Surekha Ragavan
Jul 2, 2020

Case study: How Infiniti built a smart retail showroom in Shenzhen

Big data, facial recognition, mixed reality—the makings of a car showroom from the future.

Brief

Like many automotive brands, Infiniti set out to build a showroom. But the brand envisioned it to be beyond just a space to display its products. It wanted the centre to demonstrate smart retail systems and enable customer experience research. The temporary centre—which operated between October and December last year—would use ‘new retail’ tech and big data to develop effective communications with customers. It would have to be engaging, immersive, and ultimately boost brand preference and sales.

Execution

Brand experience agency Pico was brought in for the project and it began with activating the interactivity and tech experience that lay at the core of the centre. Upon entry, visitors’ first contact with the centre would be combined with pre-event invitation, on-site exhibition, and after-sales services using Pico’s event management offerings.

In the centre’s interactive zones, augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) experiences were built. Visitors could engage with AR through tablets and models, while additional brand details can be explored via an AR or MR journey. Elsewhere, interconnected touch and projection screens present product highlights as an interactive experience with rich audio and video elements. The facility also offers test drives and after-sale pickup services.

Facial recognition tech was also a big part of the centre. To build this, Pico integrated resources from all parties to create a complete data chain for the client. The system scanned visitors’ faces upon entry, transmitting the data to a back-end database. Records of existing customers’ past consumption behaviour are then sent to salespersons, enabling the latter to tailor their services to individual needs. Other information such as customers’ names, products of interest, zones visited and time spent, and even estimated times to completing sales, are collected and compiled into big data to facilitate the sales process and future activities.

Results

As a result, this digital system and database will eventually be a feature across all Infiniti showrooms in China. Based on records of past behaviour, showroom staff can immediately attend to the preferences of visitors and offer more personalised service.

After two months of operations, sales reached four times the expected volume and 15,000 visitors entered the facility, which exceeded the client’s target. An additional 80 media representatives visited the centre.

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