SM malls rolls out concierge robots in 2019, a 1st in the Philippines

Photo by Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The Philippines biggest shopping mall owner will start using robots to help customers shop around, the first ever in the country.

In the first quarter, SM Prime Holdings will deploy three robots at SM Megamall, the second-biggest shopping centre in the country, said Mr Steven Tan, chief operating officer of the shopping mall group.

The English-speaking robot will answer questions, help customers find their way around the mall and provide information on promotions and events. Screens and speakers will provide real-time and “seamless” service with the help of artificial intelligence, Tan added.

Megamall, one of South-east Asia’s biggest, spans 477,000 square meters, an area equivalent to about 89 football fields, and serves about 277,000 people every day, according to SM.

If successful, the concierge robot service will be expanded to other shopping centers including Mall of Asia, Seaside City Cebu and Aura Premiere.

Customer service is at the core of everything we do and we always aim to make the shopping experience fun and seamless, Tan stressed.

SM’s three largest malls in the Philippines attract daily foot traffic equivalent to 10 per cent of Metro Manila’s 13 million population. SM’s 72 malls nationwide draw more than 3.5 million customers each day.

SM partnered with electronic manufacturing firm Cal-Comp Technology Inc. to roll out the country’s “first” customer service robot.

“Our smart service robot’s speech capabilities will hopefully make the shopping experience more convenient for everyone, and provide the needed assistance to mall guests of all ages,” Cal-Comp Technology and NKG CEO Simon Shen said.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.