Carrefour Romania is developing a test project in partnership with the start-up AiSA (Artificial Intelligence Space Analytics), a participant the retailer has mentored during last year’s edition of Innovation Labs, the renowned acceleration program for technical newly established businesses. The Customer Engagement Module solution, developed by AiSA and defined under the coordination of Carrefour Romania specialists, aims to improve the experience of customers in stores and facilitate the interaction with their employees, by using technology. The project will take place in the Băneasa hypermarket, Bucharest, for a two months period, starting with April.
Carrefour Romania supports innovation and announces its involvement in the tenth edition of Innovation Labs, after 8 years of partnership, during which the retailer has mentored dozens of young teams from 17 universities in 8 cities that proposed solutions for the retail industry. In fact, a few years ago, the Fullscreen Digital start-up, mentored by Carrefour Romania representatives, developed a solution that was later used by the company in the construction of the Carrefour application. The collaboration with the acceleration program for start-ups continues at this year’s edition, which started with the first hackathons in Cluj and Timișoara (March 12-13) and Iasi, Sibiu, and Bucharest (March 19-20), and were attended by mentors and jurors from Carrefour Romania.The teams selected following the hackathon sessions entered the development and mentoring program for the next 5 months, having regular interactions with mentors and potential investors and thus entering the world of digital innovation and technical entrepreneurship.
The application of the solution supported during last year’s edition of the program, Customer Engagement Module is part of the retail suite of the start-up AiSA and comes in response to the new digital market reform in recent years, using process automation to improve the operational flow in physical stores. The solution involves store employees wearing a bracelet, which alerts them by vibrating signals when a customer needs assistance in the store, because he can request support through a tablet placed on the shelf. The solution runs on Android devices and has a autonomy of over 8 hours. The bracelets will be worn by rotation by the store staff, and there are involved over 20 employees in the pilot project, which will serve five areas of the Carrefour Băneasa store, where there is a high need for sales assistance on departments such as: large and small appliances, audio-video, childcare, seasonal articles and wine.
“We have been supporting innovation ever since its first manifestations and look forward to continuing our strategic partnership with Innovation Labs. In fact, through each participation, we want to mentor and guide the participants towards useful and, especially, implementable solutions. In addition to streamlining key in-store processes, we look to constantly improve the consumer experience and redefine how our customers relate to us. With this in mind, we build a Carrefour universe that is intuitive, easy to navigate, and accurate in all environments in which we operate as a business with an omnichannel profile – online and offline. Our mindset is focused on innovations, solutions, and continuous improvement, so we are glad to be able to test a new solution together with a start-up that we have supported and in which project we believe”, declared Nicolae Drîmbu, Head of Innovation, Carrefour Romania.
The pilot project in the Carrefour Băneasa store starts in April for a period of two months. Thus, in June, it will be possible to draw the first conclusions based on the results obtained.
“By combining physical space devices with the artificial intelligence engine and our own AiSA software, we are able to create networks that improve and exponentially shorten the operational flow. In this way, our clients can independently monitor key activities and make informed decisions by using data, saving time and money. We are delighted with the new partnership with Carrefour Romania and look forward to working together to streamline their business and improve the customer experience through the solutions we have developed together” – added Tomer Mozafi, CEO of the start-up AiSA.
The AiSA team consists of 5 members, with a background of educational specialization at faculties such as the Polytechnic University of Bucharest – Faculty of Automation and Computers, University of Groningen – Artificial Intelligence, University of Birmingham – Business Management & Marketing. The current team formula has been consolidated in the 2021 edition of the pre-acceleration program for technical start-ups, Innovation Labs. By participating in this mentoring program, the team expanded and gained access to an ecosystem conducive to validating and testing solutions, collaborating with program partners such as Carrefour Romania, which identified the potential of the Customer Engagement Module solution and helped the team to finalize the solution. At the end of the program, the progress made by AiSA was rewarded with two awards in the Demo Day final: the Audience Award of the Innovation Labs 2021 edition and the Start-up Award with the most potential, offered by Carrefour Romania.