The i2CAT Foundation participates in the BCN Retail Lab project to help in the digitalization of local shops


With the pandemic situation, online commerce has superseded local businesses with fatal results. Local stores are suffering temporal or definitive closures, causing great monetary losses. Bearing in mind how tendencies changed during this period, it is expected that online shopping will be imposed, allowing only large businesses to survive. To avoid losing the tradition of shopping locally, the BCN Retail Lab project proposes introducing digital advances to local shops. 

This project aims to develop a test pilot to measure the impact of the digital transformation applied to the urban commercial fabric to boost economic viability, social vitality, and environmental sustainability. The general idea is to provide technical support for local commerce to adapt them to the new paradigm. The idea is to train commerce in online promotion through social media, and so expand visibility and market, supporting local shops, and be able to share through the “new” online sales channel and expand its market. The technological partners of the project must provide technic proposals to solve these identified business challenges:  

  • Quantification and qualification of audiences and buyers 
  • Behavioral shopping data and customer feedback
  • Communications channel with relevant and effective commercial and social technologies

The call will be addressed to find local shops like a bakery, a fashion shop, or a yoga center. The i2CAT Foundation is a media partner of this project, and Josep Paradells, director of the center, will be a member of the jury.

By now, the commerces selected are a flower shop, a ski store, a beauty salon, and a bakery. From the beginning of April to the end of June 2021, the technological partners will be analyzing the buying and selling dynamics of the stores and their relationship with the citizens, as well as experimenting to transform the spaces according to the development of the future of commerce.