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Clas Ohlson and Microsoft introduce digital ‘window shopping’ in Stockholm lab store

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Swedish home and hardware retailer Clas Ohlson has rolled out digital screens in its Stockholm store in an effort to lure in shoppers.

Working with Microsoft and Ombori, the retailer has introduced the screens in the Clas Ohlson Lab Store in Sweden’s capital, one of several such premises which the retailer uses to test innovations before rolling them out more widely.

One screen, located in the window of the store, displays promotional images for passers-by and then is automatically activated when users stop to look at it. Customers can then scan a QR code with their smartphone and then interact with the display by moving their device around, allowing them to search through products.

The retailer has also introduced similar screens inside the store showing product demos and reviews as well as larger screens that sales assistants can use via an app on their devices.

The displays are integrated with the retailer’s ecommerce site, meaning that customers can move online and buy the products after browsing.

Microsoft and Ombori previously collaborated on two projects for retailer H&M. One allowed online customers to search for relevant items online by uploading a photo while another introduced a voice-activated mirror in its New York store.

In March, Clas Ohlson launched a new strategic plan which aims to invest in its digital platforms and create an integrated online interface for customers. It aims to double online sales every other year while increasing flexibility in its store network.

According to an investor presentation in May, the digital channel represents only 3.5% of the company’s sales which is behind the overall penetration in the market. In the last financial year its online sales increased 33% to reach SEK 295 million (€28 million).

Clas Ohlson in numbers

2017 revenue: SEK 8.21 billion (€800 million)

Employees: c. 5000

Stores: c.230

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