Central regions | Technology & innovation

Smart screens in stores to display personalized ads

27 Aug '21
The Russian company Addreality (a resident of Skolkovo) has successfully completed a pilot implementation of the platform of the same name in retail stores in Oman and is ready to supply 725 Addreality Box devices to the sultanate, on which the platform operates. The partner of the Russians is the Omani company Mubashir, which operates in the field of digital outdoor advertising and smart technologies in retail.

Addreality is an artificial intelligence platform for displaying personalized advertising content on screens at the point of sale. Addreality Box devices are equipped with a camera and analyze the audience in real time. Facial features are broken down into multiple data points, which are compared to a previously trained model, and the system makes a reasonable judgment about the person's gender and age. Information in an impersonal form is sent to the platform, and the platform selects content that may interest a person in front of the screen. The data is not stored, but the platform for a short period of contact with the buyer even manages to provide the store with statistics on the number of visitors, their age and gender composition and displayed advertising materials, as well as the number of contacts with a unique audience, the duration of interaction and reactions to offers that were broadcast. The reaction is determined by how much time the customer has spent at the screen. Thanks to the platform, the store saves on marketing automation (one person can centrally manage all marketing at the points of sale), receives additional income due to increased sales of advertised products, and increases traffic thanks to screens that are visible from the entrance.

The Addreality platform is suitable for any retail store where there are more than 200 visitors per day and the network has over ten locations.
We also have solutions for small stores, but the maximum effect is achieved when the company has a lot of traffic. The solution is suitable for branded and multi-brand retailers, explains Sergey Galeev, CEO and co-founder of Addreality. The more stores, the higher the marginality of a retailer, the more they need our platform, because for such customers an increase in conversion to high-margin products (private labels or expensive commodity items) directly affects the rate of return.
Addreality has been developing the platform since 2014, when the company decided to focus on business processes within retail related to marketing communications. Just at this time, digital screens began to appear in large shopping centers, where advertisements and other useful information for buyers, for example, about promotions and discounts, were shown. Addreality decided that this information should be as client-oriented as possible.
If in online stores you can make personalized offers based on the history of visits or the history of previous purchases, as well as count customers, analyze their travel routes and, depending on this, offer goods or discounts, then why not move it offline? says Sergey Galeev. At that time the concept of Store as Media was gaining popularity in the world: a point of sale should be assessed not as a sales channel, but as a channel of emotional contact with an audience, and the effectiveness of this channel should be measured using new metrics.
Content managers of the network form hypotheses (ideas that influence the result), select advertising creatives. Then they are published on digital screens installed in a store or shopping center, hypotheses are tested and the most effective ones are left for a longer period. When choosing ideas, specialists proceed from the current knowledge about the audience of their products or trust this process to Addreality algorithms.

The algorithm recognizes and records about 40 parameters: which department the client visited, how much time he spent in it, what advertisement he saw and heard, at what moment he paid attention to it, how his facial expressions changed, that is, what emotions he displayed. Based on this data, the system builds a strategy for the user - it shows him only what interested him. For example, a woman walked into the makeup department and noticed a screen when a certain brand of lipstick was being advertised. Further on the screens it will be accompanied by advertisements of other lipsticks, and by its reaction the system will be able to understand which particular offer interested it more than others. Then he will offer a promotion for lipstick and continue to measure visitor engagement, making the offer more targeted.

If the screen gathers the target audience of a certain brand, for example, girls 18-27 years old, offers for this audience appear on it. If several people have gathered, for example, two girls and one man, there is a show for girls, that is, for a more numerous segment. If the screen has two representatives of different age and gender groups, an advertisement for a product that needs urgent promotion is broadcast. In other words, if it is a man and a woman, and the store needs to increase sales of shaving foam and other masculine products, the video will be focused on a man. The solution distinguishes a real person from an image from a poster, and a visitor from employees, and this is done automatically.

There is another scenario: there are 20 people in the store, six of them are men, gathered in a certain place in the trading floor. The system sees that they are showing interest in a certain product group, and the entire audiovisual design of the store, including LED walls, if any, switches to advertising for this target audience for a few minutes.
Our platform is a complete analogue of the online advertising management system, only for physical stores. Brands can place advertisements themselves, automating the process for themselves and reducing the cost of the process for the retailer, says Sergey Galeev in conclusion. Before joining the platform, one of our clients at the end of the year managed to agree on marketing placements next year with only 16 brands. After implementing Addreality, it can advertise 1230 brands. Automation, quantification and accurate targeting are the future of retail.
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