Michael Valgsgaard, Leading Digital Transformation at IKEA, will lead a speaker session and contribute to a panel discussion titled 'Incorporating your mobile to maximise customer involvement through Augmented Reality' and 'Making a purchase not a payment, how to better know the customer to fulfil a seamless payment' at PayExpo Europe 2017, taking place 4 & 5 October at London's ExCeL.
What role do you see Augmented Reality playing in retail?
I am a strong believer that AR is one of these maturing technologies that have come to a point on the exponential development curve that it will completely change the way many retailers trade. I think the next few years you will see an explosion in both the technology and its applications throughout the world – going from a gimmick to something real that we will all love using.
What are some of the challenges or barriers to entry for Augmented Reality as part of the payments process?
As AR is taking the users into a new 3-dimensional space - for the first time you need to create a good user experience between the 3-dimensional world and the 2d world that people are familiar with from today's user interfaces. Once you have created that interaction well payment is easy.
Please describe some of IKEA's ongoing innovations in transforming the customer experience
IKEA is many different companies, but one Brand. We work across all companies to 'create a better everyday life for the many people', and as the world develops we are on a quest to stay even more relevant that ever before. Therefore, we have many initiatives from products development, to circular economy to improve in-store shopping. We develop in such way that everything we do complements our most important assets – the IKEA Stores.
What are some simple steps that retailers can use to understand their customers better?
Look at changes on all levels of their society and their business. Analyze from global macro trends to their local competitive markets and local customer needs. Find the three most important areas and solve that with the starting point in the customer – not with the starting point in themselves.
How can retailers address differing payments preferences to deliver a seamless customer transaction?
Let the customer be in 100% control by offering whatever option that they want.
Please describe some retail payment trend predictions for 2018
I think we will see 2018 as the year where crypto currency will go mainstream somewhere somehow. To start with maybe one only one country, and one use case – but most definitely coming out in the hands of the general public, maybe with the support from one of the big players today.