Saturn receives Retail Technology Award 2018 for HoloTour featuring Paula the Avatar

Ingolstadt, 28.2.2018: Consumer electronics retailer Saturn has been awarded a Retail Technology Award (reta) by the EHI Retail Institute for the second year in a row. The prize was presented for Saturn’s augmented reality app ‘HoloTour with Paula’, which customers were invited to try out last year in 20 German cities. Over 70% of the customers who tested the HoloTour said afterwards in a survey that they could well imagine going shopping with augmented or virtual reality in the future. Paula the Avatar is the virtual counterpart to Paul the Robot, who also helped Saturn garner a reta last year.

At Saturn, experiencing tech is at the forefront. Accordingly, it’s constantly exploring new avenues in its determination to harness innovative technology for the retail sector and hence further boost customer satisfaction. Winning the EHI Retail Institute’s reta again is regarded by Saturn as an endorsement of its efforts to be a technology driver in the retail industry. “Paula has given us important insights about ways in which augmented reality can be put to practical use as well as how customers get to grips with the new technology,” explained Martin Wild, Chief Innovation Officer of the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group. “We’re delighted about the extremely positive response. Most of all, augmented reality enables the further personalization and customization of the bricks-and-mortar shopping experience.”

The huge potential offered by augmented reality was also underlined by the jury of reta 2018, which was made up of leading representatives of industry, universities and research centres. Explaining its decision, the jury emphasized the “practical, very innovative deployment of augmented reality to aid customers.” It also praised Paula’s “powerful product demonstration and exemplary navigation through the store” and declared that the “cutting-edge app had high activation potential.”

Enhancing reality with virtual content

Augmented reality – the expansion of perception by virtual content projected into real environments – is one of the most exciting new areas of information technology. To test its potential in retail, Saturn developed a shopping experience comprising animated holograms and multimedia content presented on Microsoft HoloLens smartglasses. Paula the Avatar plays the main role as an amiable companion through the tech store. Once customers have put on the HoloLens, they can see Paula as a three-dimensional figure hovering ahead of them as they walk through the store. And on the way, she stops off to explain the ins and outs of some of the very latest products on display.

High added value for customers

The augmented reality app was demonstrated during the HoloTour tour of 20 Saturn stores in Germany from May to July 2017. Several thousand customers attended and got a taste of what shopping might look like one day. Over 90 per cent of the roughly 1,300 participants rated the HoloTour itself as good or very good. And about 70 per cent stated they would benefit from shopping with the help of AR and VR solutions in the future, indicating the enormous potential of this technology for retailers.

reta held for the 11th time

Every year at the retail technology awards europe, prizes are awarded to twelve retail companies for their use of outstanding, state-of-the-art IT solutions in the categories Best Customer Experience, Best In-Store Solution, Best Enterprise Solution and Best Omnichannel Solution. This year, the retas were presented on 27 February in Düsseldorf during EuroCIS, the leading trade show for retail technology.

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