You've got a friend

Work Study

ISSN: 0043-8022

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



(2000), "You've got a friend", Work Study, Vol. 49 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

You've got a friend

You've got a friend

Friendlyway virtual sales assistants are Internet stations in retail trade outlets, where customers can access product information. In supermarkets, for example, customers can remove products from the shelves and hold them in front of the Internet sales assistant's barcode scanner. It recognises the product, automatically calls up information from the Internet and displays it on a flat screen. Up until now, the problem with regard to Internet-based sales information has been the long loading times for multimedia files (e.g. spoken language to be able to address customers directly!). This new generation of virtual sales assistant recognises the accessed Internet contents and, if requested, recites these to the customer in an electronic voice. This means that there are no loading times. The virtual sales assistant also costs significantly less than a real one. Other solutions, include a telephone advice hotline from the shelf directly to the manufacturer's call centre, or the virtual branch with which Internet providers can come to their customers (e.g. for sending flowers at an airport). (See the Web site:

Related articles