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Chevron pilots smart signage with 'digital humans' in three ExtraMile c-stores

Chevron Samsung digital human
Chevron is piloting AI-generated virtual beings at an Extra Mile store.

Chevron is testing the effect of dynamic merchandising content in its convenience stores.

The gas/convenience retailer is partnering with Samsung Electronics America on a pilot program involving Samsung smart signage displays, among other technologies, at three Chevron ExtraMile stations in San Diego and Millbrae, Calif., and Vancouver, Wash. The signs deliver dynamic content to attract and catch the interest of in-store shoppers  

The pilot program also introduces AI-powered  “digital humans” to assist customers in the San Diego ExtraMile store. Developed by Samsung’s AI research lab, “Sam the Sommelier” is a hyper-realistic generative AI-powered virtual being that can interact with customers via voice or live chat through an app and provide recommendations for wine pairings with their food purchases.  Customers can learn about each wine’s tasting notes, take a quiz to find their ideal bottle and get immediate assistance to complete their transaction, all through a natural conversation with the virtual being.

All stores participating in the pilot will feature ultra-slim 4K UHD Samsung displays, installed by Creative Realities Inc. in high-traffic areas, such as the soda fountain, snack aisles, refrigerated sections and behind the register. Stores will utilize the Samsung MagicInfo content management solution, together with the displays, to manage and distribute digital content including:

  • Sprinklr Social: This AI-powered social media tool engages shoppers through social media campaigns, such as digital polls about their favorite soft drink flavors. 
  • IBM Weather: Real-time local weather forecast information supports intelligent triggers for weather-appropriate content and promotional offers. For instance, if the forecast projects a week of sunshine ahead, the system automatically triggers a promotion for car washes.

Samsung is also integrating FastSensor foot traffic analytics software at ExtraMile pilot stores, using connectivity provided by T-Mobile 5G business internet solutions. As a result, Chevron can obtain granular metrics about a customer’s physical journey as they move throughout an ExtraMile store.

In addition, the retailer can analyze data on traffic flow, customer purchase intent, sales conversions and store sections with the highest traffic to suggest digital content or hardware changes to improve customer engagement.

Other efforts by Chevron to improve its in-store customer experience include a pilot of a frictionless shopping experience based on Grabandgo self-checkout technology.

“Stores today need to deliver interactive experiences to engage with the digital-savvy shopper,” said Sara Grofcsik, executive director of U.S. commercial sales, Samsung Electronics America. “However, it’s difficult to meet current expectations for dynamic content with traditional signs and banners. This approach combines digital signage and real consumer data to reach customers at the right time with the right message. Customers stay up to date on hot products and deals, and this helps them keep coming back to ExtraMile stores for more.”

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