Synqera Revolutionizes Retail with Facial Recognition Technology

A few weeks ago we heard the news that Ulybka Radugi, a large Russian chain of cosmetics and household products, was partnering with Synqera, a technology startup, to pilot a digital personalized experience in their physical retail stores.  Synqera has developed a number of combined hardware-software products that are meant to incentivize a consumer's path to purchase and foster loyalty. 

The piloted solution, Simplate, is marketed as the first intelligent retail technology capable of leveraging a combination of big data and real-time customer response.  Essentially, Synqera's software uses facial recognition technology at checkout to analyze the customer's response to a proposed product and it syncs the data with additional information it derives from the customer's loyalty card and actual shopping basket.  The software then creates compelling visual media, taking into account each customer's unique purchase, shopping tendencies and response rate, and it delivers it in real time through the interactive customer display. The visual media includes offers, coupons and promotions for additional products, as well as compatible and complementary products. This highly personalized content can be also delivered outside the store through mobile apps, SMS text messages, e-mail or web-site content customization.

In an interview with Fast Company magazine, Synqera's COO, Filipp Shubin said that the project's goal is to "make the consumer experience more compelling than shopping online".  It is quite easy to understand the merits of a technology that is capable of recognizing that a customer is smiling when seeing an item and of presenting in real-time to that client an offer or a coupon for that same item. 

The same technology could eventually evolve to develop special promotions and coupons to customers that after seeing an item pull out their cell phones in a motion typical of "showrooming".  Synqera itself markets another product to be installed inside retail stores, which is meant to deliver interactive advertising, promotions and customer assistance and which eventually could be used to actively prevent "showrooming".  You could find more information on Synqera's products on their website.

Synqera's solutions or similar emotion-reading technologies are not currently available in the US or in a number of other countries.  However, they are bound to be widely utilized.  While most retailers will need to put some restriction on how far facial recognition can and needs to go, it is fair to say that most retailers will concede that emotion-reading technology could potentially revolutionize the in-store experience.  It could elevate, differentiate and even customize the customer experience and increase engagement and store traffic.  Nevertheless, any of these solutions could not successfully replace actual and live customer service.  Instead, retailers will need to properly integrate the technology within their store concepts to allow customer service and sales representatives to provide a flawless, unified and compelling customer experience.


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