Electricals retailer Currys is trialling in-store robots to help customers navigate its product ranges more easily.
In partnership with Leeds based technology company UXG, the trial will see four Currys stores, including one of its flagships in Birmingham, introduce ‘KettyBot’.
The machines have unique AI technology, enabling them to navigate around obstacles, but also remember where they are for future reference, ensuring the safety of customers, store colleagues, as well as product displays.
During the trial, KettyBot will be ready and waiting to greet customers at the door, allowing them to use the large touchscreen to select the product area they would like to visit.
Once KettyBot knows what’s of interest, its off – leading the way to the location in which the customer is looking to browse their desired product range
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The interactive robots are also able to communicate with one another when on the same network.
In practice, should a store be split across two or more levels, one KettyBot will guide a customer to either the lift or stairs, and the other will be ready and waiting to continue guiding them to their desired product area.
“Initially created for use within the hospitality sector, we saw an opportunity for KettyBot to enhance our in-store customer experience for those who know what they want but need a little helping hand in finding it in store,” Currys head of commercial initiatives and retail design Ainsley Sykes said.
“So far, the trial has gone exceptionally well, with both customers and colleagues singing KettyBot’s praises.
“We are very much looking forward to conducting a thorough review during the trial and looking at how we continue to improve and enhance our in-store experience.”
Currys Birmingham store manager Richard Kirk added: “It’s fair to say that both myself and the team were a little concerned when we heard about robot trials happening in-store.”
“However, KettyBot is allowing us to spend much more time with those customers who need our expert advice when making their purchases, and the reaction from our customers has also been great to see. KettyBot has very quickly become a very much valued member of the team.”