailers’ needs to redefine the purpose and experience of the store.

“It’s never been more critical to build the digital capabilities required to underpin a new shopping reality.”

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