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Finnish firm Fuvvr created a virtual reality store for children to shop in a Lapland-esque setting

Digital retail startup project posts findings

Street Smart Retail, a three-year European research and development programme, has closed after helping to launch 50 inventions that allow traditional retailers to tap into digital markets.

The programme was led by EIT Digital, part of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology. Products and services launched during the programme were sold to customers in Europe, North America, Asia and selected Latin American countries.

The aim of Street Smart Retail was to bring new digital capacity to shop owners, enabling them to leverage opportunities coming from omnichannel retailing including augmented and virtual reality tools in the layout of stores, sales and marketing apps, as well as stock management systems.

Italian company Reply created an app to help customers find their way around Ostermann shops, the largest furnishing company in Germany.

BT Italia set up interactive pop-up stores where customers made use of augmented dressing rooms and had their moves tracked by sensors that delivered information about their shopping behaviour.

Petri Liuha, digital industry leader at EIT Digital, said: “The digital transformation has already shaped the retail sector in an irrevocable way. EIT Digital and partners have now created tools and solutions for retail chains or even smaller merchants so they can provide new levels of service to their customers in a scalable and affordable manner.”

Other examples of innovations created include WCards and OliSignage, two products launched by Italian company Olivetti, part of TIM Group. WCards is a digital marketing platform that enables shop managers to create e-loyalty programs, e-coupons, e-scratch&win, social word-of-mouth campaigns and monitor sales promotion and  performance.

Finnish company Fuvvr, also part of Street Smart Retail, created virtual worlds where shopping takes place in unusual and inspiring settings, such as the snowy hills of Lapland.

ThinkIn created RetailerIN, an in-store analytics platform which allows retailers to analyse customer behaviour to optimise store operations and increase profitability.

Spaceify, a University of Helsinki spin-off, developed a disruptive technology for self-checkout payments, similar to Amazon Go, allowing customers to buy in-store without the need of an additional mobile application.

“Overall, more than 50 service solutions of in-store shopping experiences for events, malls, chains and brands were sold in the last three years in Italy, Germany, Finland, Norway, UK, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain, China, Canada and US, Brazil and Chile,” said Street Smart Retail’s activity leader Sandro Battisti.

Clients included big brands such as Microsoft, IBM, FCA, Clear Channel, Auchan Gallerie, S-Group, Tinaba and Santander Bank.

The Street Smart Retail team is now planning to launch a company that will focus on in-store support for sales assistants.

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