The role of a digital shopping assistant in physical stores

Blog post author
Andreas Hassellöf
May 28, 2019
  • Increase revenues from cross-selling and up-selling
  • Help customers navigate your physical and online stores
  • Create a unified commerce shopping experience in store
  • Provide enriched customer service

Retailers and customers may not realize how much we've all come to rely on virtual shopping assistants when shopping online. Whether you're using a Web site or a mobile app, a well-designed online store uses personalized AI powered recommendations to help you find what you're looking for using. The virtual assistant uses machine learning algorithms to identify items that customers may want and identifies cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, based on their individual purchase history and product review scores. That can help drive purchasing decisions and build customer loyalty. 

Using modern in-store technology, bricks and mortar stores can now offer the same functionality, and bring the benefits of online shopping right into the store.


An endless aisle kiosk or interactive digital signage can show customers a wide range of real time product information, including items or options that are not on display on the shelves. This is a perfect opportunity to use artificial intelligence to suggest similar or related products, even if they're only available online. If the customer's looking at electronic goods, you could suggest batteries, cords, accessories or extended warranties. Or suggest similar items that have been well reviewed, even if they're a little more expensive.

If you have a wayfinder built into the kiosk, you can even help the customer find the item there and then. If they're not ready to make a purchase right away, they can download product information or coupons to their phone and make a purchase later, either online or when they return to the store.


For maximum effect, the kiosk should be able to recognize the individual and customize the results for each person. This can be done in a number of ways. For example, the device may be able to read a credit or loyalty card or read a barcode on a phone app to identify a specific individual. This can then utilize their purchase history and their wish lists, and any current marketing campaigns to give them highly personalized recommendations and coupons. For example, a customer who previously bought a games console may be interested in buying games or accessories. You can use the exact same algorithms in-store that you use on your Web site to fine-tune those recommendations.

If individual identification is not available, or the customer doesn't want to give it to you, the device may be able to use a camera and machine vision to distinguish between male and female, adult and child, and present appropriate options. Devices equipped with voice input can determine the speaker's language and automatically adjust the displayed text to suit.

This effectively transforms the kiosk into a powerful personal shopping assistant, especially when you can integrate it with the customer's personal mobile device. It brings together the best of online and physical shopping, as well as adding a sense of fun.

More about Ombori digital shopping assistants
We offer several configurations of our Ombori Grid Devices which offer different functionality depending on the needs of each client. We put beautiful and attention grabbing touch screens in the store which grab the customer's attention and make it easy for them to browse product information, locate items within the store, and make purchases.

Devices are available in different sizes depending on individual store requirements, including:

  • 32” Hero Unit: Attention grabbing, impossible to miss, educates the customer
  • 12” Surface Pro: Beautiful tablet, easy to place anywhere in the store
  • 10” Surface Go: Lower capex for the areas where more units matter more than screen size

Based on Ombori Grid platform

  • In-store technology platform built on Microsoft Azure
  • Stable, fully-managed devices, with easy to use interface
  • Includes monitoring, analytics and CMS

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