Action for Children has spent the last 150 years doing everything it can to protect and support children and young people. This effort has formed a core part of the organisation’s vision to ensure that every child has a safe and happy childhood. With Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange as its partner, Action for Children opened a pop-up shop as part of its Secret Santa campaign and introduced Elf.ai to help visitors select gifts that sparked emotional connections.
Two years ago, Action for Children began its Secret Santa campaign, which is a Christmas-themed donation plan through which donators can purchase presents that range from hot meals to trips to pantomimes to presents for at-risk and vulnerable children. Following the programme’s success in year one as a purely digital experience, Action for Children wanted to find ways to expand and improve in year two by opening a two-week-long pop-up shop supported by AI and digital technology.
Together, Action for Children and Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange took a long look at how the charity wanted its store to operate and the numerous opportunities for innovation that could be pursued. Ultimately, Action for Children and Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange agreed to use artificial intelligence (AI) at the core of the solution in the new store while adding digital interfaces to make the entire experience more interactive for customers. With this vision established, the partners began to develop the technology needed to support the shop. The core of the new store experience was Elf.ai, a giftpredicting system that can detect potential donators’ reactions to different options. Built specifically for the Action for Children Secret Santa pop-up shop, this AI solution monitored users’ emotional reactions while they used a smart screen to browse through a variety of visuals showing them gifting options.
- Action for Children achieved 160% of its pop-up shop donation goal
- 93% of the 550 visitors who used Elf.ai went on to make donations
- Greater interaction with social media
- Streamlined experience for charitable donations
Through this project, Action for Children and Capgemini’s Applied Innovation Exchange explored new ways to drive support and interest in charity activity. Digital technology and AI in particular have demonstrated the impact innovation can have on the in-store experience as well as the importance of having a plan for expanding engagement with the audience. With a more multi-faceted approach that still included an online portal but also integrated an in-store experience with new digital elements, the charity has demonstrated the capabilities of physical locations in a time when many industries are increasingly focused on online activity.
With the growing success of its Secret Santa campaign across the first two years of its existence, Action for Children is ready to continue innovating in order to expand its charity work. Through future projects like Elf.ai, the organisation will continue to work towards its vision of a UK where every child has a safe and happy childhoods.