Meet Bo the ‘retail robot’ at intu Lakeside
From Friday 3 November – Sunday 5 September, a robotic retail assistant will be at intu Lakeside to test shoppers’ reactions
An online personal shopper service, where customers can buy as they watch, and a live-chat facility are two more new technologies being trialled with intu Lakeside shoppers this month
Bo, Europe’s first ever shopping centre robot, will interact with shoppers at intu Lakeside, direct them to different parts of the centre and ask them about their shopping experience. It will even tell them about special offers they can take up at different shops in the centre.
Robot specialist BotsAndUs, the brains behind the one-meter-high ‘retail robot’, is one of seven start-up businesses collaborating with owner intu to test new retail technology at its shopping centres and online at intu.co.uk, as part of a programme called intu Accelerate.
intu has also been working with start-up GoInStore on an online personal shopper service where customers can buy as they watch that was live-streamed from intu Lakeside all week, the first initiative of its kind at a European shopping centre
The daily videos have been hosted by intu Lakeside’s personal shopper Carlene Noel who runs a free personal stylist experience in the centre are were streamed using smartphone technology by GoInStore. They offered online shoppers advice on everything from fashion to furniture with the opportunity to instantly buy the items featured.
And live-chat facility TokyWoky has gone live on intu Lakeside’s website this week, giving customers the chance to receive real time advice from fellow shoppers about the shopping experience at the centre and online at intu.co.uk.
David Fischel, intu chief executive, said: “Retail has always been an inventive industry and the UK has remained at the forefront of this. We’ve launched intu Accelerate to drive forward innovative technology that will entertain and engage shoppers and help businesses to flourish. It’s giving talented new businesses like BotsandUs, GoInStore and TokyWoky the opportunity to trial their ideas within live environments and test their potential to shape the future of retail.”
Andrei Danescu, BotsAndUs CEO, said: “Robots in retail are still very much a novelty, especially when supporting shoppers with practical tasks such as helping them to find what they are looking for or to take advantage of the latest promotions. We are extremely excited to work with intu and bring Bo to a British shopping centre in a European premiere.”
Aman Khurana, GoInStore co-founder, said: “It’s been fantastic working with intu to bring a personal shopping experience usually only found in-store to a large online audience in the run up to Christmas. And we’re proud that the technology allows shoppers to buy the items featured whilst they watch the broadcast.”