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El Corte Inglés teams up with Telefónica on smart home device

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One of Spain’s largest retailers, El Corte Inglés, has signed a deal which will allow customers to browse its products through a smart home device.

The retailer, Spain’s only department store group and the largest in Europe, has partnered with Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica to integrate its catalogue into the latter’s Movistar Home device.

Designed primarily to allow Telefónica’s subscribers to manage their connectivity packages and browse television shows, the device offers voice control capabilities and an eight-inch display. It uses the telecom operator’s proprietary artificial intelligence agent Aura.

One feature will allow customers to discover products in a specialised El Corte Inglés catalogue related to the content that they are watching.

Customers will be able to browse the catalogue and make purchases using Aura, the telecom operator’s virtual assistant with AI capabilities.

Travel company Iberia has also signed up as a partner, with customers set to be able to make queries about the status of their flights. Other new features set to be added over the coming months.

The device will be rolled out to customers of specific Telefónica packages from 15 November, with a marketing campaign scheduled for Christmas.

Chema Alonso, chief data officer at Telefónica, said working with the likes of El Corte Inglés would allow “new experiences at home.”

“[We] are working with major players to do this, taking advantage of the differential value provided by the display and the connection with the television service.

“With the launch of these Movistar Home’s new features we advance in the creation of an ecosystem in which the main companies in the industry are present.”

2017 saw El Corte Ingles reach over 370 million visits a year on its main retail websites, up 21 percent compared to 2016. The company invested €425 million during the financial year, of which it said a “considerable part” was focused on digital activities.

The cornerstone of the retailer’s digital strategy is to integrate its physical and online operations and work to convert customers who use only one channel into multi-channel shoppers.

El Corte Inglés in numbers

2017 turnover: €15,935

Employees: 92,078

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