Smart Shelf

Creating a connected and unique retail experience

The experience of shopping has become as important as the result of shopping. People are looking to be educated on the products they buy, and want to made to feel as if this item was tailored to them. Understanding this desire, we set out to create a prototype that would capture and analyze customer data and behavior in order to gain a more detailed perspective on the future of the retail space.

We asked
How can businesses form a greater personal bond with customers, while creating a solution that can be scaled across different locations and products? Additionally, how can we leverage AI to collect the data from in-store interactions in order to gain actionable insights?

Rationale execution
Smart Shelf is an interactive shoe display designed with the intention of being incorporated into the store of the future. It is an innovative ecosystem in which a camera is able to read a customer’s gender and approximate age, a database of information is available on each product, and a sensor reads which item has been removed from display so that the screen can show relevant information about the product and its social clout. Through agile methodologies and rapid iterations, as well as constant Q&A testing, we were able to create a prototype that gives retailers a clear insight into their customers’ motivations and shopping habits.

Ultimately, we created a multi-faceted, working prototype that engaged and intrigued users in equal measure. If scaled, the Smart Shelf essentially opens up a brand new way of selling and of measuring customer engagement. The device uses facial recognition technology, RFID scanners, and social media data to create a customized customer journey. The customized features include: gender-specific advertisements and product information, recommendations for related products, social media data and popularity map about each product, and an online ordering system that triggers in-store customer service. We are currently working to add a real-time analytic dashboard with AI recommendations that can be leveraged by marketing team to drive greater engagement and conversion from browsing to buying.

Departure questions
Q: As consumers have access to tools that unlock more of their personal data, will the fear of data ownership affect the adoption rates?
Q: Are grocery and retail stores adequately prepared to analyze and utilize the mass amounts of user data that they have been and will continue to collect to use in effective and positively impactful ways?
Q: Could the store of the future bring together different brands and retailers to create a complete end-to-end experience for all retail goods?
Q: Can the data derived from installations not only understand market trends, but begin to anticipate and shape them?

5 weeks

Project Tags
Industrial Design, UX, CX, Artificial Intelligence, Facial Recognition, RFID