“Setting a new pace” was how Nathalie Echinard, Retail Business Unit Director of Cegid kicked off Cegid Connections Retail. Her avatar greeted 500 delegates gathering for two days under the Monegasque sun in Monte Carlo. While avatars might seem a step too far into the Metaverse, accelerating the pace of change in retail is something here and now that you can’t afford to miss out on!
This was the message that Cegid Connections Retail wanted to convey during the conference after three years of upheaval due to Covid.
A varied and rich agenda
On the agenda were: two plenary sessions covering four themes; ten workshops dedicated to various technological challenges and breakthroughs in retail; and plenty of experiential spaces to see new things and exchange ideas.
Over the last three years, there have been profound changes in retail and, post pandemic, consumers have dramatically changed their shopping habits. And, without a doubt, many emerging trends are here to stay. Online shopping has become much more common. The global e-commerce market surpassed US$13 trillion in 2021 and is expected to exceed US$55 trillion by 2027, growing at an average annual growth rate of 27.4% between 2022 and 2027(1).
The traditional divide between online and bricks-and-mortar shopping is becoming increasingly blurred. Shoppers now prefer a hybrid mix where technology plays a key role. 61% of consumers believe that retailers should continue to offer the same multi-channel flexibility that was offered during the pandemic (2).
“Omnichannel is now on everyone’s lips and the important thing is to keep learning and accelerate faster,” said Emmanuel Vivier, co-founder of the HUB Institute during the first plenary session. He stressed that the Metaverse, CSR and data will continue to disrupt retail.
The store remains at the heart of the customer experience
Nonetheless, the role of the sales associate is changing. Stores had to reinvent themselves during the pandemic: for instance, many turned into mini logistics hubs. More than ever, the future of the store depends on the ability of retailers to accelerate and adapt in order to offer a more memorable customer experience. As for staff, innovation, technology and new services will help simplify processes and improve overall monitoring and efficiency.
Cegid has long been delivering solutions and new product innovations to help retailers adapt to these changes. The recent acquisition of UK retail tech company, StorIQ, is the latest addition to the platform for better planning and monitoring of operations in stores. StorIQ – now “A Cegid Company” – complements Cegid’s Retail offer by adding tools for task management and communication, compliance, training and management scheduling modules.
Early adopters of Cegid Retail Live Store and successes ‘live’ on stage
Sales staff can be especially empowered in their new roles by using Cegid Retail Live Store, Cegid’s new generation of collaborative in-store apps.. Its designed to help staff boost sales and get a better understanding of their customers Since its launch, the new solution has already been adopted by over fifteen retailers and many of them attested to the benefits on stage:
“It now accounts for over half our sales,” says Sylvain Potemski, Managing Director of YellowKorner, a retailer of art and photography with more than 130 store galleries around the world. ZooParc de Beauval, a theme park which welcomes around 1.5 million visitors a year and sometimes has 30,000 people flocking through its tills in a single day, uses it to ease queuing by simply adding mobile checkouts in minutes.
Always serving customers
Another retailer, Courir, which sells sports shoes, added:
“Everything stems from Cegid Retail Live Store’s mobile capabilities […]. The objective for us is testing how the technology we implement will give added value and new experiences to our customers in stores,” said Yves Simon de Kergunic, IT & Supply Chain Director of Courir.
French retailer, Balibaris, deployed the solution in just five weeks and CEO Julien Schneider said that customers and staff both appreciated the simplicity of using it:
“Our products may be out of stock, but by linking Cegid Retail Live Store and Cegid Retail Y2 we can better serve our customers.”
Vincent André, CEO at the outdoor clothing brand Picture Organic Clothing wanted to “give the in-store sales teams the opportunity to really do their job well and have time to discuss the outdoors with an expert.”
Stock accuracy is vital these days for avoiding lost sales and providing the appropriate level of service to customers.
“Cegid Retail Inventory Tracking has been made available to our sales teams all over the world and allows us to monitor stock in real time and never disappoint our customers,” said Thierry Gadenne, Project Manager at Maison Celine.
Emerging forms of payments and flexibility via the Cloud
Various new ways of making payments in stores have made the shopping experience even better for consumers. These include instant transfers via ‘pay by link’ or ‘Tap on Glass’, which Cegid is developing with its partners.
Agility, cyber security, data protection and compliance were highlighted throughout the conference. But none of this would be possible without the Cloud, as representatives from Oracle and Microsoft reminded us. Cloud technology is ideally suited to enterprises that manage a lot of data and do not necessarily have significant IT resources. It’s better in terms of agility, scalability and security.
“The Cloud gives us greater fluidity, faster access and the latest versions of solutions to work more efficiently,” said Thierry Letrillard, Partner & COO of Sud Express.
All the latest Cegid applications are now designed for SaaS and have been adopted by hundreds of customers. The number of countries covered – currently more than sixty– continues to grow since the opening of a fourth Point of Delivery (POD) in China last year.
Supporting tomorrow’s challenges
There were many other subjects covered at the conference – for instance, CSR, the rental and second-hand market and recycling schemes – which Cegid continues to support. Various workshops proved an ideal podium for discussing certain themes, such as how these sales can be integrated into the accounting system and what taxes should be applied.
There was also no escaping talk about the Metaverse and Web 3.
Eric Briones, Managing Director of Journal du Luxe described this as the “new Far West” in a virtual world we seem to already live in – with endless video-conference meetings!
“Beware the risks of gadgetisation,” he quipped.
While Morgan Stanley predicts that 10% of the luxury sector will be given over to Web 3.0 by 2030, the Metaverse will no doubt encourage a number of new communities and services being introduced and brought together. Cegid gave attendees a first glimpse into the future of the Metaverse, such as digital passports based on blockchain and the rise in popularity of NFT.
There’s still a vast world to explore out there for retail and Cegid is proud to support such a fast moving and loyal sector.
“We’re moving forward and progressing together. And I would like to thank all our customers and partners for attending Cegid Connections Retail 2022. The various testimonials and exchanges over two days have been constructive, fun and fascinating,” concluded Nathalie Echinard.
A ‘beach party’ gave an ideal opportunity to award prizes to some pioneering and innovative clients, including: LVMH (SaaS Pioneering Project of the Year award); YellowKorner (Cegid Retail Live Store Early Adopter); Benetton (Deployment Excellence & Rapid Time to Value award), Hubside (Retail Rising Star & Growth award); Aesop (the “WW Deployment Excellence” award); MF Brands (Lacoste, Aigle, The Kooples, GANT) won the “Special Jury Prize”; and finally, Alton Allspark received the “Partner Excellence” award.
Discover the best moments of Cegid Retail Connections 2022 here:
1) “Commerce Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2022-2027” report
2) Retail 2022 study Adyen/KPMG