Innovation at the cutting edge of retail

Waitrose recently opened a new store in Swindon and were keen to showcase new and innovative ideas to customers, city analysts, media and the main board of John Lewis Partnership. In particular, they were wanted to use the latest technology to support an improved customer experience, showcase rich content and improve loyalty.

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Showing the way with iBeacons

As part of this, a small team from Deloitte Digital created an in-store, iBeacon prototype. iBeacons are small wireless, Bluetooth enabled location-transmitters that allow mobile apps to recognise when a smartphone is nearby. The combined Waitrose and Deloitte team built a customer app and a Partner app, all linking into a Salesforce CRM solution. Within three weeks, working prototypes had been developed to enable this cutting edge technology to be demonstrated at the concept store.

The next level of retail experience

In conjunction with the iBeacons, the Waitrose app demonstrated concepts for personalised communications, recommendations, offers and content relevant to their shopping experience. This would require customers to opt-in to sharing their data in return for these services.

What’s in store for the future

The app is a proof of concept, but represents a significant step forward in the use of technology to interact with shoppers in a personalised way, and understand consumer behaviour at a very granular level. This is a fantastic example of how the combined power of Waitrose and Deloitte Digital can deliver exciting innovation at the cutting edge of retail.