Hamburg News: Trade and Finance. High-class shopping area in the city centre shown.
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Shopping with avatars, AR and apps in inner cities

Surtrade research project working on solutions for omnichannel retailing

The Surtrade research project underway at Hamburg’s Kühne Logistics University (KLU) aims to give retailers the services required to make shopping as pleasant as possible for their customers. This comes against the backdrop of omnichannel commerce, which no longer distinguishes between stationary, online and mobile channels. The distinction is instead between customers, who decide on demand, how they learn about goods, receive and pay for them.

Applications for smaller dealers

“Customers have become accustomed to the selection and services of online shops and expect the same from stationary retailers,” said André Ludwig, Associate Professor of Computer Science in Logistics and Head of the Surtrade (Smart Urban Retail Services) research project at KLU. “To survive, they have to offer their customers a whole new shopping experience. We are working on a modular system from which every retailer can select the tools and services that suit him and his customers. This system allows us to support retailers on their way to becoming omnichannel retailers and also give smaller retailers the opportunity to compete against their larger competitors,” Ludwig explained.

Practical tests

Partners from diverse fields and including the University of Leipzig, the HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, Tchibo, SALT Solutions and CheckMobile are involved in the project. Practical tests of the first applications are underway. A real laboratory recently opened in downtown Leipzig where customers can use mixed-reality technology and let a virtual personality try on clothes.

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