How AI is helping local businesses in Barcelona


Alberto Lempira Guevara
Academic coordinator of the MSc in Marketing
Marketing Consultant specializing in Business Development and Digital Strategies


Large companies are well-known for using advanced technologies to predict customer behavior and preferences and then serving targeted campaigns that are tailored to meet those needs. However, such technologies are making their way into organizations across industries of all sizes, becoming increasingly relevant even to small businesses. A growing number of businesses are finding that technology that allows them to analyze and predict customer behavior is a critical component in tackling today's complex challenges, from uncovering novel opportunities, increasing customer acquisition, engagement and retention to more efficiently monitoring and optimizing business operations. 

When it comes to analyzing and predicting customer behavior, two types of technology come into play: predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI). Although these analytic methodologies may appear to be synonymous at first glance and they both provide valuable marketing insights, they approach data analysis in a somewhat different way. However, both analytic methodologies encompass a variety of techniques to mine, model, and learn across large volume of data to provide advanced insights and 360-degree views of data trends to help humans anticipate future events, assist enhance marketing ROI, conversion rates and customer experience and loyalty.

Small businesses are also increasingly adopting advanced technologies to analyze and predict customer behavior

As the industry embraces marketing 5.0, and the implementation of technology for improving business strategies that are not only customer-centric omnichannel as well; it has never been more crucial to be prepared for any future trend that may pose and opportunity for any brand. 

Beabloo, a real-world example in Barcelona

Beabloo is a Barcelona-based company that pioneers in introducing innovative technology solutions for personalized customer experiences and making physical spaces "more intelligent". With its Active Customer Intelligence Suite (ACIS), which integrates digital signage with analytics and artificial intelligence, the company aims to revolutionize communications within physical spaces by analyzing peoples' behavior and offering them personalized experiences. 

ACIS uses a network of sensors to capture and analyze customer behavior and provide information about their gender, age range, and activities such as which areas customers pass through before making a purchase, where they stop and where they interact with personnel. Always in compliance with data protection regulations, sensors capture data and deliver this data to management via user-friendly dashboards. 

Thanks to ACIS, from small local neighborhood stores to large retailers can implement digitization in their spaces to boost personalization and agility

Minerva AI, the artificial intelligence engine behind it all, learns from audience preferences, demographics, sales, and inventory, among other parameters to make accurate predictions about which content displayed on digital signage is the most desired and showing it at the right time and the right place, thereby markedly improving customer experience. 

Thanks to ACIS, businesses of different kinds, from small local neighborhood stores to large retailers can implement digitization at their physical spaces to encourage personalization and agility. By leveraging data collected by the system, a great amount of information is obtained about customer preferences as well as a unique grasp of multiple customer journeys.

The ability to learn from customers, adapt to their expectations and preferences enables businesses to expand the value of customer experience, transform operational efficiency, differentiate themselves from the competition and boost sales. 

Barcelona Retail Lab: how to adapt local commerce to the tech revolution

Beabloo was selected by a multidisciplinary and international jury as the technological partner of the Barcelona Retail Lab project, promoted by the City of Barcelona, CorEixample and CTecno. The project was initiated in mid-2021 with the goal of boosting the city's retail fabric's economic viability, environmental sustainability, and social dynamism. 

The businesses selected for the project are representing the urban's trade diversity and potential based the following project criteria: they have a high influx of neighborhood, they work with well-known brands, they provide proximity services that represent the environment and are unique establishments that are part of neighborhood's history and identity and where it was possible to experiment with innovation.

Beabloo's technology solutions have been implemented for pilot testing in four shops in Barcelona, such as the leading florist and gardening shop Flors Navarro

Beabloo's technology solutions have been implemented for pilot testing in four shops in the Dreta de l'Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona: Flors Navarro, Barcelona's leading florist and gardening shop; Barrabes Esquí i Muntanya, a leading store in Europe dedicated to the world of mountain and outdoor; Crearte Styling, a beauty salon, image workshop, hairdresser, and aesthetics with organic products; and Crois Croissant Gourment, a cafeteria specialized in croissants. 

The Barcelona Retail Lab is expected to extend to almost 200 businesses in the surroundings area, with the goal of reaching one million people. Currently, Barcelona has 25,000 businesses associated with commercial areas; so, the goal is to scale it to other districts and alter the city's traditional commerce.

Near term outlook

The example described above is just one illustration of how businesses may incorporate predictive analysis and artificial intelligence into their operations and processes. However, businesses are just beginning to explore what is now possible in the fields of predictive analysis, data visualization, artificial intelligence, and other related technology capabilities. To meet the challenges that lie ahead businesses must embrace a new mindset to properly adapt to today's changing dynamics. Making minor improvements and adjustments will not suffice. Instead, businesses must embrace innovation and new technology that will allow them to deliver and enhanced customer experience. 

The sooner a company adopts predictive technology, the greater its ability to analyze and manage data. Those that don't could be left behind

Introducing cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and predictive data analysis enables business to improve their data and analytics capabilities as well as leverage predictive insights to analyze behaviors and provide a measurable and systemic view of their customer experience issues and areas of opportunity. 

And the sooner a business embraces predictive technology, the greater the likelihood that it will be able to not only analyze and handle its rising amounts of data, but also put them to the best possible use. Those that do so with courage will find themselves in a winning situation. Those who do not, might be left behind. 

ODS Alberto Guevara ENG