About METRO Customer Experience and Innovation Priorities
We have four pillars for in-store innovation: VR/AR (immersive media), Smart Store, Smart Check-out and Sustainable Store.
In the area of VR/AR (immersive media), we are testing how we can improve our customers' in-store shopping experience by AR technology run on their own smartphones. We bring our customers additional product information like recipes, ingredients and traceability info.
In the Smart Store branch, we run a pilot on in-store scanning and in-store navigation as well as a test of a picture recognition robot for locating misplaced or missing products.
Our main Smart Check-out project is MAKRO Scan in the Czech Republic where users scan the products with their phones and check out the trolley automatically.
Finally, as part of the Sustainable Store pillar, we work with food waste handling and set up a digital platform dedicated to food waste reduction.We are going to talk about some of the innovations that we have successfully been testing in the METRO store environment.
We are going to talk about some of the innovations that we have successfully been testing in the METRO store environment.
Compact Store Concept in France, 2016
While e-commerce and delivery are growing, customers still want to have physical stores and pick some of the products personally. However, modern stores should be omnichannel and well-organised, meet the requirements of busy people and provide background information about the products.
Designing the Concept in Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is a technology that creates interactive experiences in digitally generated environments, where the user’s physical presence is simulated in a realistic and immersive space. Users are able to look around, move and interact with features and items that are depicted in a headset, usually with a controller and their own body’s movements.
Modern companies are increasingly using virtual reality technology for interactive prototypes or immersive testing scenarios. This form of rapid prototyping helps save time and resources, and avoid costly mistakes.
We have taken this opportunity to the next level, not only creating a VR prototype to help visualize the Compact Store and improve design decision making, but also taking customers on a virtual journey through the store before its actual completion in order to observe, collect data, and generate insights.
We built the market in VR with its new architecture, products and digital offerings. With our local customers, we immersed ourselves in this virtual world and have directly incorporated their suggestions for improvement into the planning of the market. It helped us visualize the gaps in the planning or communication before investing in actual physical construction.