Research projects are only as strong as they are lived. Therefore the Dialego team including the two office dogs Othello and Frederick set out last week to visit the Shopping Lab Aachen. The mission of this concept store is challenging: to design and implement concepts for the shopping of the future. From apps and freight bikes to the digital shopping companion Pepper, 3D printing and more, you can discover a lot here. And the fact that visions are made with and for people was not only understood in Aachen, but consistently thought through to the end. The idea of the Shopping Lab is plain and simple: to bring people together. Retailers, consumers and experts meet here to shape the future. At least a first little bit. After all, the longest way – and that of inner-city trade in times of digitization is really tricky – begins with a first step.
Lunch break? Hanging around with Alexa
On site we first sat down at the set table, in order to explore all exhibits under detailed explanation by Patricia Graf of Café Total, even for some dancing and discussions with robot Pepper. Well, if Pepper knew exactly who he was supposed to talk to 😉 … The little one already seemed a bit overwhelmed with all the Dialegi around him. Nevertheless, we were pleased to see him live and to explore various scenarios – from information via touch display to shopping assistance in the store. As fascinating as the technology is, it was clear that some programming and, above all, learning in real-life operation was still needed before the digital shopping companion was ready for use. From our perspective, the question of the relevant benefits in particular still presents itself here as a large field of investigation.
The highlight of our visit was of course – and we are proud to announce this here – hanging around with Alexa. Even if the application is already available in the office, the tailored acoustic box including beanbag and digital speech assistant is an experience. But take a look for yourself. You can imagine the fun we had.
More than 100 people have already been interviewed by Alexa. And of course we are interested in what they think of the ideas we have developed in our Digital Design Thinking. What concrete questions and opinions they put forward, for example on the concept of “regionality above all”, which offers the possibility of being informed digitally about products from the regional surroundings and being able to buy them especially from small traders. So far, the idea won enormous support among consumers and has even developed into one of our strongest concepts currently in the race. We have already seen in past research projects that regionalism is a strong driver these days.
Would you like to get a little insight into our cockpit behind Alexa? With pleasure: Here you see a live analysis of the interviews through our text analysis tool story.ly. It lets us explore exactly what people like – or dislike – about the concept. Accordingly we can give the recommendation for our participating dealers. We would be happy to keep you informed about the progress of the project.
A visit to the Shopping Lab is worthwhile
The ShoppingLab in Aachen is open until mid-October 2018. You want to drop by? It is currently open from Wednesday to Friday. All details and hints to exciting Workshops can be found on the Website of the Future Forum for Local Retailers.