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Rewe shopkeeper guides customers by voice with Prestige

Husein Dugonjic, independent shopkeeper at Rewe, has deployed a voice-based wayfinding system in his store in Unterschleissheim near Munich. The solution comes from Online Software AG and relies on Alexa. The voice system from Amazon greets customers at the entrance and when asked explains where they can find the goods they are looking for. In addition, a large flat screen above the information desk shows the way on a map of the sales floor.

After extensive renovation work, Dugonjic wanted to offer his customers a modern store with digital components. These are set to connect to the online world and its associated services, explains the Rewe retailer. In this way, he is also offering additional services to customers who are not so keen on asking sales staff.

On a sales area of almost 1700 square metres, Rewe Dugonjic offers an assortment of about 20,000 articles for daily needs. The retailer places special emphasis on fresh produce, regional products, and convenience.

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Focused on the essentials

The digital pilot is controlled by Prestige Enterprise software from Online Software AG. The application from the Heidelberg-based specialist for in-store communication manages all content. Store staff can easily modify or add to these.

Dugonjic deliberately focused Alexa’s instore function on the question ‘where can I find what’. Initially, the application should be as simple as possible. The system can certainly be expanded in the future. For example, it could answer questions about the origin or ingredients of the products.

The digital guide not only helps visitors to the market. Behind the scenes, it offers the retailer valuable insights into customers’ wishes. The software registers all enquiries and evaluates them. Consequently, Dugonjic recognises when customers are frequently looking for articles that he does not have in his assortment. Information that the merchandise management system cannot provide, and which helps him optimise the assortment. At the same time, these insights remain safely in-house. Online Software only uses Alexa as an output medium. The device is not connected to the Amazon Cloud. All data is processed exclusively by the Prestige Enterprise Server, as the software house assured the Retail Optimiser.

Rewe Dugonjic shows live streams from the producer's farm via Tierwohl.tv. (Photo: Online Software AG)

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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