Dufry, the world’s largest travel retailer operating duty-free and duty-paid shops in airports, cruise lines, seaports, railway stations and central tourist areas, has been trialling ‘virtual sales assistants’ in its stores at Madrid Airport.
The Dufry Store Assistant, developed by Ombori in association with Microsoft, runs on Azure. To provide a flexible and intuitive user interface, it is both voice and touch activated. Travellers can scan their boarding pass in order to find information about their flight and the weather at their destination. This also tells them how long they have for shopping. 76% of travellers who scan their boarding pass to find their gate then begin to browse for items to purchase.
Interactive guides help them to choose purchases, such as gifts, skincare products, fragrances, or liquor. They can make an immediate purchase in-store, and a wayfinder helps them to locate the product. If they prefer, they can make a digital purchase and collect the item on their return journey. Initial figures show that 8% of those who use the Store Assistant are first class ticket holders.
The experience can be viewed on YouTube:
Following the initial pilot deployment in Madrid airport, the Dufry Store Assistant is due to be tested in other locations worldwide including Zurich and Stockholm.
Andreas Hassellöf, CEO of Ombori, commented, “Over the last few years, we have been finding new ways to present guided selling that really works. To be successful, it’s essential to inspire the customer during the whole process. At the same time, it’s an extremely powerful tool for a sales person to use when interacting directly with the customer. This kind of in-store retail technology is not a replacement for sales people, it’s a tool for enhancing their effectiveness, increasing sales, and delivering a great customer experience.”
Helena Radeson, Dufry Global Marketing Manager, said, “We are quite excited to test the Virtual Assistants in store. We are constantly looking to bring our consumers elevated shopping experiences at their own terms, and these tests truly break the barriers between on- and offline and enable consumers to move seamlessly between personal and in store devices. The voice feature is marvelous to bring consumers attention and the boarding pass scan with following flight and gate info are great calls to action. All in all, the Virtual Assistants should make it possible for our consumers to make full use of our extensive in-store and on-device services and offers, and so far we seem to be doing exactly that.”
Copyright The Duty Free Hunter 2019