Shopping Mall Robots – Opportunities and Constraints from the Retailer and Manager Perspective

  • Marketta Niemelä
  • Päivi Heikkilä
  • Hanna Lammi
  • Virpi Oksman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10652)


Social service robots are gradually entering into shopping malls to provide guidance and information services to the consumer customers. Earlier literature has reported that usually consumers response positively to these robots. Less is known about how do retailers and other business actors in the shopping mall perceive the robots. We present results of an interview study carried out with eight retailers and other service providers in a shopping mall, and three shopping mall managers. The results provide insight into their views about potential application roles of social service robot in the mall: what kind of services the robot could provide to customers besides guiding and information providing, and what kind of opportunities, requirements and constraints a shopping mall sets as a business environment for robot developers and service providers. The capability of the robot to emotionally engage with the customers was seen highly potential in shopping business but balancing entertainment with utility functions is crucial. A Pepper robot was used as a demonstrative platform in the study.


Shopping mall robots Retailers Shopping mall managers Business perspective Social robots Pepper 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marketta Niemelä
    • 1
  • Päivi Heikkilä
    • 1
  • Hanna Lammi
    • 1
  • Virpi Oksman
    • 1
  1. 1.VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.TampereFinland

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