Retail specialists from the Tec’s Faculty of Excellence program talked to business owners about technology at Tec Guadalajara.
By Carlos González | Guadalajara Campus - 05/09/2024 Photo Carlos González

At Tec Guadalajara, Dhruv Grewal and Anne Roggeveen, distinguished visiting professors in retail and marketing from the Tec’s School of Business and its Retail Center, shared the latest findings on retail and its integration with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

They did so during the seminar Rethinking the Physical Store and the Purpose of Technology: Current Management Challenges,” co-organized by the Tec’s EGADE Business School, in which they talked with business owners and industry leaders.

The aim of the event with Grewal and Roggeveen, who are also researchers at Babson College (a renowned American university for entrepreneurship), was to strengthen research and training in the retail industry.

Professor Dhruv Grewal is also part of the Faculty of Excellence initiative, which aims to attract professors with outstanding credentials and international recognition to the Tec.



Both specialists talked to business owners in the region. Photo: Carlos González.
Inteligencia artificial para retailing, ponencia en el Tec Guadalajara.


Customizing the shopping experience

Anne Roggeveen pointed out that customizing the shopping experience is key and listed three types:

  • By the retailer - where technology is used to provide automated and customized recommendations.
  • By the customer – in which the consumer customizes the purchase, for example, by using a refill station (for refills of food, candy, or beverages).
  • Co-created by both - the above elements are blended to generate a new and unique product or experience for each consumer.

Physical stores allow us to customize the shopping experience or a product more closely to the consumer’s personal needs,” she said.

Based on her research, in which she interviewed retail experts from around the world, she listed other reasons in addition to customization that drive consumers to visit the physical store:

  • Discovery - consumers like to make discoveries during the shopping experience with the support of technology, employees, or the product itself.
  • Convenience - accessible, timely stores and products
  • Shoppingtainment - entertaining interactions with the brand or shop, which may or may not be product-related.

“Physical stores make it possible to customize the shopping experience or a product” - Anne Roggeveen.


How can technology help?

Dhruv Grewal divides technology into four categories: employee enhancement, employee efficiency, consumer enhancement, and consumer efficiency.

AI will take targeting to another level according to the type of consumer,” he said. These are the six technological tools mentioned by Grewal that are trending in terms of their application in retail strategies:


The screen shows one of the technologies that Grewal demonstrated: The robot associate. Photo: Carlos González.
Inteligencia artificial para retailing, ponencia en el Tec Guadalajara.


1. Magic Mirror

This visual technology consists of a module or box with a person-sized screen that captures people’s images with a camera. It is an interactive touchscreen which assists in customer management.

Consumers can use it to try on garments in different colors or check the catalog, sizes, types, etc.

While customer-enhancing technology results in more efficient shopping, they also enhance and create a better customer experience,said the specialist.

This allows retailers’ apps to maximize the in-store experience and accessibility while providing digital interactions in physical shopping environments and increasing in-store communications.


“AI will take targeting to another level according to the type of consumer.” - Dhruv Grewal


2. Robot associates

Grewal explains that these robots are not necessarily humanoid but almost the size of a real person, performing the role of an employee in the shop.

They can walk the aisles with customers, guide them through the product, make complementary suggestions, and direct them to the correct shelf, among other functions.

These have a display which provides information to consumers in a visual way and gives them access to menus, catalogs, or product categories.

3. QR codes

The professor said that this strategy includes using QR (quick response) codes found on the label or directly stuck onto the product. When read with a cellphone, they allow customers to access extra, detailed information, promotions, or coupons.



AI technologies will take targeting to another level, said the specialist. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez.
Inteligencia artificial para retailing, ponencia en el Tec Guadalajara.


4. Digital touch walls

These are large, wall-mounted interactive displays with information about a brand or section of the store, which Grewal says increase efficiency by eliminating obstacles and inconveniences.

Grewal also says they “improve the effective browsing of shop inventories and better understanding of the products at checkout.”


5. Enhanced associate Cyborg

This wearable technology is described as a head-worn device that allows information to be viewed on a mini-display near the eye, increasing the materials available and personalizing information to help employees to improve their sales skills.


6. Electronic Shelf Edge

This is an established trend in some countries. Traditional printed labeling is scrapped and replaced by small digital devices the size of a label placed on the shelf edge.

This allows for more accurate and faster price changes, reduces the margin of error for manual or printed labeling, and allows more product data to be displayed.


Both talks were given at the Tec’s Guadalajara campus. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez.
Inteligencia artificial para retailing, ponencia en el Tec Guadalajara.


Boosting retail updates

Dhruv Grewal and Anne Roggeveen’s visit to Tec Guadalajara included various training and refresher activities for local retail business owners, students, and researchers from the School of Business and the Retail Center.

Faculty of Excellence members enhance the Tec’s learning experiences by sharing cutting-edge knowledge and participating in projects with students, faculty, researchers, and other partners.

The Retail Center promotes retail development in Mexico by training professionals specialized in the area, implementing programs for executives, and conducting consultancy and research activities.

At the Retail Center, we’re designing technological mentoring for the industry, strengthened by our accumulated knowledge and existing value partnerships,” said María Elena Vázquez, National Dean of the School of Business.

She invited people to subscribe to the center’s information “to be updated on these new services that will strengthen their decision-making, supported by our faculty,” she concluded.




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