MediaMarkt offers its customers in-store smartphone navigation

September 6, 2019 by
Nico Hoeijmans

mediamarktSince the end of July, MediaMarkt is testing applications in in-store navigation and location-based services for the first time in Germany: In Gründau-Lieblos in Hesse, customers can use their smartphones to be guided precisely to their desired product in the market via an app and thus benefit from a faster and easier product search. This will also relieve salespeople, who will have more time to provide personal consulting. At the same time, the app supports employees with inventorying and processing picking lists for Click & Collect orders from the online shop.

Buying a new printer cartridge is often easier said than done. The first step is to find the right shelf in the store. And then the cartridge is hidden like a needle in a haystack among many other products. MediaMarkt now simplifies finding the right product for its customers: At the test store in Gründau-Lieblos, they can download the new Store Guide app onto their smartphones, search for the desired product and then be navigated to it. In addition, the app also provides further detailed information on the products. Besides, individual wish lists can be created and special offers called up.

For the pilot project, MediaMarkt is using a light-based technology from Signify. With “Visible Light Communication” (VLC) technology, intelligent ceiling luminaires emit a modulated light with identification codes invisible to humans. These light signals are received and read by an app developed by MediaMarktSaturn in collaboration with Novomind via the smartphone’s camera. This makes it possible to precisely determine the customer’s location. The app then links this to the location of the product being searched for and guides the customer to it. MediaMarkt employees scan the product in advance using a special app, which also links it to the corresponding electronic price tag so that the app finds the correct position of the product in the store. With this process, the VLC technology automatically locates the product location and stores its coordinates in the customer app’s store plan. Employees will also be supported by the Tory inventory robot in the future.

Location-based services

“Location-based services are offering our customers, us as retailers, and our employees new experiences and added value,” explains Sonja Moosburger, Managing Director of MediaMarktSaturn’s N3XT innovation unit. “For us, in-store navigation is the basis for many other applications. At the same time, we are further expanding our multichannel strategy by combining the best of the digital and analogue worlds.”

The pilot project in Gründau-Lieblos is initially scheduled to last several months. Besides the product search function for customers, further use cases for the store employees will also be tested, such as the creation of inventory or picking lists for online orders that will be picked up by the customer at the store. The store management and the head office in Ingolstadt will also receive additional information from the data gained, for category management and central planning of sales areas, for example.

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