#NRF2020: Beware of using technology to enhance retail experience, warns LEGO

The LEGO Group is all about experience and creating moments and memories for its customers of all ages. Using technology to create that experiential differentiator is not always the answer though, LEGO warns.

Technology in-store has to be supplemented by the store associates, said Martin Urrutia Islas, head of global retail innovation at The LEGO Group, speaking at NRF2020 in New York City. “You can have the best technology in the world but if it’s not supported by customer service and engagement, it will fall short.

“It’s essential to define the role and purpose of technology in the retail space,” he continued. “A lot of technology is really cool and interesting but if it doesn’t have a defined role and place, it serves no purpose.” Technology shouldn’t be deployed just for technology’s sake, he continued. 

Urrutia Islas talked to a packed audience about how the world’s most popular toy company replicates the experience and engagement of ‘Lego House’ in Denmark to its retail stores. “Our vision is that our retail stores are as much fun as when you play and build at home. It should be about memories, moments and experience.” 

Urrutia Islas considers the expectations from LEGO’s customers. “They want inspiration, they want engagement and they want to be recognised shoppers. Our service should be best in class in all of our stores. We create unique, memorable and sharable [via social media] experiences in the LEGO stores.” 

LEGO has launched Minifigure factories in a few selected stores where customers can design their own minifigures on computers in store, which are then made to take home. It’s a technology innovation which is both experiential and personalised. 

“We want to add new experiences that will activate multiple senses for our customers when visiting a LEGO store. Our new innovations build on traditions with modern twists,” he concluded.