O2 and Samsung: Bringing the future of retail to life

by Caroline Gorski, Managing Partner for Retail & Leisure

This week, O2 joined forced with Samsung at their Futurescape pop-up shop in Westfield Shopping Centre. The event was an ideal opportunity for retailers to discover the technology they need to be aware of, and consider implementing, in order to prepare for the future.

The Samsung Gear VR headset was one of many state-of-the-art devices on display. The virtual reality technology has the potential to assist with store design by allowing the user to view a virtual store. Once in their virtual store they can experiment with colours, fabrics and lighting to help visualise the overall look and feel before build. Samsung also demonstrated the benefits of wearable technology by showing how shop floor employees could use smart watches to check stock without leaving the customer’s side.

With the rise of online shopping, showrooming and increasingly tech-savvy shoppers, these are just some of the technologies retailers should be getting creative with in order to retain footfall to the high street.

Experiential Retail from O2 offers of a range of digital solutions that can help retailers attract, understand and engage with their customers more effectively ultimately increasing dwell time, brand loyalty and customer insight.

Some of the solutions O2 showcased at the event included;

  • 4G, O2 Wifi and Cellular WAN
  • Interactive Messaging
  • Digital and interactive signage
  • Smart Steps: an anonymised and aggregated data analytics tool
  • TokBox: a live video assisted selling application
  • RotaGeek: an intelligent staff scheduling application
  • Quidini: a virtual queue and appointment management system
  • Jollydeck: a platform that delivers and monitors gamified training for employees

TokBox, RotaGeek, Quidini and Jollydeck have all been backed by Wayra, Telefónica’s startup accelerator, and are now helping to transform businesses for the benefit of customers and employees alike.

On the day, I caught up with Martyn Wallace, Head of Digital Channel Sales at O2 who said: “it’s quite apparent with the technology being showcased today that the offline and online worlds of retail are merging together. The new currency within retail is definitely customer data. And how you use that data to create a unique customer experience can instil loyalty and of course impact the bottom line.  As Telefonica has transitioned to a digital telco, we can provide the connectivity platform to support this new technology whether it requires a WAN, broadband, fixed or cellular architecture. On top of the connectivity we also have the key partnerships, expertise and digital technology, including a range of Samsung hardware, to run digital services which can help our retail clients advance from where they are today to embracing the future of retail now.”

The future of the high street is dependent on retailers experimenting with technology and going digital. O2’s goal is to work with retail and leisure businesses to develop locations that offer interactive, personalised and memorable digital experiences that keep their customers coming back for more.

Click here to find out more about Experiential Retail or tweet me @CarolineGorski using #O2forRetail to join the discussion.