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PSFK Report

Enhancing Service-Based Experiences Through Automation

As technologies increasingly replace aspects of traditional retail, the element of human touch matters more than ever in service-based experiences. Meanwhile, with more time to spend on shoppers, employees are expected to be the connective tissue in the retail experience, between the high touch and tech-enabled customer experience, by providing an emotional connection that leaves visitors with a positive impression.

This research paper looks at innovative ways that service-based companies are augmenting or replacing their employees with automation technology to elevate the customer experience. From artificial intelligence and machine learning to in-store analytics and facial recognition technologies, retailers and brands are enhancing service-based experiences by augmenting in-store associates with digital tools to deliver next-level personalization. At the same time, by implementing in-store technologies, companies are also empowering consumers with mobile and in-store digital interfaces that provide direct access to product or service discovery, education, assistance and payments.

Published February 2019

This report is part of a series that PSFK has published on innovation in in retail and along the customer experience journey. Our reports provide business ideas to corporate members of our research intelligence service. In addition, we provide talks and ideation workshops based on the contents of our surveys and guides. Contact our sales team at or +1 646 520 4672 for more information.