Belfast experts 'Velocity Worldwide' bring retail robot to Japanese market
Tech firm Velocity Worldwide, which has its main software and development hub in Belfast, will bring its retail intelligence robot to Japan in a move that's hoping to transform shopping habits.
The global deal will also see the company increase its staff numbers here from 28 to 40 over the next 18 months, according to its chief executive.
Velocity's 'Darius' piece of robot technology will allow retailers in Japan to provide personalised in-store experiences via a network of devices that connect via the mobile devices of customers.
Enda McShane, chief executive of Velocity Worldwide, which also has offices in Dublin and London, said: "Opening in Japan is huge for the business. The Japanese retail sector is struggling because they lost their ability to identify with their customers. Darius will help them engage with shoppers in a meaningful way and will connect shoppers pre-store, in store and post-store."
The company has appointed Cartan McLaughlin as country manager for Japan. He said: "There are many opportunities in Japan for Velocity to work with some of the world's most famous retailers and give their customers personalised experiences that ultimately translate into higher sales for those retailers."
Mr McShane added: "Retailers need to build out a longer-term strategy, capture the right customer data, and use it to their own advantage, as well as to the advantage of their customers. Engagement without data does retailers no good, it doesn't matter how many digital displays or beacons a retailer has in-store if they don't have the knowledge of how best to use those tools."
Darius is now present in Tokyo, London, Edinburgh, Dublin and New York and the firm has plans to enter the stadium sector.
"Darius for stadiums is our big growth area," said Mr McShane.
"Turning stadiums into platforms is the primary objective of all stadiums and arenas. Pulling new and younger fans back to live events through offering better experiences is our goal and we are currently finalising stadium deals in the US, Mexico and Japan."