The latest technologies to help retailers win over customers can be discovered at Cegid’s headquarters in Lyon, thanks to the latest version of the software vendor’s popular innovation and experience store concept, which has just opened its doors. These include new generation mobile for sales associates, intelligent anti-theft devices, self-checkouts and internet of things (IoT) powered interactive fitting rooms, virtual reality (VR), wearable technologies and artificial intelligence (AI).
Retail & Distribution
07 Feb 2019
Here we speak to Florian Peyruseigt, head of the Cegid Innovation Store, to find out more about the installation which showcases the tech that has the power to reimagine the role of bricks-and-mortar retail:
Why did you create the Cegid Innovation Store?
Florian Peyruseigt: Conceived originally as a laboratory of ideas for specialty retailers, our future store concept showcases many technological innovations in omnichannel retailing, such as mobile payments, click & collect, web-to-store and VR. It is a major source of inspiration for retailers who want to rethink ideas or want to see practical applications of current technologies that could transform their in-store operations. First created seven years ago, the Cegid Innovation Store is constantly renewing itself and attracts more than fifty visitors a month. It allows retailers to project themselves into an omnichannel world and see how Cegid solutions can help them in their daily lives and deliver enhanced customer experiences for shoppers. For Cegid, this showroom also serves as a laboratory: we test certain features for potential integration into our platform for unified commerce, Cegid Retail.
At the start of 2019, where are retailers in terms of digitalising their stores?
Florian Peyruseigt: Retailers are all at different stages on their digital transformation journeys. Some industries – particularly in sports retailing, cosmetics and some specialised food brands, like tea shops – are leading the field. But for many, it’s still a constant challenge to keep up with the continually evolving demands from consumers and changing behaviours in how people like to shop.
In what particular areas has progress actually been made?
Florian Peyruseigt: For the last ten years, retailers have made a lot of progress with technologies that help with the vital task of how to retain and attract new customers. Consumers are getting more and more demanding, as the ‘always on’ shopper (with much faster access to information) is continually looking for more personalised and enriched experiences. In order to meet their expectations and stay ahead, retailers have had to transform the point of sale (POS) and become more digitally integrated. This fundamentally changes the role of the store associate, who needs to be digital equipped to assist shoppers on their buying journeys in-store – and this requires them to access insights into a customer’s purchase history, comments on social media etc to improve the overall shopping experience. Investments by many retailers in mobile POS means devices for processing transactions anywhere on the shopfloor can reduce friction at the checkout and cut queues. And, thanks to displaying stock levels on their ecommerce sites, retailers have managed to increase their conversion rates by encouraging online reservations and directing more shoppers to stores using click & collect, adding convenience to shopper experiences.
Everyone is talking about unified commerce… What is it about?
Florian Peyruseigt: These days, consumers expect the same high levels of service irrespective of whether they shop online or offline. If they decide to visit a store, it’s most likely for expert advice and personalised coaching from sales staff; or maybe to benefit from a range of value-added services. From a logistical point of view, many would describe unified commerce as the ability to have real-time stock information both online and offline. This is vital, because it can save losing a sale by always being able to offer alternatives and showing what’s currently available across various channels. For many retailers, unified commerce and the seamless integration across all channels remains an important challenge ahead.
This is the third reincarnation of your Cegid Innovation Store. What’s changed?
Florian Peyruseigt: Our showroom presents some of the best digital solutions around in retail today, thanks to our expert product, marketing and innovation teams who spend the year scouting around looking for potential partners. We have selected more than 25 partners (such as Aures, Adyen, Epson, Frequency, HP, Microsoft, Nedap, stacker, Valtech, Zebra etc.) who are represented in this third version of the Cegid Innovation Store. What’s on show covers the practical applications of Cegid’s Shopping, Cataloging and Clienteling solutions. It also includes mobile payments, self checkouts and intelligent anti-thefts devices using RFID, social media analysis (for instance, showing comments from dissatisfied or very dissatisfied clients who have expressed themselves on Twitter), or a ‘social mirror’ that can provide online advice after a customer posts a selfie about a product on social media. There’s also a range of new products that bring virtual reality and retail a step closer to real life, not to mention digitally-connected fitting rooms that can recommend other products and sizes; or a smartwatch that allows staff to receive requests for products while on the move.
How do you think shopping is going to change in future?
Florian Peyruseigt: Mobile payments have a promising future ahead, as does dematerialisation, as things get more digital. As customers are better informed and increasingly demanding, the added services that stores can provide will become more and more important. The customer no longer needs to go to the store; he or she must want to go. The store will primarily become a focal point for expert advice and to better experience the brand’s values; and, of course, to use it as a collection point. Looking ahead, increasingly retailers will have to rely on digital solutions to arm store staff with the relevant tools to keep pace with changing shopping habits and win over their customers to drive conversions and improve customer lifetime value.visit the cegid innovation store