The children's fashion brand, TAO, has introduced a new way of shopping in-store for customers by equipping its staff with mobile POS to help with queue-busting and store operations. After setting up in 1996 in the north of France, Tape à l’œil (TAO) has expanded its network of childrenswear stores across Europe and the Middle East and spent the last few years undergoing a digital transformation, including introducing web-to-store.
Tape à l’œil equips its staff for a new in-store customer experience
With a network of 300 stores in Europe and the Middle East, Tape à l’œil (or TAO) has become a well-known brand in the children’s ready-to-wear sector. The retailer has long excelled in providing an omnichannel experience to its customers and continues to innovate in its stores, such as adding mobile devices to help improve every aspect of the customer shopping journey.
Our strategy for developing an omnichannel shopping experience started 15 years ago.
IT & Digital Transformation Director at Tape à l’œil
A customer shopping journey that’s always evolving
The retailer, TAO, offers a wide range of “French-style, refined” clothing for children – from toddlers to teenagers – inspired by fashion shows from around the world and developed by local stylists at its head office in Hauts-de-France. To appeal to both young and old shoppers alike, TAO started an innovative digital campaign several years ago with its #OriginalKids platform and has been rolling out new technologies across all its channels and customer touchpoints.
“Our strategy for an omnichannel experience began fifteen years ago,” says Guillaume Porquier, Director of Information Systems and Transformation at Tape à l’œil.
This forward-thinking approach meant that the business was well placed to weather the numerous challenges imposed by store lockdowns and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our e-commerce site acted as a buffer, and our transition towards digital jumped forward two to three years in just twelve months.”
Managing the omnichannel experience, stores and community relations
Even though online sales rose in 2020 and remain strong, physical stores are still the best place to forge strong relationships with customers. And this, believes the Tape à l’œil IT director, is why it tries so hard to create exceptional omnichannel experiences and improve customer satisfaction.
“The store should be an emotional place and we are developing more and more services there, such as introducing hair salons for children on Wednesdays and Saturdays,” says Porquier.
The role of store staff has profoundly changed. Staff need to continually offer new experiences to the customer: and that means getting to grips with new technologies to help provide services like ship-from-store and click & collect. TAO, which has been using the Cegid Retail unified commerce and POS platform since 2005 to manage all its retail activities, has started deploying Cegid’s mobile POS solution.
The retailer sees it as a way to add a mobile checkout system without cutting back on the amount of store space dedicated to sales. The software also does a lot more than just processing payments: it provides visibility on stocks; scans articles and processes orders; and gives instant access to loyalty schemes and promotional events.
“Cegid provides a gateway for our staff to do everything. We don’t want to complicate things by having a variety of different solutions.”
The retailer opted for a mobile store solution that would be easy to integrate and manage the entire customer journey for a better all-round shopping experience. It was pleased with the ability to share peripherals with existing checkouts and the openness of the solution:
“With open solutions, IT issues tend to fade away. But, what’s more difficult, is managing change: getting staff to master new challenges.”
This included the retailer adding tools to measure customer service levels (NPS, or Net Promoter Score) at every store and staff being responsible for managing their own local community relations.
“Stores are now having to manage their own social networks,” adds Porquier.
Tape à l’œil has been using Cegid Retail solutions since 2005 to manage all its retail activities:
- Store management
- Sales and payments
- Promotions & Loyalty
- Order Management
- Special offers
- Stock management and replenishment