The Barcelona Market Digitalisation Plan is taking shape through a series of projects in response to the goals and values 2015-2025 Strategic Plan and to the new needs of current and potential customers. Information technologies are strengthening the plan to transform the markets, as the modernisation of the space has been accompanied by organisational and service modernisation.
Online shopping at the Municipal Markets
Barcelona's 43 markets are in the process of installing a common remote online purchasing channel. This new channel, Marketplace, will enable customers to receive their purchase orders by home deliveries or collect them at the market itself even outside opening hours thanks to a new flexible purchase collection service. It involves the installation of dry and refrigerated lockers at market access points. The new lockers will be connected to Marketplace and may be used too for storing already purchased projects, whether to keep them fresh or simply enable customers to continue their market shopping in comfort.
The lockers are at the pilot-test stage in the Sants, Provençals, Llibertat Ninot and Lesseps markets and at the BSM car parks of the Boqueria, Sant Antoni, Sagrada Família and Guinardó markets. They will soon be available to customers.
The lockers are certified for their internal air-purification and odour-elimination system.
The Markets Network’s information screens are a visible feature of the content management system, which involves installing these screens and micro-computers with a remote-control programme that enables content to be broadcast that is common to the entire network or specific to each market at a second stage of implementation.
At present (November 2021) 14 municipal markets already have information screens broadcasting information on infrastructure initiatives, sustainable food, services, the event calendar and publications in Mercats de Barcelona’s social media, among other things.
The screens are gradually being rolled out and the plan is to install 100 at 40 markets.
Controlling customer numbers
Barcelona City Council has cameras for managing customer numbers in 39 of the municipal network’s market buildings. There are a total of 340 bird’s-eye-view cameras on the ceiling in the access areas enabling customer numbers to be managed. This initiative has been in response to the needs created by the pandemic over the last few months. The cameras count the number of people entering and leaving the market, based on head counts of those present in the space, but are not able to focus on faces. The total number of people in the market can therefore be known in real time.
The screens installed at the access points display each market’s maximum capacity and the number of people inside, so users intending to enter can clearly see whether they can or not. They also provide data on the impact municipal markets have on their neighbourhoods and the hourly distribution of visitors to the various markets. This data then provides the basis for adapting each market to the needs and flow rates of their customers.