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Brief Published: 11 Oct 2016

BT Comms: Connected Store Concept

Contextualising its technology for a B2B retail audience, communications giant British Telecom (BT) has unveiled its Alexander Black concept space in the UK – presenting 40 advanced technologies relevant to the fashion, homeware and grocery sectors.

By using RFID (radio frequency ID) and NFC (near field communications), BT aims to show businesses how its proprietary tech can drive consumer engagement, boost operational efficiency and increase sales. This responds to an ongoing need for seamless omni-channel experiences in physical stores, which still account for a huge 85% of retail sales in the US (TimeTrade, 2016).

 Highlights include:

  • Interactive Shop Windows: An inventory-integrated touchscreen (connecting stock to screen in real time) allows customers to browse a visual directory of products from outside. Purchase, for consumers with the relevant retailer’s app, is supported by Bluetooth beacon tech. On selecting a product, the app activates – automatically opening on the corresponding e-commerce page.

    Additionally, the screen features augmented reality and foot-level cameras that allow customers to ‘try on’ shoes when standing in front of the display. Their chosen style is superimposed on-screen, shifting with viewer’s movements.
  • Intelligent Signage: Facial recognition tech able to identify shoppers’ ages and genders triggers personalised product/promotional suggestions.  
  • RFID Interactivity: RFID-tagged products sit on RFID-reader-embedded shelves and tabletops. When the items are picked up, product information, online reviews and linked products are displayed on screens adjacent to the shelves and on the tabletops themselves. The table also features a button to alert sales staff when the consumer requires further assistance.

See also Smart Stores: Connected Flagships and Future-Facing Fitting Rooms.