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#RBTE2018: Schuh creates competitive advantage with bespoke systems

Schuh systems manager Blair Milligan says a bespoke set of systems including natural language processing and augmented reality (AR) tech gives the retailer a competitive advantage.

The Scottish footwear brand has an in-house team of “really passionate” developers based in Livingstone developing unique technology solutions.

Milligan said: “We are backed by a bespoke set of systems that give us flexibility and allows us to have competitive advantage. It is about wanting to do better and do fun things.”

Schuh screens every customer email with natural language processing technology, which ascertains if the email expresses a negative, positive or neutral sentiment.

If it is a positive email it will be passed to new members of staff to deal with, but trickier negative emails will be handled by an experienced member of staff.

Outgoing emails to customers that are deemed negative will be queued and adjusted to avoid any negative sentiment before being sent out.  

Schuh has also developed a unique AR application to help with the visual merchandising of its shop windows using the retailer’s ‘iScan’ device, which is a staff smartphone that they keep hanging around their neck.

Staff can scan the window display and the AR technology recognises the shoe and provides the store assistant with details of how many sales the product has had and where it sits on the best seller list.

In this way the staff member can adjust the window display to place the best selling products to the fore. The technology also helps less experienced staff significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to visually merchandise the store.

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