Sunday, May 21, 2017

Shopper's guide at store entrance

Unless you go to a store where sales people wait to assist you, a shopper's guide, either a paper map or a computer, may be helpful to guide you to the exact isle and shelf. This is particularly useful for a big store and the products are inherently complicated for selection, such as Home Depot, where there is always a shortage of salesmen and you often hear "Customer assistance is needed at ..." on the speakers. A simple computer that only informs of the isle and shelf for a type of products is helpful, but can be further improved. A sophiscated software program should be able to take voice in addition to keyboard input and answer questions as much as it can, not just "Where do I find air conditioner filters?", but also "Do you carry Pfister faucet side sprayer model 951‑026U?", or even "Does SKU LK1CS fit American Standard model ...?" No software is a replacement for a human. But such programs, which software programmers can develop with relative ease, can solve the problem of not enough in-store employees and, in limited cases, help customers with better accuracy and higher efficiency than humans.

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