Hello there, Poja Shams, researcher at CTF...2020-09-01
…..You are one of the researchers in DISCERN, what is the project about and what are you working on right now?
"The goal of the sub project that I am head of, is to create an increased understanding of customer behavior in stores and to investigate how digitalization (Internet of things) can have a positive impact on the customer experience. During the spring, we conducted a pilot study where we, by placing about 100 sensors on different products in a home electronics and appliances store, were able to test and create an infrastructure for measuring touch. We looked at how much, or little, customers touched different products in relation to sales, and experimented with surface structures on different products - different types of surfaces make us want to touch the product more, which in turn can lead to an increased tendency to choose the product. Now, we are analyzing our data and preparing for a larger study together with our partners."
How can this type of research be used?
"This is an objective way to get information and insight into customer behavior in real time. Increased knowledge of customer behavior and modern technology can be used by store owners and brand owners to develop new experiences and services in the physical retail stores that experience tough competition from e-commerce."
Why is this type of research important to you?
"Data is central to understanding the customers in stores. My dream is to join the physical and digital world in the store, to first and foremost be able to quantify customer behavior over time, but also study new opportunities to develop business models that are adapted to the digitalized store. Technology development has made it possible to collect data over time, which provides a clearer picture of how different factors in the store affect the customers. This, in combination with machine learning, can become a very powerful tool for us researchers to quantify behavior, and for retailers to gain control of the store and create new and better experiences for customers."
The research project “DISCERN - digital services and customer experiences” aims to contribute new knowledge about how digitalization affects customers and companies, with a focus on customer experiences and service development. The project is funded by the Knowledge Foundation over a three-year period and is conducted with support from Ikea, Volvo, Miller Graphics, Valmet, Tobii Pro, Kongsberg Maritime Sweden, Löfbergs, QBIM, Maxi Ica Supermarket and Thingssquare.