At the moment, only 32% of companies, and even fewer Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs; 7-8%) use Artificial Intelligence (AI) or predictive analytics to inform their loyalty campaigns, track their ecological footprint and measure their return on loyalty investment (ROI). In the €3.2 trillion day-to-day European retail market, a combination of tightening margins, rising expectations around service quality, the emergence of new B2C customer engagement channels such as mobile, social and cloud that are transforming how consumers interact with brands, and increasing focus on competition from online retailers is creating a new business imperative for loyalty program transformation. bluesource’s research focuses on developing end-to-end AI-powered IT solutions specifically targeting European SMEs retailers so they can run their own B2C loyalty programs, track individual CO2 consumption of their customers, incentivize them for their “green” behaviour and at the same time help SMEs to best achieve their merchandise and financial goals in an easy-to-use, fast, highly scalable and cost-efficient way. Multidisciplinary topic however requires different methods for empirical research. bluesource has therefore established an interdisciplinary team to cover these issues with a variety of methodological approaches.
Artificial Intelligence (machine learning)
A particular focus of bluesource lies on using predictive analytics and machine learning on a microservices architecture to (1) suggest relevant loyalty actions and offers to relevant customers (e.g., offers will differ depending if customers belongs to “Non-engagers”, “Ecological Sympathisers” and “Ecological Champions”) and (2) understand the effectiveness of ecological & ROI of SME retailers campaigns based on contextual business data—deepening and strengthening the client relationship and delivering targeted and personalized offers „on-the-spot‟, while at the same time increasing sales. This is achieved by using one of the machine learning techniques. These AI techniques are tested and develop together with Software Competence Center Hagenberg.
Due to the growing amount of data, which are collected and processed in applied research or in development, the issues of data mining, big data management and privacy are becoming more and more important. We have many years of experience in working with data mining and personal data and develop Privacy and Data Management Plans (PDMP) for research and innovation projects. Depending on the project, these PDMP might for example include protocols for working with big amount of data and for protecting personal data.
Data Visualisation and Dashboard Design
The large amounts of customer-related data, generated by devices and Internet-based sources, can be collected in retail industry. Data of such a diverse information space is difficult to be delivered, especially to non-IT users like the SME retailers. Visualizing data in a way that is appropriate for the user's needs is essential before a furthermore quantitative analysis takes place. bluesource addresses these challenges with the efficient and effective visualization of the data mining results to be delivered to the end users. Special emphasis is given to simple and easy interpretation of the knowledge, presenting results to the end users through well-chosen structures such as tables or graphs and taking into account of the cognitive skills of humans to show them extended information in a compact way.
Demonstration Activities and Pilots
bluesource has extensive expertise in performing pilot and demonstration activities. The main goal behind such activities is to prepare the ground for wide market adoption of Loyalty Management platforms and implement the awareness raising campaigns for reaching SME retailers from various environments in the different pilot locations and end consumers (volunteers and citizens) in a co-creating manner by means of an iterative process. To increase the overall quality of services we also perform economic studies in order to know the profit of retailer platforms in terms of CO2 reduction, decrease in marketing costs, success in reaching new customers, conversion rates….
Interdisciplinary Research, Innovation Studies and tech-based Analyses
Innovation Studies and techno-economic studies focus on determining the innovation potential or the economic feasibility/viability of a particular product or project – it connects R&D and engineering to business. The team at bluesource combines their real-world experience and technical expertise to help clients evaluate and compare or contrast competing technologies in terms of technical performance; economics; carbon; and customer acceptance.
We have extensive expertise in designing target IT architectures, developing the corresponding transformation program and roadmap, and ensuring the organization’s IT is ready for digital.
Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
A modern Loyalty & Engagement Program comprises a variety of gamification mechanics that can be combined with Virtual Reality (VR). In this regard, bluesource, together with our collaboration partner, Soma Reality GmbH, conducted multiple gamification activities, balancing the art of game design with the company’s customer engagement business goals, across all programs and industries. Multiple mechanics could be combined for these purposes, building layers into the program to ensure high engagement rates and consumer satisfaction. These games are aligned to the metrics essential for driving performance of loyalty programs.