Say hello to Ana, a virtual greeter who offers a glimpse into the future of retailing…and banking.
At 5 feet 8 inches in heels, Ana is a lifelike digital image projected on a glass tower at the heart of retailer The Bay’s flagship Toronto store, welcoming passersby to its new interactive display of high-end gifts.
The department store’s test of the svelte virtual employee, whose talking is prompted by sensors in the ceiling when people approach her, is among an array of high-tech initiatives that retailers are starting to embrace to help cut costs and pump up business.
Financial service providers should take note as well. Many wrestle with the conundrum of staffing the greeter desk/concierge desk to provide that first human point-of-contact with branch visitors vs. the cost of dedicating a full-time associate to the task.
Ana may be the answer. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. K&D is already deploying sensors to activate digital signage greetings. Why not take it up a notch and employ your own Ana?